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Trump's Speech About Having to Choose Between Getting Electrocuted or Eaten by a Shark Might Be the Most Eloquent Address in the History of Oratory

Michael M. Santiago. Getty Images.

If there's one common thread that links all rulers from Antiquity to the internet age, it is that all of them have had to lead through the power of their rhetoric. From Pericles of Athens to Lincoln to JFK, the ability to express your vision directly to your subjects in your own voice has been the one essential element of great leadership. In The King's Speech, George VI has to overcome his crippling speech impediment in order to inspire the British public on the verge of war. "I am the seat of authority," he says. "Why? Because the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can't speak." So when he makes it through his BBC address without fail, it's considered a triumph for all of Britain in a time of great fear. 

And so it was this weekend when a former President and candidate for the highest office in our land once again delivered one of the great speeches ever heard by human ears. It had everything. Boats. Batteries. Boat manufacturing. Government regulations. Higher education. Seamanship. Marine biology. Existential dilemmas. Life and death decisions. And of course, electrocution and sharks:

I went to a boat company in South Carolina. The boat– “I said how is it?”.

He said, “it’s a problem, sir. They want us to make all electric boats.”.

These are boats that are from 16 to 35 or so feet. Fishing boats, leisure boats. Beautiful company in South Carolina. Beautiful guys. Been doing it for 50 years.

He sells hundreds of boats every couple of months. I mean, really fantastic guy. And they use the Mercury engines and different engines in the back. No problem.

They want to take that out. They want to make it all electric.

He said “The problem is the boat is so heavy it can’t float.”.

I said, that sounds like a problem.

He said, “Also, it can’t go fast because of the weight” and they want to now have a 50 mile or a 70 mile radius. You have to go out 70 miles before you can really start the boat up, and you go out at two knots. That’s essentially almost like two miles an hour.

I say, “How long does it take you to get out there?”

“Many hours. And then you’re allowed to go around for ten minutes, but you have to come back because the batteries only last for a very short period of time.”.

So I said, “Let me ask you a question.”.

And he said, “Nobody ever asked this question.”.

And it must be because of MIT. My relationship to MIT. Very smart. He goes. I say, “What would happen if the boat sank from its weight? And you’re in the boat and you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery is now underwater, and there’s a shark that’s approximately ten yards over there.”.

By the way, a lot of shark attacks lately. You notice that? A lot of shark.

I watch some guys justifying it today. “Well, they weren’t really that angry. They bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they were they were not hungry, but they misunderstood what who she was.”.

These people are crazy. He said “There’s no problem with sharks. They just didn’t really understand a young woman swimming,” — no really got decimated and other people too, a lot of shark attacks.

I said, “So there’s a shark ten yards away from the boat, ten yards or here. Do I get electrocuted? If the boat is sinking, water goes over the battery, the boat is sinking. Do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted? Or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted?”.

Because I will tell you, he didn’t know the answer. He said, “You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question.”.

I said, “I think it’s a good question. I think there’s a lot of electric current coming through that water.”

But you know what I’d do if there was a shark or you get electrocuted? I’ll take electrocution every single time. I’m not getting near the shark!

Say what you will about Trump, but it's about time we had a politician willing to address the issue that is most important in the voter's mind. And that is, whether you'd rather die by electrocution or shark attack. We as a people have been divided by this debate for far too long. Meanwhile, candidates at all levels have refused to pick a side. They've either tried to "both sides" the issue or worse, ignored it altogether. It's been said "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who refused to take a stand in a crisis." Here finally is someone willing to go on the record, and admit he's Pro-Electrocution. 

In doing so, I'm sure he's going to draw the wrath of the Pro-Eaten-by-the-Shark lobby. But he wisely got out ahead of their objections, and making it clear they're in the pockets of Big Shark. Nothing but a bunch of special interests. Out-of-touch elites, making excuses like the Leg Eaters are the victims, while ignoring the rights of ordinary, hardworking, surfing Americans to go out on their boards and come back with all their limbs intact. 

This conversation is long overdue. And I'm glad someone finally had the guts to not only start it, but take it head on. 

If I feel bad for anyone in this, it's AI. Presumably, the software is supposed to monitor all human communication in order to learn to write and speak the way we do. And probably give more weight to the words of the people in positions of leadership. Well good luck making sense of a stream-of-consciousness word soup like this. The digressions that go nowhere. Bizarre asides. Non-sequitors. Tossed in references to MIT and how smart the speaker is. All in an effort to make a point about electric boats being impractical. Amazing. 

And if there's one thing we can all agree on, whether you'd rather be horribly electrocuted in the water or eaten alive by a large scary fish, we're in for a hell of a ride over the next five months.