Empty rhetoric consists essentially of hollow promises-words uttered without any attempt to take the action necessary to back them up. These promises and commitments are made and then ignored or forgotten.
This technique is used to falsely assuage anxieties and still dissent.
Empty rhetoric shows the necessity of distinguishing between word and deed, and the need to pay attention to what a person actually does rather than what they say they are going to do.
Below are a few uses of the phrase culled from online publications:
- "Trading in empty rhetoric . . .," Chicago Tribune, August 15, 2003
- Word and deed are always at war when it comes to trade talks. So when two traditional rivals talk peace on the eve of a big trade parley, we should watch what they do, not what they say.
- "Bush's empty rhetoric on AmeriCorps," Salon.com, 6/20/2003
- The president says he wants the program to expand. But his silence about GOP efforts to cut its funding speaks volumes. 
- "UN Conference on Racism - Empty Rhetoric, no Action," By JEFF MACKLER, Socialist Action / September 2001 
- "Mars plan may be only empty rhetoric," Bill Mego, Published in Sun Publications 01/16/04
- … Clearly, one objection to Bush's proposal goes to the matter of his administration's credibility. Is this just another distraction, a clever way to walk away from the International Space Station that has repeatedly been downsized (to the point of being unusable) and which the administration does not know how to fix? As usual, the pain and heavy lifting is left to some future administration, which will already be burdened with deficits and multiple countries to run.
- So, it is likely that the plan is rhetoric, as empty as space itself, and we will probably not return to the moon, or build an observatory on its far side. But there will always be that yearning to try, to venture past the edge, and to experience the vastness of the creation it is our destiny to inhabit.
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