In December 2016 The Herzl Institute held a conference at Glen Cove, NY, under the title of Jewish-Christian Alliance: Reclaiming and Rebuilding Conservatism.
One of the speakers was Dennis Prager who spoke on the 19th which happened auspiciously to be my 70th birthday. He of course is a mere stripling, being nearly two years younger.
Was this a very bald opening or did the producers of the video top’n’tail the footage to deliver an ultra clean start? I have no way of being certain, but I tend towards the latter because we do not see him even draw breath. Regardless, it does demonstrate the impact and power of bald openings, which I why I recommend them to all my trainees.
Prager is a proper speaker. I say that not only because he shoots from the hip but because he has a very rare quality to which I draw the attention of readers whenever we come across it (the last time was back in November with Antonin Scalia). He addresses a large audience in a hall, while sounding as if he is conducting a fireside chat. He speaks with his audience rather than to it. And the fireside chat feeling extends even into when he raises his voice for emphasis.
He also contrives to make everything sound new and spontaneous. I don’t mean to disparage by saying he “contrives”, but he has obviously said everything in this speech before – many times. Not necessarily in this precise structure, or even these precise words, but every path he takes here is very well trodden by him; yet it sounds new and spontaneous. One device he uses to achieve this is interrupting himself at a carefully timed tactical moment (the technical term is Anopodoton), as if a fresh angle on what he is saying has just occurred to him. I just described it as “carefully timed” because the self-interruption comes at the split-second when the rest of the interrupted sentence has become obvious and therefore does not need to be heard. When someone speaks as skilfully as this I find it a joy to witness. He is good.
And he needs to be good because he is fighting back against a formidable foe which has amassed enormous global power by pretending to be oppressed. Leftism is the richest, most potent, most influential, most tyrannical ‘victim’ the world has ever seen, but don’t take my word for it: listen to the speech. Even if you are a full card-carrying member of the choir, this sermon will teach you lots.
There is one jaw-dropping revelation that has quite a long lead-in, but the meat of it begins at 27:05. It is not directly relevant to his message, but it is fascinating nonetheless.
I commend this speech, every bit of it.