Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way — (1) that those to whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; (2) that they feel themselves interested, so that self-love leads them more willingly to reflection upon it.
It consists, then, in a correspondence which we seek to establish between the head and the heart of those to whom we speak on the one hand, and, on the other, between the thoughts and the expressions which we employ.
As we get closer to the 2018 elections, it’s useful for those of us engaged in political discourse to keep in mind what it is that we’re trying to accomplish. Most of us are doing what we can to persuade others about the wisdom of our point of view – whether it’s a political philosophy or a candidate or just convincing our compatriots to vote outside the duopoly.
The problem is that our ideas and principles seem so obviously true and correct – at least to us. And our favorite candidates are so obviously the best and most qualified to serve. Why can’t others automatically see what we know in our hearts to be true?