III) Language and political power.

To be elected, politicians must convince voters with electoral campaigns and speeches. For that they have to say what people want to hear so they make promises, they encourage people and so on. Generally, nobody really remembers the exact programs of the candidates, but everybody remembers simple, catchy and punchy slogans such as “Britain Together” or “Make American Great Again”. Obviously slogans shouldn’t be too specific or debatable/controversial and should convey a message everybody agrees to. Once the elections are won, the objective of politicians is to be reelected so they have to be popular / to have good opinion polls. They have to keep the link between themselves and the people by addressing them from time to time. If the elections are lost the problem is the same, remaining silent is the worst possible option.

In times of crisis, the nation needs to be reassured, to   be told that everything will be all right. It was the case in 2008 and 2015 when Presidents Bush and Hollande addressed their respective population to evoke the subprime crisis and the terrorist attacks. However, when President Trump kept silent after the racist demonstration in Charlottesville last summer, the media immediately criticized him for being too slow/waiting so much time. Incidentally, it proves that Trump is not a professional politician, because an experienced politician would have responded right away.

The relation between language and political power is also obvious when we take a closer look at the word “parliament”. Technically, a parliament is the heart of political power in the sense/as/in so for as it is an institution where laws are made and voted. It reminds us of the French word “parler”, which means that the people to whom we give the power to decide the things we can do and cannot do spend their time speaking. Interestingly in British and American English, an “act” is nothing but a law, so for politicians speaking is acting. 

As Barack Obama said, “words do inspire” meaning that if you want to change the world, the first thing you have to do is find the right words.