George W. Bush’s Language Comprising the War on Terror Essay

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The president is perhaps the most visible arm of government to the American people. Through the drama of highly televised election campaigns and public speeches, the president is, for most people, the face of government. The president’s communication to the public is spotlighted and given much more attention than other public officials’, such as representatives or senators. Since the president receives more public attention than any other individual in government, it seems natural to analyze presidential rhetoric.

However, why exactly should we examine presidential rhetoric? Are there not other ways to examine a president’s goals and aspirations? One could examine the implemented policies that the president supports. However, one
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Text analysis

As stated above, this examine paper attempts to provide a broad description of Bush’s “war on terror” rhetoric. I examined all presidential weekly radio addresses from September 11, 2001 until August 7, 2004, the televised public statement made by the president on September 11, 2001, and the three State of the Union addresses since September 11, 2001 . For purposes of this paper, since I am only interested in the symbolism Bush draws upon when speaking on the war on terror, I limited the public statements I examined to those after September 11. Additionally, time constraints forced limitations on how much of the President’s public statements I was able to scrutinize. The president, of course, makes many more public statements than weekly radio addresses and the annual State of the Union. Press briefings and campaign trail speeches are also a major component of presidential rhetoric, and any complete study of Bush’s “terror” language would look at these statements.

When scrutinizing these speeches, I searched for a number of things. First, I wanted to isolate any kind of imagery Bush employed that was unnecessary for the exposition
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