Sometimes I use sentences from the great orators as models for students to analyze, both for how language can be flexibly and elegantly used, and for how cogent arguments are constructed and defended.

I’m very excited about the new resources we now have for such instructional practices. Wait until students have a chance to learn to acquire not only the powerful language, but the wit and sagacity of our elected leaders:

“Well, they’re governing now. They’ve never governed. You know, they haven’t governed. Now they’re governing. So now it’s just not like saying no. Before they could say no, it didn’t matter, because it wasn’t going to get approved anyway, so what difference does it make? Now we’re governing.”

” We had these incredible flags including the American flags. And they were in different rooms. And they were always being pushed around because they didn’t have enough room. And I said, “How beautiful, the base, the flags, Army, Navy, Marine Corps. I mean, just so beautiful. Just so beautiful.” The Coast Guard flag over here.”

“Well, I was very well known as you understand prior to this. But that was a different type of — that was a different world. This is something you are really in your own little world. Secret Service, they’re phenomenal. But they are all over the place. I mean, they are the real deal. They’re all over the place.”

And this gem, when pressed about wiretapping claims:

“I don’t stand by anything. I just– you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly. And everybody’s talking about it. And frankly it should be discussed. I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it’s a very big topic. And it’s a topic that should be number one. And we should find out what the hell is going on.”

Once our students soak in the richness of this language, it will be impossible for any standardized test or college entrance examination to judge them unprepared for civic, corporate, or academic leadership.