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Rhetorical Analysis of George W. Bush’s Speech State of the Union

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The best way to get what one wants is by showing why everyone needs it. George W. Bush told the American why it was necessary to go to war with Iraq. The way Bush accomplished this was highly complex. He first used ethos to get the audience to listen to him. Ethos is appeal to ethics. Then, he begins to introduce logos and pathos for more effectiveness. Logos is using statistics and facts to prove a point. Pathos is showing emotional appeal. He structured the “State of the Union” speech, delivered in January 28 2015, in a way that persuades the American people why it was reasonable to invade Iraq. He used the AIDS disease, health care, economy acts, and showed care for the environment to gain the audience’s trust. He does this because ethos is the primary source one has to gain in order to continue and persuade the audience further on. In his speech he repeats the words “American People” multiple times in order to make the people get a stronger pride in their country (United States) and to get them to feel part of something greater and be one. He expresses strong pride in his people and country and he gives America labels in order to glorify it.

George W. Bush starts his speech by saying that there are many problems that need to be solved. He first talks about internal problems and then external ones. He follows by talking of what he is doing to fix them. This style of format emphasizes ethos. Through this process he gains the American people and many from the world to believe that the intentions he presents are transparent and honest. He introduces many issues for he can find a solution and then acquire trust and credibility. Bush tells the audience, America and the rest of the world, reforms that he has asked for in order to continue growth in the American economy which ultimately affects the global economy. He says his intentions on economy in a caring fashion. Bush wants the people to notice that he cares for them and the country. Bush says that a strong economy is needed so that “. . . every child in America can read and write and succeed in life. ”, (Bush 2) this line tells the reader that he cares about the people and future generations making him look more “human”. In this line he is practicing pathos. When addressing the economic problems he also applies Logos. He says, ”. . . 92 million Americans will keep, this year, an average of almost $1, 000 more of their own money. ” Bush states statistics to support that he is working hard to make American lives simpler and less stressful. The environment is important and Bush is trying to protect it. He states, “I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants…”. Bush uses statistics (logos) to prove that he is making the environment cleaner. He also uses pathos when he claimed, “I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife…”.

Bush is telling the audience that he cares about the environment and is trying to be emotionally appealing to the people. He also talks about the acts of aid he has done in Africa for people who have AIDS. Bush states, “More than 4 million (Africans) require immediate drug treatment. Yet across the continent only 50, 000 AIDS victims — only 50, 000 — are receiving the medicine they need. ” Bush is emphasizing that the number of AIDS victims and those getting treatment in Africa is so great and he wants to get involved even more in helping AIDS patients in Africa. He is showing pathos by expressing emotional appeal towards AIDS victims. Gaining ethos or credibility was the key point for him addressing all the issues. The problems presented, expressed to the people that he cared and that he is trying everything he can to make America, and ultimately the world, a better place.

After establishing credibility for himself, he presents the most important issue at the time, terrorism. He explains why it is necessary to attack before getting attacked and why it is important to prepare before an attack occurs. Bush said, “. . . their ambitions of cruelty and murder have no limit” unless the American people intervene. The audience can infer from Bush’s speech that war is peace. He is shouting that we need to fight if we want peace. During this part of his speech he was very demanding but highly caring. He expresses that power determines the end result of a conflict. He also uses terms such as “weapons of mass destruction” to make the threat seem larger and for the people to be more scared. He also talks about the problems of North Korea and their nuclear weapons development. He says that these programs should be abolished or else North Korea will face consequences. He threatens certain people through his speech to get his message and feelings across. The threats or commands made Bush look more like a leader and fearless which give him more credibility.

A whole lot of trust in Bush though was already there. Presidents are usually seen up upon and play as role models for others. Leaders are supposed to be intelligent and honest with the people. Bush executes the way of persuasion very well in order to get the Union to invade Iraq and declare war. He first uses ethos and then uses pathos and logos to add depth to his claims. His points were very well explained and brought up and easily gave the reader that trust he needed for continuing to persuade Americans that an Iraq invasion was necessary.

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GradesFixer. "Rhetorical Analysis Of George W. Bush’s Speech State Of The Union." GradesFixer, 14 Jul. 2020, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-george-w-bushs-speech-state-of-the-union/
GradesFixer, 2020. Rhetorical Analysis Of George W. Bush’s Speech State Of The Union. [online] Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-george-w-bushs-speech-state-of-the-union/> [Accessed 22 September 2020].
GradesFixer. Rhetorical Analysis Of George W. Bush’s Speech State Of The Union [Internet]. GradesFixer; 2020 [cited 2020 July 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-george-w-bushs-speech-state-of-the-union/
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