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President George W. Bush's Use Of Pathos, Logos, And Ethos

1524 words - 6 pages

Throughout George W. Bush's political career he has implored the use of Aristotle's tripod, which we like to call it. This tripod is a rhetoric which implies that persuasion relies on three things, which are ethos, pathos, and logos. Logos is devoted solely to logic and reason. While on the other hand, pathos deals with attitudes and beliefs. Perhaps the most important one which pertains to George W. Bush is something called ethos, that is to say the branch of the tripod which deals with the personal strengths of the speaker and most importantly his character. Throughout his political journey he has showed the use of pathos, logos, and ethos time and time again, but the one of which he is commonly known for is ethos. The instances in which he has demonstrated them are countless, but I will recall but three. The first event took place on the day of September 14, 2001 at 'Ground Zero', three days after the attack of the World Trade Centers. The third instance was on September 20, 2001 during his Address to a Joint Session of Congress. Lastly, was the State of the Union Address in Washington D.C. Which was held on January 29, 2002.

At 'Ground Zero' on September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush did many things to restore the confidence of the rattled and scared population. Unity was a key role in the success of this speech. The whole time that he made his speech his arm was wrapped around a firefighter at the scene which not only showed ethos, but also made them look like good friends and it showed a sense of stability and unity, “Throughout most of his speech, he kept his arm wrapped around a lead firefighter working at the scene,” (Docan.) In addition, he said how the local area was connected to other people who where hurt around the country which implored the use of logos, “The nation stands with the good people of New York City, and New Jersey and Connecticut,” (Docan.)

A caring a sympathetic person was also shown during that speech (ethos). Feelings of concern, compassion, and interest, “Being a president that is willing to come to heart of the tragedy that had just occurred, automatically lifted his character to that of a person who is caring, compassionate, and interested. His sense of eunoia or goodwill was seen throughout his speech,” (Docan.) Other feelings which were shown that day were feelings of sympathy and pity (pathos), “Bush's numerous statements, such as, “The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here”, bring out emotions of pity and sympathy, placing America as the “helpless and harmed”,” (Docan.) He also brought out emotions (pathos) combined with religion (logos), “Bush used an immense amount of religious jargon Phrases such as, “On bended knee in prayer” and “May God bless America,” appealed to both emotions (pathos) and to ways of thought (logos) and religion,” (Docan.) A sense of security was re-established and the American people were reassured that things would turn out fine. This reassurance...

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