The 272 words President Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg 150 years ago Tuesday could be considered the great-grandfather of the tweet.
Lincoln crafted his speech with what was then a new technology — the telegraph — in mind. Within 48 hours, the address was printed on the front pages of newspapers in California, achieving his desired effect.
“Lincoln was a master political strategist. He truly understood what it took to get the message out to the people,” Peter Schnall, director and producer of the PBS documentary Lincoln@Gettysburg, told Wired.
“He knew the speech would be telegraphed across the nation; within 48 hours every newspaper as far as California had printed the speech straight on the front page, which is exactly what he was aiming for. He was using the media of communication in different ways than a president had ever done before.”
The Gettysburg Address was a conscious break with traditional forms of American oratory. Edward Everett, the keynote speaker at Gettysburg, spoke for two hours. Lincoln spoke for seven minutes.
Lincoln used ruthless precision while writing the speech to make its meaning clear and authoritative, Gary Wills explains in The Atlantic. It is the modern-day equivalent of turning an essay into a tweet.
Without precedent to guide him, Lincoln embraced the new technology, and deployed it adroitly to rally Union commanders on the front lines in (almost) real-time and communicate his vision to the American public.
“Abraham Lincoln developed the modern model of electronic leadership out of necessity, without text or tutor in the midst of a national calamity,” wrote Tom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a historian, who authored the book Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails. “To suggest that Lincoln’s telegrams are somehow ‘lessons’ to be followed in our use of emails would be to demean them, the reason they exist in the first place, and their author. However, I have found that my experience reading Abraham Lincoln’s t-mails has made me more thoughtful in my use of emails.”
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”