By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 0 Comments
The quote in question seems to have inspired former British prime minister Gordon Brown as well.
By John Geddes - Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
I once heard a pretty fair speechwriter—Michael Waldman, who used to do the job for President Bill Clinton and is now executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school—remark that a portentous quotation used too prominently is often the warning sign of a weak speech.
It doesn’t get much more prominent than the very first line of a star candidate’s speech announcing his bid for a political party’s top job. Justin Trudeau started his pitch for the Liberal leadership the other night in Montréal with this doozy: “Make no small dreams, they have not the power to move the soul,” which is attributed, in the prepared text released by Trudeau’s campaign, to Goethe.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 9:03 AM - 0 Comments
Pat Martin thought he heard echoes of Tommy Douglas in Justin Trudeau’s speech last night.
The first line of the speech was “Make no small dreams, they have not the power to move the soul.” (I transcribed it differently last night, but, if I recall correctly, that was based on how the CBC’s translator interpreted it.) It might be reminiscent of Mr. Douglas’ “dream no little dreams,” but it’s actually a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who predates Tommy Douglas by about a century.
“Courage, friends” was the last line of the speech and was apparently ad-libbed. Like Mr. Martin, I thought of Mr. Douglas’ line, “Courage my friends, tis not too late to build a better world.” Jack Layton often cited that quote. I’m told though that the line had nothing to do with Mr. Douglas and was simply an attempt to sum up the challenge ahead.
(Although I’d like to imagine that somehow it’s a Chronicles of Narnia reference.)