Research Paper: Rhetoric

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[. . .] The debate tat the president put up is as follows:

"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square . . . . [I]ndeed, the majority of great reformers in American history were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo- Christian tradition." (Obama)

This shows that the link to religion and spirit is one of the aspects of pathos that the President uses in the form of rhetoric. The link to religion and sprit might have put on an impression on those who were of the Judeo or the Christen religion. That is one part of the entire population of the country. However, this sort of rhetoric would not have been welcome by the populations who aren't very inclined towards religion. A big population of the country doesn't belong to either Christianity or Judaism. Thus this rhetorical device didn't target them and thus it wouldn't have persuaded them. When Aristotle talked about use of rhetoric, he meant it to be used in a wise way. As mentioned before, a politician should make use of this device in a very practical and a clever way. The talk about a civil religion that Obama was trying to portray is surely something that wouldn't suit the current climate of the country. (Fontana) This is due to him increasing diversity in religion that is present in the Country. (Gedicks, 898)RE However, the secret to Obama's political success also in the fact that on other occasions he has touched upon other religions. The key to his persuasion holds importance in the fact that they showed the Muslims, the Hindus and persons of other religions that they can put their trust in him. Thus using religion and the mere idea of civil religion, Obama made use of rhetoric in his speeches.

If we step away from America, then we see that Rhetoric is something that is used in many other presidential campaigns. An example of presidential rhetoric where images, expressions and statements were taken to the extreme occurred in Ukraine in 2004. Both the candidates were made to seem so absurd to be even standing up for the election let alone winning. The controversies and the games that the people of the country had to either ultimately decided between democratic elections or the authorities regime that ruled before. (Pavlyuk) This election campaign was desired as a dirty and a very informative war. For instance, the information was twisted and turned and edited far away from the normal truth

Use of rhetoric in politics itself has been ongoing not only for presidential campaign but also to justify a point or justify an act that the government is doing. There was quite some use of rhetoric by the mass media when Russia was waging a war on terrorism. The success of the 1999 military campaign in Chechnya was substituted by proper guerilla warfare that was targeting citizens of the country. Even though quite obviously, the military and the war itself were damaging the civilians, the mass media came to the rescue of the people. The rescue in this sense was the media was an important t part of the conflict. It fought with the perception, the sympathies and the minds of the audience. (Simons) Even though the terrorism given by the people was a Russian problem, the way the country and the military handled it was not right. The international community criticized the country for not handling the situation properly. Russia itself gave the definition of terrorist and terrorism with politics and emotions dominating the definition. It other words, the way the media portrayed the way, it not only clouded the understanding but subconsciously went on to alter the mindset of the people. A major thing that the media did was it attempted to normalize the Russian war on terror globally. (Simons) Thus, here the media used double standards and took advantage of the lack of understanding on the war on terror. A way that the media does that it invokes a state of crisis. In other words, it presents the situation to be so dire and so problematic that government intervention is seen rather heroic as opposed to being brutal. (Dagenais & Raboy,5) The government itself created a situation, went on to deal with in a negative manner and now the media is justifying it merely by showing the government in a positive light.

Use of rhetoric in media

If we look around us then the use of rhetorical devices is present everywhere. From advertisements on billboards and newspaper to promotional films online. The entire advertising industry is full of rhetorical devices in one form or another. The use of rhetoric today has been overused and actually misused so much that when people appear to be learned or knowledgeable about something, they are questioned to be using too much rhetoric. In other words, these people might actually have knowledge. That knowledge could be truthful and unbiased and totally credible, but because rhetoric has a negative connotation, no one would believe that person. Not everyone stays safe from the trap of the rhetorical devices. The reason why so many product sales go high after a rhetorical commercial is because people actually fall for the stuff. When during a hand wash commercial, the phrase "doctors say" or "experts say" come in, people actually think that doctors and experts believe in that kind of stuff.

The media's major aim today is to alter the public's way of thinking. If any piece of entertainment or advertisement per say is not successful in doing say, it is said that is not a successful piece of media. (Kock, 103)

Now many would think why there is the use of persuasion or rhetoric per say in the media and why is it so important to alter the way the public thinks. This brings us towards social sciences and how the ruling powers want the masses to have a certain mindset. Anyone who doesn't fall in the trap or argues about its credibly, will therefore disrupt the structure of the society. Thus, this is what the capitalists and those who are ruling really want. If looked at it from a general perspective then there is no theory about how pubic communication should be in order to fulfill its role in the society today. (Kock, 104)

If seeing directly, then media provides the only link between the people and the politics that actually taking palace. Thus it up to the media to develop a sense of trust between them and the viewer. (Norris) Those who are watching a news channel put their trust and confidence in the people such that they won't tell them misleading information. The best of rhetoric is seen when the media puts up a commercial or a promotional film in order to attain donations. There they would pictures and videos that would appeal to the heart. There is use of words that cause a person and motivate him or her to want to donate. In other words, the way a message or a cause is presented is so heartwarming that the person automatically falls into the trap. Many would think that fine media and advertising is using rhetoric to persuade people and change their mind. They are presenting their product or their message in such a way that they alter the mindset of those who are watching. Why is it such a problem?

As it is mentioned earlier, rhetoric is being misused now. Truth is being distorted and credibility is being challenged. Media is framing and staging things into being something that they actually aren't. Let's take the example of the promotional film for the use of attaining charity. What is the guarantee that all that the media is saying and is portraying is actually the truth? How do we know that the facts, the pictures, or the videos aren't staged? The viewers or the public in general can never say that these persons are hired actors or actually real people in distress. Due to this distortion of the facts and reality, use of rhetoric has now earned a negative connotation. Anyone who goes to appeal to emotions, credibility or even logic, many people don't fall for the trap. Let alone falling for the trap, persons now think about it and actually challenge the claim that a certain advertisement is making.

Use of rhetoric in business

The use of rhetoric in business has already been touched upon by mentioning promotional or advertisement films. The major aim of businesses is to attract customers and have their product, service or idea sell more than the other. Total Quality Management is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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