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“Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The dictionary defines eloquence as “fluent or persuasive speaking or writing.”

I always thought it included some element of elegance, too, some level of courtesy, but it appears that is not necessarily the case.

By the definition above, the (circus we call) the U.S. Presidential race is—if you look at voter turnout in the primaries thus far—the most eloquent on record.

People are responding in record numbers.

One cannot deny that Donald Trump has struck a chord. His dramatic flair for overstatement and retraction (if he didn’t first say it, he certainly adheres to the adage, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”), is speaking to a faction of American voters in a language they understand, and with which they resonate.

Eloquence is about persuasion, not having all the right words placed ‘just so.’

I hate to admit this, because I do not like his style nor his ideology, but the Donald knows his audience and speaks in a language, though far from courteous, “perfectly intelligible” to them.

And Bernie Sanders, in his determined ox-like plodding way, is as eloquent, though far from refined, reaching the disaffected youth and lethargic left with promises of a brighter future in a more equal society.

Politics aside, remembering that the most persuasive argument is one anchored in emotion, might enable you to present your case to another person much more effectively when something important is on the line.

This is true whether it’s a nationally televised event, a sales presentation, or a difficult conversation with someone you love.

Prepare your words, organize your thoughts, certainly, and then speak from the heart, because in the decision department, the heart trumps the head any day. (Pun intended)

That’s the place where we choose, ultimately.

Decisions are rarely made with the head. It would be nice to believe that, but science shows—and human behavior demonstrates—that emotions fire first, followed by the thoughts we weave which either support or deny those feelings.

Talking from your head won’t score you points, nor win someone’s heart.

But neither will screeching from your heart while your head takes a nap: That’s why we have time-outs in kindergarten.

Maybe the GOP could add a couple of those to the next debate.

In which case, a little less “eloquence” and a little more “elegance” might be a nice change in American politics.

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” ~William Butler Yeats

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