Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Analysis Of Reagans National Association Of Evangelicals Speech Politics Essay

Analysis Of Reagans National Association Of Evangelicals Speech Politics Essay In President Reagans remarks at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, he uses the association with the Convention, appeals to a common ethical background and relevant historical examples to persuade the Convention to be involved in politics and to persuade the American public that the conflict against the communism is a matter of good versus evil in an attempt to solicit more support in the increase in hostilities against the Soviet Union and the push against secularism dominating moral decisions in America. Just a few years into his first term, President Reagan was not a man to shrink from challenge or controversy. Well entrenched in his belief that man was good and that good would eventually defeat evil, he used this speech to hammer home the ideas that he held into his audience, and also give warning to his enemies. Perhaps the most important rhetorical strategy of President Reagan’s speech was its setting. In choosing to deliver this speech be fore the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, the President was able to affect many details that added credibility and weight to his speech in one fell swoop. Already known for his strong conviction in God, the fact that he would speak before this group was not shocking, nor was it shocking that he would take a stance against some more liberal policies being pushed in political circles at the time. It was this sense of comfort and security that worked on President Reagans behalf twofold. By allowing both opponents and allies alike to believe that this was simply any other speech, President Reagan is able to free himself from concerns about how the speech will be received and helps set up for the bait and switch later on. Once the tone, general Republican rhetoric, and style of the speech was established, it had become apparent that President Reagan was planning to use the speech as a political pulpit to combat certain liberal agendas that he was not in favo r of, such as abortion without parental notification or the starving of disabled infants. Both of these examples carried with them extreme moral weight with the crowd and President Reagan made sure to place himself on the side of the audience, that is the belief that all life needs ‘its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . . protected.’ By using this assumption of his goal along with the audience mirroring his ethical code, President Reagan set up a bait-and-switch, in that his solidified brotherhood with the audience used this agreement of goals and morals to make a more significant statement. This more significant statement flows from the same lines of reason and logic that was previously identified and accepted, but is a statement that the audience would generally be uncomfortable making. By putting the reasoning first, President Reagan checkmates the audience into agreement, thus a bait and switch. The bait-and-switch itself was rather simple. In the initial portion of the speech, President Reagan appealed to the ethical nature of the audience by giving examples of current events and using the audience’s common ethical background to create common ground with that audience. He also seeks to calm the audience by informing them that they are not the minority as the media of the time made them feel. ’95 percent of those surveyed expressed a belief in God,’ President Reagan assured, ‘and a huge majority believed the Ten Commandments had real meaning in their lives.’ This information was perfectly aimed at his audience of Christian Evangelicals. He went on to say that most studies found most Americans disapproved of adultery, teenage sex, pornography, abortion, and hard drugs. By using these facts, President Reagan was able to convey a measure of strength and confidence to the audience, and an important strategy of this speech emerges. By allowing the audience to feelcomfortable in accepting Pres ident Reagan’s assertions, and once the audience was made to feel emboldened and powerful by acts of support through the country,President Reagan could make assertions based off of this camaraderie with the audience. Having bolstered his credibility and logical base, P. Reagan then applied all of this to his final point, the labeling of the Soviet Union as the ‘Evil Empire’ that must be fought.

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