Every Man A King Speech Analysis

Decent Essays
On April 23, 1934, United States Senator Huey P. Long delivered his most well-known speech to the American people via radio. His speech became known as “Every Man A King.” During this time period, the United States had felt the effects of the Great Depression for about five years and looked to the president for a solution to their suffering. Both presidents during this time, President Herbert Hoover and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had the responsibility of facing the economic depression and leading the United States out from the clutches of the Great Depression. Feeling that he himself would resolve the issues more effectively, the senator committed himself to run for president in 1936, threatening the current president Roosevelt.…show more content…
This numerical data contributes to the feeling of disapproval with centralized power/wealth that Long is attempting to instill in the public. Through his descriptions of the United States’ national debt, he explains that paying off the debt would require having “Two hundred and seventy-two thousand millions of dollars” in order to pay off the national debt. He continues to describe the debt as “45 times the entire money supply,” trying to convey the magnitude of the debt to the people. Earlier, he stated that the 12 men have more power than the entire population. He uses the transfer technique to link the power of the elite and the national debt. By his “logic,” since the elite control the economy and the economy is in a Depression with a national debt in the billions, the elite are responsible for the Great Depression and the national debt. Additionally, he uses the Bible to support his view, claiming that since nothing in the Bible has been scientifically disproven, it must be true. The scripture he selects adds evidence for his claim and continues his usage of argumentative fallacies, where he hopes to convince the populous that the elite few are responsible for the people’s misfortunes. Following up the technical data, Long outlines a far simpler representation of the elite in America using the idea…show more content…
Long gives the people reasons why they should listen to him and believe in what he is explaining, by using publically acclaimed as evidence for his philosophy. By praising these credible sources that agree with his own words, Long hopes to draw the credibility from these sources to increase his own. Towards the end of the speech, he includes phrases like “all you have to do,” “You simply have to,” to inform the public that the plans he proposes are not challenging to accomplish. The plan he outlines has enough information to appear credible, but if one looks deeper, beyond the simplicity of his words, they will see the impracticality of his plans. However, his authoritative and confident tone supersedes the actual impracticality of his plans, conveying to the audience that he is experienced in matters of this nature and knows what he is doing, thus gaining their trust. To develop credibility with his listeners, he uses the Bible as evidence to reinforce his own policies and views regarding the elite in America. He selects specific scripture from the Book of James, entailing that a country cannot “survive” with any one person holding the wealth “permanently;” the wealth, instead, should be, “scattered among the people,” to facilitate a necessary balance between the classes. Long’s use of the Bible shows the American people that what he is suggesting is
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