The latest challenge asked for a version of the Gettysburg Address as it might have been given by a prominent figure on the world stage.
Competitors showed no sign of Trump-fatigue: the US President was a popular choice. As it happens, the Donald actually gave his own Gettysburg Address — on the campaign trail last October, when he dropped into the Pennsylvania town to speak to the American people. Yoni Appelbaum, writing in the Atlantic magazine, notes how the rhetoric of US presidents who have come to Gettysburg to speak in Lincoln’s shadow had ‘a common rhythm…[they] offered their audiences a warning — and a promise’. Trump’s speech, on the other hand, was driven by ‘rancid resentment’.
It wasn’t all Trump, though. Other US presidents who featured in the entry were Richard Nixon, JFK and Barack Obama. They were joined by, among others, Putin, Stalin, Gandhi, Mao Zedong, Prince Charles and Jane Austen. Commendations go to Frank Upton and Paul Carpenter. The winners take £30 each.
Frank McDonald/Tony Blair
Many years ago my forefathers made it possible for me to address you here on this memorable site and I am honoured to speak for them and for all future generations. Wars come and go but people like me, dedicated to running a nation, don’t. We’re here to remember those who died, of course, but the living are just as important, and me more so. I have no doubt that the world will long remember my words when the smoke of battle here has vanished from history, will long remember the careful phraseology and the urgent message which God has seen fit to place on my tongue. I beg my listeners and future readers to look beyond the significance of a mere battle to the rich message my words contain. Out of our old labours and our foolish wars will come, I promise you, a new approach that I myself have fashioned, so that men shall not have died in vain. It is in modesty, not pride, that I stand here as one of the greatest world figures, representing all that is good on this perishable earth, to appeal for a new way.
Chris O’Carroll/Donald Trump
It was many, many years ago that our beautiful founders created this great nation for Americans to love deeply. It’s been 400 years, or 700 years. That’s the information I was given. We’ve had a tremendous number of years. And they’ve been good years, believe me, the best. No country in the history of the world has had years like ours. Because we were conceived in winning and dedicated to the proposition of America first. Always America first.
Now we have a huge fight on our hands. I’m telling you folks, we’re fighting to take back our country and start winning again. We’re fighting to make America great again. We’re fighting to make America first again. Some people have taken some very unfair hits in this fight. They’ve been hit by liberal activists and the dishonest fake news media. They’re gone now, but we remember their dedication to our movement, and we will be even more dedicated in their memory. We will commit ourselves to secure borders to keep our nation safe, extreme vetting to keep out the bad dudes, and the best trade deals to guarantee that our great American economy does not perish from the earth.
Michael McManus/Donald Trump
Fellow countrymen, two years ago, maybe three — it’s been well documented — a new nation was proposed, conceived in a terrific way, and dedicated to making America great again, and draining that swamp in Washington. They are not the best people, by the way.
No one’s gonna remember what the media say. Disgusting. Fake news, I guarantee you. But no one will forget what you patriotic Americans did, you great people who voted here for me. Now we are engaged in a great war, because those who lost, lost big and they don’t know what to do. Really. They lost so badly.
We are met here to dedicate a wall to you people, the good patriotic American people, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. It will be a great, great wall, you mark my words. This African-American thing, by the way. I’ve terrific respect for them. I’ve got one on my team. She’s young, she’s beautiful, very sweet, terrific ass. No one has a more beautiful team than me.
I, Donald J. Trump, promise you have not voted in vain. Government by the billionaires, for the billionaires, shall not perish from the earth.
Bill Greenwell/Harold Wilson
I know I speak for the government when I say that, after 13 years of Tory rule, we can offer you a proposal from which there is no turning back. Every person here is as good as any other person, despite what the voices from the sidelines may say. That is why we are here, on this battleground, to make sure there is no easement. These men are not the peddlers of Stop-Go economics. Theirs is a fate more serious than that.
Now we come, after the white heat of battle, to forge a proper resting-place for those whose proud record of achievement is before us. That is our job.
This does not mean that the ground here will be more holy as a result of what we do. What it does mean is that those who lie here have been far more effective in breaking the life/death cycle than the majority of the rest of us standing here. We must step up and be forward-looking. We must pursue the clarity, on this let us be crystal-clear, for which these men here fought: government by the people, for the people, with the help of the unions.
Brian Murdoch/King Charles I
Twenty-seven score and nineteen years ago Our ancestor King William brought forth upon this island a new nation conceived in sovereign autocracy and dedicated to the proposition that the king as ruler is divinely appointed, and that all men are created equally subservient to him and bound therefore to do his bidding according to his every wish and Executive Order. We, Charles, cannot hallow him enough, nor, being by divine right King Ourself, need We even try to add to or detract from this idea. We shall continue to honour the glorious dead in all the wars and at times of peace, who have contributed to establishing Our throne. Our devotion is not only to Our nobles but to those who come, as We understand it, below them, namely artisans, servants, even women, provided they be of right belief and not foreigners. Our nation shall ever be under the government of a divinely appointed ruler, governed by a King, for a King. We shall never lose Our head, and this form of government shall never perish from the earth, but shall be imitated in future times and in lands as far off as Muscovy and the Americas.
Your next challenge is to submit ‘The Rime of the Wedding Guest’. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to email@example.com by midday on 29 March.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.