Political Discourse And Political Politics

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ater’s election.
A fundamental truth in American politics, as already stated, is that there will always be some level of partisan resistance within our essentially two party system. In 1964, partisan politics were starting to replace debates over issues as the main political discourse and A Time for Choosing takes full advantage of those sentiments. At the beginning of his speech, Reagan mentions his past as a liberal democrat. According to his own auto-biography, An American Life, Reagan aligned with the left until his relationship with conservative actress, Nancy Davis. During the duration of their relationship, Reagan had abandoned support for the democratic candidates in 1952 and 1956 in favor of the republican alternatives. He eventually registered as a GOP with the famous quip, “I didn’t leave the democratic party, the party left me.” He asserts this stance again in his speech for Goldwater. Towards the beginning of the speech, Reagan asserts that he had spent, “most of his life a democrat,” and continues with the claim he “recently” had “changed his course”. This line is brilliant at the beginning of a speech because it establishes ethos for Reagan immediately with moderates and rank and file democrats. He gets around the automatic resistance to “across the aisle” ideas by claiming he used to have the same viewpoints as some democrats before he switched parties. This causes those democratic audience members to view his argument less from an oppositional standpoint
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