Summary and Critique of George F. Will's View on Inaugural Addresses
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27 September 2012
‘Let Us’…? No, Give it a Rest Summary and Critique
George F. Will is a Pulitzer-Prize writer and an editor for Newsweek. He is well-known for his strong conservative political commentary. He discusses the history of Inaugural Addresses and how they reflect the way the country has changed throughout the years. He points out a number of differences such as sentence structure, tone, and topics.
For example, he cites the numbering of words. He mentions George Washington’s second sentence of his address, which was 87 words.
On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the…show more content… George Washington had to be much more modest, speaking about his personal problems and as much as he would like to rest, his country was calling him. In the beginning with Washington, the issue was that he would be able to turn the presidency into another monarchy. Around the time of Cleveland and Garfield, a major issue was polygamy. During the time of Monroe, the issue was coastal fortifications. As of today, these are no longer on the list of major issues. This progression shows how the country has grown over the many years.
Though Will is happy that we do not have to talk about the issues of the past anymore, he does not like the shortening of sentences and how Presidents have become more like preachers. He shows appreciation of Washington’s modesty despite the amount of praise he was showered with, but understands how there were different problems during that time.
Most of what Will says is backed up with some strong points, using factual information from past people such as Cleveland, Garfield, and Teddy Roosevelt. This greatly backs up his claims, making them hard to argue against. He makes strong arguments that clearly show how there has been quite a change throughout the history of the Inaugural Addresses.
A significant point he brings up is the decrease in the word count per sentence over the years. It’s true there has been a major change in literature over the years. Personally, I had some trouble keeping up with the incredibly long