Earlier in the week, I wrote about Sarah Palin’s insane “baptism via waterboarding” line from her address at the NRA’s “Stand And Fight” rally. Ever since she arrived on the scene in 2008, I’ve been trying to deconstruct her speechwriting style and in my waterboarding post, I think I came pretty damn close to figuring out how best to describe it:
[Palin’s] speeches could generously be described as having been dictated into the worst speech-to-text app via an iPhone that was accidentally dropped into a bowl of pudding, then translated into Korean using Google Translate, then translated back into English, then recited by marble-mouthed InfoWars goon Dan Bidoni back into the crappy speech-to-text app, and voilà! A Palin speech.
So for fun I decided to try it using a passage from a very famous political speech, dropping the speech-to-text steps for simplicity’s sake. I copied the most memorable section of President Kennedy’s inaugural address, clicked over to Google Translate, translated it from English to Korean, then I translated the Korean text back into English. And sure enough, a brilliant paragraph had been fully Palin-ized into her special brand of authentic frontier gibberish.
Okay, on with the experiment. I’ve selected several chunks of historical political speeches and processed them through my English-to-Korean-Korean-to-English translation formula. Here now, otherwise well-written historical speeches as if they had been written and delivered by Sarah Palin.
1) John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address Palin-ized: “In the long history of the world, only a few generations only of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger to be given to the role. I am responsible for — I do not welcome it out. I have none of us any other people or any other generation is not going to exchange places with. We are trying to import energy, faith, and devotion to our country, and it — the light of the fire service is truly light the world who all turned on. Now, the American people: do you what you can do for the country you are — questions about your country can do, do not ask.”
2) Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Palin-ized: “Remaining before us — we are here dedicated to the great task is rather — to honor their commitment to their death, we gave the last full measure of devotion to the cause of increase — that we here highly resolve these dead in vain do not die — this country is under God shall have a new birth of freedom — of people, and the government of the people, for the people on earth will not go away ever.”
3) Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech Palin-ized: “I have MS, oppressive heat is sweltering heat of injustice, even one day of sweltering conditions, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and equality, a dream. One day my four children, depending on their skin color, not character-rated with a dream to live in such a country.”
4) Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man with the Muck-Rake” Speech Palin-ized: “The cause of the laughter of the public who deal with allegations of misconduct hard, laugh at all the good insanity more disastrous for the United States is not all good patriots. This means that laughter is just about empty heart, crackling of thorns under a pot more, but before they grow to fruition in the high emotion choking feeling.”
5) Barack Obama’s 2008 Speech on Race Palin-ized: “It’s sick, unemployed or work, or to educate our children, provide health care services is not enough. But that is where we begin. We place a strong growth of trade unions. Many generations and a small band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia one hundred twenty-one years since the two realize that over the course of the beginning of the wanbyeokga, ie.”
Yeah, I have no idea where “wanbyeokga, ie” came from but that’s what Google Translate churned up for the experiment, so in the context of the experiment we’ll just assume Palin was especially loopy when she scribbled it down. Anyway, feel free to try it yourself. And never, ever forget the role of the vice president:
“Thankfully our founders were wise enough to say we have this position and it’s constitutional — vice president will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it’s gonna be those other duties as assigned by the president. A simple thing.” –Sarah Palin