The GOP's Latest Rising Star
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Politics and Activism

The GOP's Latest Rising Star

Ralph Alvarado promises to be Marco Rubio without the water-during-a-speech incident.

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The GOP's Latest Rising Star
Ralph Alvarado

Anyone who was watching Republican National Convention on the night of July 20 knew that big speakers were coming: Newt Gingrich, Eric Trump, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio among many others. One speaker, however, caught my eye. Not because of his name, but because of his speaking ability. In a world where televised politicians too often speak as though their tongues are stuck in molasses, he spoke at the tempo of a normal conversation. His gestures conveyed an air of urgency and confidence — much needed qualities at a convention mired in strife and negative media coverage. His name is Ralph Alvarado, and he is one of the GOP's rising stars.

Ralph Alvarado is a Kentucky senator and Kentucky's first Hispanic elected to state office. He is also a delegate for his state at the Republican National Convention, but before becoming involved in politics, he practiced medicine. His Twitter handle is @Alvarado4Senate. He was elected in 2014 and is co-chair of the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee. There is not much literature on the Internet about him yet, but given his speech slot just minutes before Tex Cruz, I suspect we will see much more of him in the near future.

Full disclosure: I took two speaking classes with the (absolutely fantastic) Mrs. Volpert during my time at Roswell High School, and she coached me through the speech I gave at graduation. I also spoke at baccalaureate, and I have had multiple campaigns for various club offices. I am no stranger to public speaking or the thought process that goes into writing and delivering a speech. Every word is crafted to deliver as much impact as possible, whether that impact be rational or emotional, and the structure of a speech often mirrors its content. Inflection and talking speed often mean the difference between sounding humanoid and appearing robotic. Overusing gestures leads to a speech that overwhelms the audience, but standing stiffly or grabbing the podium conveys uncertainty and timidity.

From the moment Alvarado approached the podium, I could tell he was ready to seize what might well be one of the most important moments of his life. He started off by humanizing himself; he grouped himself with most viewers by referring to Americans as a whole, and he appealed to state-specific traditions. He continued on by talking about his political history, using another ethos appeal to endear himself to his audience while simultaneously providing introduction. "A lot of determination, a lot of grit and hard work" got him onto the stage at the RNC, and he punctuated each of those nouns with a shake of his fist — a well-placed gesture that drew attention and added vehemency to his words.

His speech continued in much this way for the next six and a half minutes. He paused for applause, but he continued speaking before the noise died down. As he got further into the meat of what he wanted to say, his gestures became more common and larger. At times, they almost detracted from his speech by being distracting, but the obvious passion they convey helps him more than hurts. Fox News Latino described his speech as a "vigorous plea," and in this instance, I agree with their assessment. Alvarado was impassioned, convincing, and determined- the perfect younger minority speaker for a Republican Party that often struggles to attract diverse voters.

At the end of his speech, Alvarado made a direct plea in Spanish to Hispanic voters, asking them to keep misery and corruption from taking hold of America. His command of the language came as a stark contrast to when Ted Cruz shouted at Marco Rubio in broken Spanish during a Republican debate. For a party divided, Ralph Alvarado might be the missing link between the GOP and a large voting demographic. He might turn out to be another Marco Rubio: A rising star who never quite makes it to the top. Regardless of your political ideology, we can all agree on one thing: Ralph Alvarado has the speaking prowess to become a big name in American politics.

You can find videos and more information on the RNC's day three speakers here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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