My Rhetorical Analysis: "Why Don't We Complain?" Essay

967 Words Oct 31st, 2012 4 Pages
English 1010-03
September 19, 2011
My Rhetorical Analysis: “Why Don’t We Complain?”
Is pleading the 5th really the best policy when confronted with a potentially awkward situation? The reasons why many Americans choose not to take advantage of their freedom of speech still remains a mystery. “Why Don’t We Complain?”, published in the 1960’s by William F. Buckley Jr., an educated editor, writer and television host, is an attempt to persuade his audience that they are reluctant and hesitant about speaking up when faced with circumstances that demand our attention. If we desire an alternative outcome to these situations then we must be the one who stands up for ourselves instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Although Buckley
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An educated American would be successfully persuaded by this because his personal observations show that nobody else is complaining and are more apt to please their neighbor than themselves.
The expert testimony of his editor friend backs up Buckley’s argument and gives the audience a valid reason to believe him. Buckley states that the weekly news magazine editor explained to him that “the volume of mail has noticeably decreased, even though the circulation of his magazine has risen” (562). This shows that although the audience of the magazine has increased over the years, the initiative of the readers has gone down. In this evidence I have presented, Buckley shows the negative correlation between the readers and protestors of the magazine and would reach an audience that cannot be easily persuade without hard facts. Buckley’s persuasive effort was successful by showing his audience that his argument is backed up by expert facts and it is not just his word that they have to believe.
Another strong piece of evidence that Buckley uses is when Premier Khrushchev of Russia visited the United States in 1959. The Cold War had taken many American lives in Korea and had cost billions of dollars in taxes, which the Americans were not happy about. Buckley uses this evidence to further persuade his audience that even in a time of war, they should be expected to protest against the cruelty of such executions.
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