Blog Response #1: Inaugural Addresses and Acts of Terror

I apologize for the delay in this prompt being posted.

Leave your response to the prompt in the comments section of this post. Posts should be a minimum of 350 words and use correct spelling/grammar. I strongly encourage you to write your responses in Microsoft Word or another word processing software, so that you can edit before posting the response here.

This week you were instructed to read four speeches given by former presidents.  Before getting started, choose either the inaugural addresses or the act of terrorism speeches. In the comments section of this post, you must compare and contrast the ways in which each president uses rhetorical appeals–ethos, pathos, logos and the rhetorical situation–audience, kairos, medium, etc.

Everyone needs to respond to the prompt by 11:59 pm on Thursday, February 4, 2015.

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21 thoughts on “Blog Response #1: Inaugural Addresses and Acts of Terror

  1. Any nation given the luxuries and freedoms we take for granted can be assured that are terrorist plots being conceived from all corners of the earth. We are a world power, and many countries resent that. We have the freedom of speech, whereas other nations such as Thailand will arrest you for insulting the royal dog. It was these freedoms and liberties that have allowed us time and time again to reinvent ourselves and remain a beacon of hope for the countries who aspire to be like us. No matter what problems persist in this nation of ours, it is one of the most diverse nations you will find on the face of the earth.
    People from all walks of life would flock to this country at the drop of a dime. Even though we have not always practiced what we preached, at least our nation has made strides to address our internal and external conflicts. When President Roosevelt gave his Pearl Harbor address to the nation, he explained why it was necessary for us to go to war with Japan. The same can be said about President George Bush intentions to use our military to combat the terrorists responsible for 9/11. Both of the briefings were efficient in incorporating ethos in their speeches. For starters, they were both presidents of the United States, appointed by the American people, through a relatively democratic process.
    Therefore, it can be implied anyone who is elected to serve as president, for their entire terms, has some sort of credibility. Otherwise, they would’ve been impeached. As for pathos, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack of 9/11 were some of the most considerable tragedies this nation has ever seen. It left the American people frightened and somewhat vulnerable and both presidents knew that. It was their responsibility to inform and persuade the American people that everything was going to be alright. In terms of logos, both presidents expressed in detail as to why it was necessary for our country to go to war.
    In addition, both presidents used Kairos effectively, given they addressed the nation at a time it was need. The only obvious differences was the medium each president chose. President Bush opted for a more direct approach to the American people, whereas President Roosevelt chose a more indirect approach, relaying his message primarily to lawmakers.

  2. Any nation given the luxuries and freedoms we take for granted can be assured that are terrorist plots being conceived from all corners of the earth. We are a world power, and many countries resent that. We have the freedom of speech, whereas other nations such as Thailand will arrest you for insulting the royal dog. It was these freedoms and liberties that have allowed us time and time again to reinvent ourselves and remain a beacon of hope for the countries who aspire to be like us. No matter what problems persist in this nation of ours, it is one of the most diverse nations you will find on the face of the earth.
    People from all walks of life would flock to this country at the drop of a dime. Even though we have not always practiced what we preached, at least our nation has made strides to address our internal and external conflicts. When President Roosevelt gave his Pearl Harbor address to the nation, he explained why it was necessary for us to go to war with Japan. The same can be said about President George Bush intentions to use our military to combat the terrorists responsible for 9/11. Both of the briefings were efficient in incorporating ethos in their speeches. For starters, they were both presidents of the United States, appointed by the American people, through a relatively democratic process.
    Therefore, it can be implied anyone who is elected to serve as president, for their entire terms, has some sort of credibility. Otherwise, they would’ve been impeached. As for pathos, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack of 9/11 were some of the most considerable tragedies this nation has ever seen. It left the American people frightened and somewhat vulnerable and both presidents knew that. It was their responsibility to inform and persuade the American people that everything was going to be alright. In terms of logos, both presidents expressed in detail as to why it was necessary for our country to go to war.
    In addition, both presidents used Kairos effectively, given they addressed the nation at a time it was need. The only obvious differences was the medium each president chose. President Bush opted for a more direct approach to the American people, whereas President Roosevelt chose a more indirect approach, relaying his message primarily to lawmakers.

  3. Following two of perhaps the most memorable acts of terrorism on the United States, an address to the nation was given by each President to make a statement on the events that have occurred and the corresponding actions to follow, the state of national security, and to reassure the nation that America will overcome all threats and never fail. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and President George W. Bush addressed the nation after 9/11. Both speeches occur under a similar rhetorical situation: a public and congressional address given shortly after the attacks with the aim to maintain American morale.
    The rhetorical situation is achieved with the use of the rhetorical appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos. The mere fact that those who are giving these addresses are the Presidents of the United States speaks to their ethos greatly. They are trusted to lead the country and take credit for responding to emergency situations. They also make direct appeals to ethos. President Roosevelt explicitly notes his position as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. He also states his credibility to act on behalf of the nation by saying, “I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people [of the United States] when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves… but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.” President Bush makes similar direct appeals to ethos by describing the actions he took implying that he was the sole decision maker.
    Both speeches have a strong focus on logos compared to the other rhetorical appeals. President Roosevelt was more thorough in presenting facts than President Bush because Bush made simple statements but didn’t necessarily delve into detail about things such as what “our government’s emergency response plans” are. Roosevelt shared many details of America and Japan’s relationship leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor sharing information such as active negotiations to maintain peace in the Pacific and the delivery of a letter from a Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of the State containing no threat of attack. Roosevelt also rationalizes his declaration of war by noting that the distance from Hawaii to Japan proves that the attack was deliberate and by listing each Japanese attack that took place over the previous night. Providing many appeals to logos makes an effective address to the nation which is where Bush faults, for he narrowly touched on such facts. He noted that emergency teams were working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts; however, he doesn’t describe what was actually being done to help.
    The appeal to pathos is perhaps the least apparent rhetorical appeal in content as well as delivery of the speeches. Both speeches are slightly monotonous and it is fairly obvious that the speeches are scripted. Nevertheless, some appeals to pathos are made such as in President Bush’s speech he relates the lives lost in the 9/11 attack to a personal level by saying, “The victims were… moms and dads, friends and neighbors.” Both Presidents used strong language in their speeches such as “treachery,” “onslaught,” “grave danger,” and “evil” when describing the attacks on the United States. When giving these speeches, one of the main focuses for both addresses is to reassure Americans that the nation will remain strong and will inevitably triumph. President Bush affirms, “These [terrorist] acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” Likewise, President Roosevelt assures, “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” And both Presidents emphasize that they fight to assure future peace and justice. Each address to the nation in response to the acts of terrorism display many rhetorical appeals in order to inform the public and to uphold the strength of the nation.

  4. Both Presidents began their speeches with humbling emotions. In John F. Kennedy’s speech he speaks of being tempted by war and it can be deemed that there are many things occurring at this time that are unjust. Obama’s speech gives you a heart-felt reason to believe there is war and chaos upon us. Obama uses the sentimental appeal as he talks about the issues that remain unsettled as he steps into his term. He pulls the emotions of those whose ancestors paved the way for them to have freedom and prosperity. The pathos side of Obama’s speech is for the hard workers, the less fortunate, and the minority. John F. Kennedy also takes the sentimental appeal. Kennedy focuses on those in poverty all around the nation throughout most of his speech. Like Obama, Kennedy speaks about those less fortunate. After listening to his speech you can find him as a credible individual to actually help people in poorly developed countries. Both Presidents can be seen as very spiritual beings. In John F. Kennedy’s speech he spoke with authority. He set the tone for change by accurately addressing major issues. There is room for question about how he can follow through and relate to these topics. Kennedy is stacking the deck in his inaugural speech. Obama’s speech seems to be stacking the deck as well. At this time that appeal can seem most appropriate seeing that the nation is in a crisis. For the duration of his speech addresses issues that can be related to by his audience. Obama speaks of his plan to help the U.S grow in their time of need, his appeal can be labeled credible in the sense of his background and choice of words. One might say John F. Kennedy used the straw-man fallacy. As recently mentioned, most of his speech was on those less fortunate than the U.S. Some might find it hard to relate to, as we have many more resources and their pain cannot be felt. These two candidates spoke well qualified speeches while appeasing their audience. Each speech was well written when considering the particular time and place when thinking about topics that the people want to be acknowledged. Kennedy was sure to address the dilemma of our surrounding countries and allies. As Obama’s speech was geared towards the current economic crisis.

  5. Between the two acts of terror speeches, they both were given directly after the bombing of 911 and the Pearl Harbor. Both of the Presidents of the United States manipulated Kairos and the rhetorical situation to encourage kindness to your neighbors, and to give courage to the nation as our country fell into emotional torment during those attacks. The 911 speech given by George W. Bush focused mainly on pathos to give motivation to the families that could help in any way possible, whether it was giving blood or helping someone in distress, to help the nation recover from a devastating loss. On the other hand, the Pearl Harbor speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt focused mainly on the facts at hand to give every American a mental image everyone went through at the time. The speeches alone carry ethos to persuade Americans to keep their heads held high, since the President of the United States at the time was giving the speech. Almost every person in this nation looks up to the president as a leader, to show us the light during the darkest time. According to the videos, it seems as though President George W Bush presented the speech over the television with, most likely, a dozen people watching in person, but President Franklin D Roosevelt presented his speech in front of, what looks like, the Congress. This medium President Roosevelt used can be more encouraging to the Nation, since everyone can feel the passion he has and the fearlessness he has. They would use these emotions as feed for their desire to pass a helping hand and the, presumed, Congress would, also, feed the president’s determination by expressing some level of hurrah, whereas, President Bush cannot fully express his emotions during his speech, since he focuses on not messing up in front of the camera or the press. If I had to choose between the two speeches, I believe President Franklin D Roosevelt, correctly, expressed his emotions and the format of the speech, by effectively using logos, Kairos/rhetorical situation, and the medium to push the nation passed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, another devastating event in America’s history.

  6. In both Kennedy and Obama’s inaugural speech there is an emphasis on the use of pathos and ethos, with very little use of lagos, apart from Revolutionary war references. They also have similar references and structures to their speeches. Both reference fallen soldiers, the Revolutionary war, core values and Scriptures.
    While Kennedy’s use of Scripture quote seems natural “‘Let both sides unite to heed, in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah — to “undo the heavy burdens, and [to] let the oppressed go free,’” Obama’s Scripture quote feels forced, like every inaugural speech must have one. Obama’s quote is vague and neutral, making it seem like it could have been a quote from a novel or song or poem “‘the time has come to ‘set aside childish things.’” This reference feels like it could have been said by a parent or relative, which leads one to wonder if his unimpressive choice of Scripture quote was intentional. Perhaps the unrecognizable, neutral quote was chosen intentionally as not to make non-religious, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. feel marginalized. This quote makes Obama appear neutral and respectful of religions that don’t use the Bible.
    Another difference in the inaugural speeches of Kennedy and Obama are the tones of them. Both speeches allow the presidents to portray themselves as fair forward thinking people with references to current generations, new generations, technology and science. Obama’s tone is harsher than Kennedy’s. Obama builds on Kennedy’s famous line “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” by urging the American people to accept responsibility in rebuilding the country’s economy and foreign relations “But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America…..For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.” While these messages are not unwarranted they do sound harsher than any message Kennedy had to the American people.
    One of the strongest commonalities between Obama and Kennedy’s speeches were their plentiful use of pathos. There are constant references to the values that America was founded on and the values that continue to define our citizens and country. There is constant reference to the ideas of freedom, helping those less fortunate and hard work, as the values that define Americans in both speeches. These comments delivered with the charisma that both presidents are famous for, is what make the speeches so compelling and uplifting.

  7. During the inaugural speeches with President Obama and President John F. Kennedy, they both made valid points toward our country and how we should work together. I personally feel, that is we all worked together in so many ways there would be less terror, less crime rates, more employment, and better opportunities for people to get out in our society and make a difference. I agree with both presidents on how they mentioned God and how he has a lot to do with faith and belief of our country. President Kennedy mentioned that we are the first resolution and for this ambition to make our country a better place has to be passed from generation to generations and from friends to foes. Like the famous quote mentioned, “Ask not what your country do for you, what can we do for our country.”
    On the other hand, President Obama made a lot of valid points towards this society as well, and how we have a lot of needs that need to be met and have gotten better over time. His speech was very sentimental unlike President Kennedy. He mentioned how our nation is at war, hatred towards each other, greed, health care is too expensive, our homes have been lost, and it’s hard to find or keep a job. He mentioned that we must get up, try again, dust ourselves off and make things happen in America and keep our nation strong.
    In addition to pathos, both Presidents use this method to express their emotions and to also make their audience feel these emotions to understand their points. By both Presidents using terms like, “We” or “Our” nation, makes the audience feel as if we are one and this person has our back and knows whats best for our nation. However, President Kennedy uses more logos within this speech that President Obama because he doesn’t sound as conversational, more of just knowledge and persuasion.
    Overall, both presidents used Kairos to show their certain stand points effectively. They both were able to allow the audience to understand the importance of our nation and how we should work together and on our own to get the job done. Their mediums were a little different on how President Obama focused more on the people helping our nation and the nation also helping the people. While, President Kennedy focused on our nation and gave more examples of our history, war, and so fourth. They both has great speeches in general.

  8. Both presidents took the oath of office during times of crisis against humanity. In President Kennedy’s Inaugural speech his main focus was to spread the message of Respect and Freedom for all mankind. During that time America was in a critical position and in retrospect so was the rest of the world. In his speech he mentions that America had the resources to be a tyrant nation however Kennedy wanted to have a more humble presence. “Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation,” a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” (Kennedy)
    During Obama’s term he was also faced with the similar issues as Kennedy: poverty, war, and civil relations. Although there had been advances in medicine and technology the Earth was in the midst of deterioration, which Obama also mentioned. America was in more of a crisis and in need of rescue. “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.[…]For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.[…]We are the keepers of this legacy.[…]we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations.[…]We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”(Obama)
    In both Inaugural Speeches’ the rhetorical situations were based on similar circumstances. The presidents addressed American citizens and the rest of the world with the urgency for peace, love, harmony, and self-control. Obama had a more difficult agenda because the morality issues affecting the predecessors were still plaguing the minds of Americans. The civil rights for all Americans, all ethnic groups, and religious backgrounds were recognized. Both Presidents used audience appeals. An example of ethos is the usage of quotes and scriptures, especially by Kennedy who referred to God a lot during his speech. Logos appeals were exercised during the explanation of the Country’s ailing state and the reasons for harmony and peace. It’s evident that the presidents were speaking of “sensitive” issues, however if there is any hope for progress there needs to be a stirring up even when uncomfortable. The emotional aspect (pathos) was the framework for their cause and kept the focus on change.

  9. Following the 9/11 attacks as well as the attack on Pearl Harbor, both presidents of those times had addressed the American nation to address the crises at hand. Both speeches used rhetorical situation to encourage the American people to come together and fight against the acts of terror that had been inflicted upon the United States. Despite both speeches’ similarities in their use of rhetorical situation, they differed in their desired outcome of rhetorical appeals. For example, in President George W. Bush’s address to the nation after the 9/11 attacks heavily relied on the use of pathos. He repeatedly used terms such as “evil”, “deadly”, and “mass murder” to appeal to the nation’s already high emotional state to what had occurred that day. President Bush used such terms to then encourage the American people to stay unified by informing the nation that the United States’ businesses and economy were still open and to send “prayers for all those that grieve”.

    In contrast, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt relied heavily on ethos as a rhetorical appeal to the nation. For example, when explaining American and Japanese diplomatic relations President Roosevelt made it clear that both sides were in the process of trying to keep peaceful ties. President Roosevelt proceeded to then explain that the attack on Pearl Harbor therefore had occurred without warning yet required much planning. As a consequence, President Roosevelt inferred that the attack on Pearl Harbor had been planned while Japan continued to pretend that they wanted to seek peace with America. President Roosevelt heavily criticized such actions by Japan and used terminology such as “dastardly attack”, “treachery”, and “premeditated invasion” to bring the nation together in disgust against Japan’s actions. By doing so President Roosevelt appealed to the American people’s ethical beliefs that go against deception and lies.

    Though President Bush and President Roosevelt relied heavily on different rhetorical appeals to bring the American nation together, their speeches were similar in their use of logos. Both presidents outright stated that military actions was unquestionable as America’s land and everything that it stands for (freedom, justice, etc.) was under vicious attack. For President Bush, he immediately issued emergency response plans and employed every resource of the government from the military to intelligence. As for President Roosevelt, he too called on to the American armed forces to defend the United States and on to Congress to officially declare war. In the end, both presidents utilized logos to spur action among the nation to defend the United States.

  10. Inaugural addresses hold a powerful outlook for a world of change. Having read both speeches from President Kennedy and President Obama, I could really feel the energy and emotions that they presented. President Kennedy uses emotions to informs us how the world a different place. How that day in 1961 was not a victory but a celebration of freedom. How humans are able to vote and come together to make the right decision and right vote. And how the power of life and death is in the hands of God. He explains how he understands that people have all come from trialing times but that this is a new generation of Americans and we will all be faithful to one another and a friend. Obamas speech took place in 2009 yet in the 21st century. Obama uses the same type of emotions when he talks about the past of Americans. The past meaning blacks and how we have all come together to celebrate a new wave of life. He also explained how he understood everyone has come from different backgrounds; he understood that there was work to be done in the country for change. He also wanted to help people from countries outside of the U.S. because that’s what we are supposed to do is help others. Both presidents take a sentimental approach; Obama talks about the less fortunate and Kennedy talks about poverty. Both presidents are stacking the deck in their speeches yet logically Kennedy was believed to use a strawman approach. Seeing that Obama is currently president and I am able to witness his story, I feel as if he used an equivocation in his speech. Because Obama is a democrat, majority of his plans target towards Democrats and economics and not Republicans. In this day in age, people care about ways to survive especially those who are not financially able to provide. Each President provided very vague details and information for their speeches. I believe that both presidents have run a great race. They both were placed in office at the right time and area pertaining to what the people of America needed at that particular time.

  11. The two speeches that I am comparing in this comment concern the terrorist attacks at Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the World Trade Center in 2001. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W. Bush held their speeches on the day of and the day after both terrorist attacks to inform the people about the disasters, but also to keep their citizens calm and protected.

    Since both speeches address the terrorist attacks and the catastrophes the country was dealing with, it honored the many American citizens who lost their lives from these terrible acts. Neither Roosevelt nor Bush use any kind of humor to strengthen their pathos. A difference that I found between the two presidents’ pathos was that Bush is using an sympathy and empathy to feel everyone’s pain and to connect with the audience whose families or friends may have been a victim to the terrorists’ acts. Bush uses pathos to build up a rivalry between the terrorism and the Americans when he keeps telling his audience that it is “we against them”. Roosevelt, on the other hand, does not use this kind of pathos. His speech misses the emotional side, besides the feeling of disappointment and anger, since he claims that the United States was at peace with Japan at that time. Roosevelt’s speech is more about informing and presenting facts about how terrible Japan was at that point in time. This, similarly to Bush, builds up competitiveness between the two countries and by this is trying to get the audience on his side.

    Their logos is based on the facts that both presidents employ with the propose of creating very strong and trustworthy speeches. The way Bush conveys facts to the audience about the attack on the World Trade Center is very similar to that of Roosevelt, who provides his audience with similar facts about the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. Both of these individuals represented the United States of America as the president of that time by holding the speeches, which strengthens their logos considerably. A president is one of the people with the most authority and knowledge when it comes to cases regarding terrorist attacks to one’s own country, the facts they provide are something to lean on.

    All in all, when reading both of these speeches I noticed that Bush held his speech at the ninth day of September, the same day as the attacks, and Roosevelt the day after the attacks to Pearl Harbor. Their timing elevates their credibility significantly. Thus, their effective use of rhetoric is very strong with an aspect of delivering facts after a certain amount of time. The situations that happened before, and the main reasons for their speeches shocked the Americans, and therefore made the use of rhetoric even stronger and so reliable that it made unstable individuals easier to convince than people with more stable minds.

  12. Michael Meeks
    English Comp 1102
    Professor D. Slaughter
    M-W 7:15-8:30 pm

    Acts of Terror

    Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation

    In his speech to Congress on December 8, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare War on Japan for its attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day, December 7, 1941 and he came directly to the point.
    One of the greatest lines from his address, “a date which will live in infamy”, let the audience know what he was telling them was horrendous in scope. He said we were at peace with Japan and they attacked with no warning. One hour after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese delivered a message to the Secretary of State stating Japan saw no use in continuing negotiations. These are examples of Pathos because it hits the mark for treachery on a grand scale.
    Roosevelt outlined the treachery by showing the several weeks it took to steam from Japan to Honolulu. Therefore, the invasion must have been planned long before Japan’s ambassadors came to the State Department to tell us they were cutting off peace negations. This statement is an example of Logos.
    President Roosevelt showed his argument had an element of Ethos when he said, “the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace”.

    9/11 Address to the Nation

    President Bush said we have been attacked by evil terrorists, killing thousands of innocent people. Everyday people like housewives, business men and women, military and federal workers were victims of these dire deeds. Terrorists used airplanes to ram buildings and topple them to the ground, and he said it “filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger”. These are examples of Pathos because it goes to the core of our American beliefs.
    Bush showed the character of Americans by showing that “we” were moved. He said the terrorists can shake buildings to the ground but not our “foundation of America”. “Today our nation saw evil – the very worst of human nature – and we responded with the best of America,” said President Bush in the 911 speech. He gave many more examples of Ethos and did a very good job of showing our resolve in combating these terrorists.
    President Bush logically set in motion the full force of our government and our military might to help those affected by this disaster. He implemented our emergency response plans and alerted our military to be very vigilant to the possibility of further attacks.

    Both Presidents did a very good job in laying out the problems and giving solutions to them. They both used good foundations of logic, character and emotion to convince us they knew what to do.

  13. It’s clear to see that both former presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush exhibited powerful speech skills and knew perfectly well how to connect with American citizens, especially during times of crisis. In both The Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 addresses to the nation, both presidents used several rhetorical devices to enhance the emotion and impact of their words, emphasizing the tragedy of the terrorist attacks. With both speeches, the rhetorical situation was to aid the country’s grief and reinforce the need to remain united as a country. The strongest appeal exercised in both speeches is that of pathos, mainly because of the circumstances around the speeches. In president Bush’s address, by depicting pictures of, “airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing” Bush successfully managed to gain support from the nation and Congress, to proceed with declaring war on Iraq and Afghanistan. Roosevelt similarly, used pathos to also persuade Congress to declare war on Japan. Roosevelt on the other hand give the nation a feeling of unity and togetherness, which he stressed was the strongest tool we would need to win the war. Bush manages to implement great ethos in characterizing himself as a qualified and dignified leader. He does this by making claims such as, “Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans.” Similarly, Roosevelt also makes claims such as, “As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense” to credit his character. Bush applies logos by making a logical claim to assure citizens that the upper levels of the societal hierarchy, essentially the government, are not panicking; and therefore regular citizens shouldn’t either. He mentions the restoration of the economy and governmental institutions to convince Americans that there is nothing to worry. Again, we see a resemblance in the way Roosevelt applies logos by logically arguing that the attack from the Japanese was deliberate. He states “It will be recorded that the distance from Hawaii to Japan makes it obvious that the attack was planned many days or even weeks ago”.

    1. Great! In a word, both Presidents Bush and Roosevelt couldn’t have been plainer on their intentions to declare war on the attackers.

  14. In this paper I will be comparing and contrasting two famous speeches given by two different presidents informing the American people of the recent terrorist actions that would result in war. The two famous speeches I will be referencing is the “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation, by President Roosevelt and the “9/11 Address to the Nation” by President GW Bush. Both speeches use Kairos and draw support from the way and timing that they are presented. These speeches are both given within 24 hours of an attack on the United States of America. Both presidents address the American people as soon as possible for the purpose or telos of informing the American people of the attack. Roosevelt and GW Bush both seem to use the logos, ethos, and pathos techniques in order to best reach the American people. Since they are Presidents of the United States of America, you have to believe that they are credible with the seriously important information that they present to the American people using an ethos appeal. They use a pathos appeal toward the American people when informing them of the extremely sensitive and delicate saddening information that our country was facing. Reminding us that some of the victims of the attack were secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, neighbors, friends, mothers, and fathers. The presidents both use the ethos and logos appeal tells the American people what they need to know in order to make them strong. The biggest difference between the two speeches and the way the terroristic actions were handled is that Roosevelt got the American people to stand behind the decision into immediately going into war as they were facing great danger. GW Bush only informed the American people of the saddening terrorist action and did not propose or pursue further action as to our response to the threat that was upon us. At that time he stated that he was in hope that our nation and our allies would pursue a greater alliance and spread the act of peace. This being said it is more difficult for presidents use an ethos appeal as they are losing credibility with the American people.

  15. President Obama and Kennedy’s inaugural speeches are strong speeches that are meant to instill pride and peace of mind. To achieve this effect, both presidents’ speeches have heavy usage of pathos and ethos with a few instances of logos. Obama began with mentioning America’s forefathers and the struggles they dealt with to construct our American government as it is today. Kennedy had a similar approach as well, but went further by stating “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”. President Kennedy attempted to draw out a sense of pride and duty from the audience. He then goes on to capture that emotional support by briefly speaking on the trials and obstacles that America dealt with in he past while President Obama effectively used ethos by grouping himself with his audience. Using words like “We” and “Us” instill a sense of togetherness and by stating his plan the audience gains a sense of trust between them and the President. President Kennedy also used examples of ethos when he talks about God because at that time the American voters had a strong sense of religion so the President gains their trust through God.
    Both Presidents differed when it came to the overall approach of the speeches. President Obama’s speech possessed a sense of now and implied change of structure and objectives within the American government. On the other hand President Kennedy obviously felt strongly about America’s heritage and the inner workings of the government in that period of time. Another difference between the bodies of work is the involvement of government in other countries. President Kennedy wanted to help other countries in need no matter what their situation but President Obama was more hesitant talking about pulling out of Iraq and deciding on a diplomatic solution
    As far as the use of Kairos, the Presidents had the right speech at the right time. President Kennedy inaugural was in the midst of the Cold War so the people were looking for strong leadership. President Obama period of time was in the middle of a recession and Iraq War so the people were looking for a change of vision

  16. Both John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama spoke during their Inaugural addresses in a way that reflected ideas of presentism and rightfully so. The presidents naturally took into account who and what they were acknowledging in terms of the audience as well as the situations that were present and somewhat urgent in America. Kennedy and Obama used their words strategically to appeal to the common citizen of the United States of America. Obama uses pathos to tug at the heartstrings of Americans who were personally affected by the financial crisis as well as those who were affected by the war and the turmoil in the middle east. He also used repetition as a key to how the audience received his speech. He begins two phrases with “on this day…” as a way to introduce his own idea of American unity and why they (the citizens and all others present) have gathered to acknowledge his presidency. He also uses to his advantage the fact that America is a predominantly Christian country by using “words of Scripture.” He recalls much of the virtue from America’s past and uses that as well as an emotional appeal to America’s even brighter future. Kennedy’s speech, while not incredibly deviant in terms of rhetorical appeal, was more or less focused on the common citizen’s duty towards his or her country. Obviously both men were different politically, but it cannot be said that both were not speaking the way they were due to the country’s situation at the time. Kennedy uses emotional appeal in a way that seems more empowering. He gives the citizens the choice of “final success or failure of our course.” He uses imagery of a historically super powered America and acknowledges the chronological generations of Americans that have made the country what it is today. In conclusion, both presidents used appeals that were mainly emotional in nature. They realized that their audiences were people who were looking forward to something change in terms of their personal lives or the lives of those around them. Both were truly powerful and definitely worthy of inaugural speeches that reflected the time period accurately.

  17. Christopher Stanley

    When President Kennedy gave his speech he was the youngest president to be elected into office at that time this inauguration speech was the first televised. President Kennedy uses ethos primarily by choosing words that evoke strong positive emotions and values which form a link between the United States and another group. He is trying to establish an alliance with other groups and ensure that there is a positive intent and trust between the two groups. President Kennedy primarily uses logic to make connections between what he wants to do (for example, building the US arms) with the outcome he wants that no one could really disagree with (peace as no one will dare attack). Another example of president Kennedy using logos is when he speaks on arms inspections he wants with the fact that nations will be in control of potentially destructive actions (not individuals). He is linking the two as though they are a cause-effect relationship.
    As the president Obama was taking office the nation was faced with massive debts and an ongoing war they continued to bury the nation deeper into debt president Obama took the unrest and uncertainty and addressed it in his inaugural speech. President Obama uses words that promote hope and optimism, along with the idea that we can work together to change our current course that we can change negative relationships with other parts of the world or groups like Muslims or events surrounding the U.S economy. He also makes appeals to specific groups that he singles out and then tries to emphasize a positive “us” or “we” with them. The idea of this would be to persuade people that if they join us, all these positive changes or improvements are possible. The way Obama used ethos was by relying on the theme that Americans are used to overcoming difficult times, economically, domestically and internationally. He is stated that the core beliefs of our country go back to the Founding Fathers and have led us through many challenges and that this is why those same beliefs will help us to triumph over the difficult times we are in now. President Obama uses logical appeal but basically tries to make common sense appeals to ensure that he will choose policies that are effective, make sense, and to show that lessons have been learned from the failures of the recent past concerning the economy and war etc.
    Both president were the first Barack was the first black president and Kennedy was the youngest and the first one to have a televised inauguration. They both utilized ethos to ensure confidence and assurance to keep the nation tranquil and on track.

  18. The fire of new beginnings always burn bright with the inauguration of a new president, and both Barack Hussein Obama and John Fitzgerald Kennedy demonstrate their full oratorical mastery during their respective inaugural addresses. The level of charisma required to shine so brightly among those who are well-versed in rhetoric is astounding, and yet, among politicians whose abilities in regard to persuasion represent the utmost in the art, these two men shine bright indeed. How does one do it? How does one captivate an audience and persuade that audience with their every word…every motion, and every exquisite pause?

    When one considers the role of a president, the image of a president, and the very dignity that one must exude as a president, then it becomes clear that Ethos plays a powerful role in deciding who fits the image most securely. Society and ethics are intertwined, and the master of ethics, the one who appeals to our highest nature, is the one who can most securely try to lay claim to the righteous voice within us all. It demonstrates authority to point out what is ethical, and it solidifies that authority when one is associated with the highest ethics. When Kennedy famously advises “Ask not what your country can do for you…” he is promoting selflessness, and by doing so, he is aligning his authority to selfless acts. He assures us that the entire country will be all the greater for it.

    Similarly, Barack Obama mentions that we “have chosen hope over fear” and “unity of purpose over conflict and discord”. Again, the more righteous choices are emphasized, and again, the president is aligning his authority to that which is ethically right. How did we choose hope, unity and purpose? The answer should be clear; we chose these things by electing Barack Obama president! He has merged these concepts with the country’s decision to elect him. This is a brilliant and effective use of Ethos.

    Pathos also comes into use by these skilled men of power. In Kennedy’s speech, he remarks “in your hands my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our cause”. The president is appealing to our emotions, and he is aligning that emotional appeal with the instant imagery that he has invoked of everyone present participating in this just cause. It is not only the president’s vision, it is the vision of us all, and we must complete it, with or without him. President Obama does Kennedy one better by using Pathos and Ethos at the same time when he says “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given, it has to be earned.”. Not only is he invoking a similar ethical responsibility to Kennedy’s “Ask not”, president Obama is motivating us on an emotional level.

    Logos is well used by both men. In Obama’s case, it is employed to drive home the point that we must have an educated society to build the infrastructure that will carry us ahead into the future. In Kennedy’s case, he decrees “let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate”. This very statement embodies the rational person. The word “fear” is used twice, and in both cases it alludes to something we should not do in reference to negotiation. Perhaps it is now Kennedy’s turn to use two modes of persuasion at the same time. He is clearly making use of Pathos by his use of the word “fear”, and he is also using Logos by showing us how to logically avoid that fear. These concepts are so invariably intertwined in these speeches that it would take pages of analysis to do them justice, but hopefully, this short response will provide some degree of interest as a starting point.

  19. Both of the speeches by former US presidents, George Bush and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are part of a similar rhetorical situation. The whole country had their attention devoted to their leader after a colossal catastrophe. The people were looking at the president wondering “what’s next?” This automatically gave the President, the speaker, credibility, eliminating the need for utilizing ethos in such a circumstance. They were both the face of their country at the time, and they were ‘the one’ who decided what would happen after such an event.

    The rhetorical situation presented an audience already in an emotional state, which left them open and receptive to an argument involving pathos. Both George Bush and Franklin Delano Roosevelt take advantage of the receptive audience by taking time to fully incriminate their respective attackers. They make sure to mention the damages, injuries, and the loss of American lives. George Bush does so metaphorically: “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.” He milks every drop of patriotism from the audience by convincing them of the strength of the US: “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” This figurative language inspires the citizens to believe that they can bounce back from such a tragedy.

    The attention to detail of the damages and the appeal to patriotism (through the combination of logos and pathos) butters up the audience before announcing the course of action. Bush rides on pathos through patriotism and very passively states his intent of retaliation by promising to, “bring [the enemy] to justice.”
    Even though President Roosevelt did not need to establish his credibility, he mentions one of his presidential roles to validate his course of action of defense: “As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.” Stating acts of defense instead of attacks leads the audience to believe that retaliating is the next logical step.

    Both speakers stress different persuasive tools, but in the end, both use pathos and logos to lead to a logical conclusion.

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