Posts Tagged "Week 4"

RCL Blog: Thoughts on the Presidential Debate

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in RCL | 3 comments

As most people did, I tuned in for the first Presidential Debate tonight on CNN. The hype surrounding the debate was very palpable as most people on my floor watched it together. This surprised me as I didn’t know that so many people would be interested in the debate; but I’m glad that we could all be brought together for a short time by what we feel is our civic duty.

CNN stimulated very good discussions before and after the debate and also setup ways for the viewers to understand what was going on. For instance, one could see peoples’ reactions as the candidates were talking. Debates are natural rhetorical platforms. They are an opportunity for the rhetor to utilize various methods of persuasion in order to sway voters to their side. With the use of not only commonplaces but also a mix of logos ethos and pathos; the candidates worked to perpetuate a persona, use facts, and to put a personal touch on their viewpoints. Both candidates tried to deliver an image of a “better America” that could be achieved through their presidencies.

If you looked on Twitter during the debate, your timeline would have been flooded with nothing but tweets of “Team (Candidate)” or some other political tweet. I think its really interesting to see how social media like Twitter or Facebook can aid in the discussion when concerning politics. It only takes a few clicks to find your like-minded peers or to find someone with viewpoints opposite of yours with whom you can argue with. At times like these its important to look at these factors in order to gauge public opinion concerning such an important election.

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Rhetorical Analysis Rough Draft

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Work In Progress | 2 comments

The now famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech, orated by the great Malcolm X is classified as an essential and groundbreaking piece of lecture towards the black community and society as a whole. The speech utilizes the rhetorical proofs of logos and ethos to deliver and emphasize his critical point.  The speech is characterized as a call-to-action towards black people and a means to immobilize blacks into voting and reclaiming their communities and lives.  Malcolm X’s “Ballot or the Bullet” speech lends itself to the progression of the African American community due to its use of unifying statements and aggressive ultimatums.  The combination of logos and ethos in the speech collaborate in order to create a piece of oration that is not only withstanding but also politically relevant to this day.

Malcolm X begins his speech by establishing his political and personal position. He delivers concise statements concerning his religion, “I’m still a Muslim” and his political stance, “I’m a black Nationalist Freedom Fighter”. By doing this at the beginning of the speech and also reiterating these points throughout; Malcolm X establishes a trust with his audience.  In addition to instituting a rapport with his audience from the start of the oration, Malcolm X uses statements that are intended to unify his audience and the black community as a whole. He frequently talks about the common fights and issues that plague the African American community. In doing this, he establishes a commonplace with his audience.

In the speech, Malcolm X uses an unusual brand of pathos. He frequently uses aggressive and rousing statements in order to spur the crowd into action. His use of ultimatums such as, “the ballot or the bullet” forces his listeners to make a definite choice. Even though his methods may anger or cause discomfort in people, they are necessary for this type of rhetoric. His tone comes across as not only angry and frustrated but also pleading. Given the context; during racial discrimination and turmoil in this country, it makes sense for Malcolm X to talk this way.


Remaining Outline

1. Expand further into the finer points of Ethos and Pathos and how they connect to the document

2. Talk of the effects of the speech and examine if they are due closely in part to the rhetorical proofs

3. Conclusion:  Tie up the uses of Ethos and Pathos in connection to the paper

          Sum up the historical/political effects of the speech on the communityand society

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