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A More Perfect Union Is A Step Away

1338 words - 6 pages

The speech titled “A more Perfect Union” was delivered by Senator Barack Obama, a running candidate for president, on March 18, 2008. It was a response to the video clip of Barack Obama’s former pastor, Reverend Jerimiah Wright, making racially charged comments against America. It was made so the public did not condone the actions of the pastor to Barack Obama. The pundits and various new media outlets played the clip repeatedly on the television, YouTube, etc… This was degrading Obama’s reputation and making the running for president harder. He knew he had to appeal to the citizens of America and so he used Aristotle’s Logos, Ethos, and Pathos, which are appeals to logic, ethics, and ...view middle of the document...

He does this with a personal experience. He states,” I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.” This appeals to pathos because, he is relating to the audience. They know exactly what he is talking about. That it is a recurring aspect of our society. They can feel the empathy for Obama who has a white grandmother utters terrible stereotypes. We have all heard them from one time to another. That makes the quote an effective appeal to emotions. In addition he uses personification. “But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination.” He is saying that discrimination defeated all of the people. This appeals to pathos because this appeals to all Americans’ emotions, because all people wish for success. However, as Obama says, some cannot achieve what they wish because of discrimination. Since all Americans strive to be the best, those who fail know exactly this feeling. When Obama states this the feeling resonates. This makes this an effective appeal. Lastly, he appeals to Pathos with the use of repetition. In the quote, “Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition.” With the repetition of anger he is showing his feeling over stereotypes and anger. This is something every race can relate to, consequently making it an effective appeal to pathos.
In addition Barack Obama uses appeals to Ethos or credibility. He states,” I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slave owners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters,...

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