Elizabeth Scalia on the decline of great oratory. An excerpt:
The passing of his federal holiday gave me an opportunity to ponder what my friend Lisa Mladinich calls the "holy courage" of Martin Luther King, Jr, who found strength in knowing that his cause was a just one, despite threats, despite difficulties. Watching the old videos, I found myself moved as ever by his stunning oratory. King was capable of using imagery; he understood the power of cadence; how to energize an idea with the forward thrust of repetition. He knew how to prompt the memory retention of a listener with alliteration: "...they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."