National Affairs: Keynotes

Violence. To open a political convention there must be a temporary chairman, who makes an oration to start things going. This orator must choose a subject upon which the convention holds a unanimous opinion. A "keynote" speech, therefore, is by definition a solemn prating about undisputed things. The more vague or remote the subject upon which the audience agrees, the nearer to the brink of absurdity will the orator totter in his effort to be impressive. So it was with Keynoter Fess at Kansas City, who sounded crass and flatulent on the vague...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!