The contrast between President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress last Wednesday night and the Republican response delivered by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.. reminded me of another occasion between one long-winded and another profound speaker.

It was 1863 and the nationally known orator Edward Everett was the featured speaker in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the soldiers who had died during that terrible battle.

Everett’s speech was 1,607 words and lasted two hours. He was followed by President Abraham Lincoln, whose far more famous address, once memorized by schoolchildren as “The Gettysburg Address,” was 275 words and took a mere two minutes.

Everett later wrote Lincoln, praising his brief remarks for their “eloquent simplicity and appropriateness. ... I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

Biden wasn’t Everett and Scott was no Lincoln, but Scott in his brevity, along with his kind and optimistic spirit, delivered the superior speech.

Biden droned on about expanding the nanny state and offering to take care of everyone except those evil rich people who he claimed, as Democrats always do, are not paying their “fair share.” Neither he, nor any other Democrat, says what they mean by “fair.”

Not everyone can be critical of another person without making it sound demeaning. Scott criticized Biden’s spending and other proposals without personal attacks.

He rightly claimed the president had failed to unify the country, as he has repeatedly promised to do. By unity, it appears Biden means everyone has to agree with him.

In the battle of personal stories, Scott had the edge. Biden has been in political office for more than four decades. The question can be fairly asked why he hasn’t done more to solve the problems he claims exist.

‘Christian faith’

Scott spoke openly about his “Christian faith” and even quoted a passage from the Old Testament. Biden and Democrats seem to think of government as a God-substitute.

Scott lamented a closed country and closed schools. He said “millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a day. Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future.” He noted private and religious schools are mostly open and proposed school choice, as a solution.

Most profoundly Scott, who is African American, denied America is a “racist country.” Are there individuals who are racist? Of course, but that doesn’t make the nation racist any more than having criminals among us makes us a criminal nation.

Scott dismantled the president’s infrastructure proposal, noting only 6% of the spending goes to roads, bridges, airports and other traditional projects.

Even more than Scott’s dissection of the president’s address was his demeanor. It was positive and upbeat. He didn’t see a glass half full, but one overflowing with possibilities, if we pour in the right policies.

Scott is a natural speaker in contrast to Biden’s often forced and condescending rhetoric.

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