In his State of the Union Address for 2016, Barack Obama uses logical and ethical arguments to emphasize shared ground rather than partisan disputes. He also taps into the audience’s desire to feel better about themselves and their country. By using humor and irony, Obama paints his opponents into corners, out of which it would require outrageous extremism to effectively squirm away. At its best, this approach demonstrates how much Americans actually have in common in a culture dominated by ideologically polarized cable-news channels, Facebook, and cultural tribes that increasingly live and socialize apart from one another. The president's technique throughout the speech is to frame issues through a rhetorical jujitsu to persuade his opponents,
Former President Barack Obama performed a speech in response to a mass shooting that happened in a community college in Oregon. This speech included other gun related incidents which occurred during his time in office in 2015 regarding Umpqua Community College and Roseburg. After giving his condolences and love to those who felt loss in their hearts, Obama gave a powerful argument regarding gun control and how we, as Americans, should fight and strive for better gun laws. While Obama gave a moving speech, I could not help but feel it fell short in its argument while conducting a thorough critique. Obama appealed to his audience utilizing pathos and ethos with ease but fell short for those in the audience looking for logos or specific facts within his performance. I will be taking this opportunity to delve further into an analysis of this speech and both its heights and pitfalls.
After centuries of racial injustice and 43 white presidents, Obama enters office in the history making election. Racial barriers in the government fall as the last position in office to never have had an African American succeed it had seated Obama. In “Barack Obama to be America's first black president,” Ewen MacAskill, Suzanne Goldenberg, and Elana Schor report Obama’s win by a landslide in electoral votes with “338 electoral votes to McCain's 129.” With states so keen on Obama winning, the country has taken a huge step from racial oppression exhibited in Wright’s time. A big part of Obama’s victory was due to the blacks who voted as in the article, “Obama Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls,” Adam Nagourney states, “Mr. Obama benefited from a huge turnout of voters, but particularly among blacks. That group made up 13 percent of the electorate, according to surveys of people leaving the polls, compared with 11 percent in 2006.” Blacks have stepped up and made their voices heard through the votes in comparison to Wright’s time. Instead of writing about how blacks around him have submitted to an inferior position placed by whites, he would write about how they have joined together to place a black person in the highest position in government. It is an immense change from when blacks had to give into Jim Crow laws to
In a photograph taken early in President Obama’s first term, the most powerful man in the country bows before a solemn African-American five-year-old, the visitor’s tiny hand resting gently on the President’s head. “I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” the boy had asked. “Touch it, dude,” Obama responded. The image captures the powerful symbolism of Obama’s boundary breaking role as the first African-American president. In a country where African-Americans are more likely than their white peers to be unemployed, attend substandard public schools, go hungry and be incarcerated, the idea of a little boy seeing something of himself in
Senator Obama is altering the language. Christians did not exist in the Old Testament story of Ezekiel, but Senator Obama is effectively connecting with every major religion. Simultaneously, he is reaching out to the secular world as well. Being cognizant that everyone does not actively practice a religious faith, Obama chooses stories that
Barrack Obama’s inauguration speech successfully accomplished his goal by using rhetoric to ensure our nation that we will be under safe hands. The speech is similar from ideas obtained from the founding documents and Martin Luther King’s speech to establish ‘our’ goal to get together and take some action on the problems our country is now facing. As President Barrack Obama starts his speech, he keeps himself from using ‘me’, ‘myself’, and ‘I’ and replacing it with ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘together’ to achieve ethos. He makes sure his audience connects with him directly by making them feel at his level, and him at theirs. This way he connects to the audience, and in exchange, helps his
President Obama, like all Presidents before him, delivered a farewell address to the United States on January 20, 2017. As he stepped down as President he was eloquent and it was as clear as ever that he is a master of oration. Obama will go down in history as the first Black President as well as a strong orator who had the ability to captivate an audience through his use of ethos, pathos and logos amongst other rhetorical devices. His farewell address is a perfect example of Obama’s mastery of discourse as it is chock full of oratorical devices. Obama’s message to the American people and to the rest of the world is that it is essential that we maintain a sense of what it means to have a democracy and that in order to maintain peace and
Senator Barack Obama had many issues throughout his campaign. Obama’s speech, “A More Perfect Union”, delivered on March 18, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, conveyed many issues concerning racism throughout the United States, but it starts out stating how the founders of this nation constructed the Declaration of Independence, creating all men equal. Obama then begins to talk about his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and his racial remarks against America and Israel, as it is “divisive at a time when we need unity”, referring to the “ two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis” going on at the time. (Obama 2) Obama remarks “I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas,” (Obama 1) because there is much criticism in his campaign due to his race. Obama argues that race is paralyzing our nation, and that it is still a major issue due to white privilege, and racial inequality. In the end, Obama hopes to move past the “racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years,” (Obama 6) and wishes to improve health care, jobs, schools, and other social issues for the United States.
At this point in the campaign trail Obama is eight months away from voters heading to the booth and deciding who will be the next ruler of the free world. Obama being a black man, has obviously dealt with criticism involving his race, some saying his race is the only reason he’s gained the support he has so far, that “somehow an exercise in affirmative action” (Obama 2008). Obama tackles this race issue by pointing out that it's not something that reemerged all of sudden because he’s running for office but that this issue has been ingrained in America throughout history, the way he presents the issue and discusses what is next for Americans are in a form of jeremiad rhetoric. This form of rhetoric “a mainstream and deeply American way of thinking about the nation’s past, present, and future” (Murphy 2010), often used to demonstrate a community has failed to live up to what is meant to be common belief and indicates the idealistic place that we would be in if we atone and progress. The speech starts off with “We the people in order to form a perfect union” (Obama 2008), invoking the inaugural lines of the
In 2004, Obama walked up to the podium at the Democratic National Convention as a political novelty. The speech he delivered established Obama as a natural leader and transformed him into a future presidential candidate. Rich in demonstrative rhetoric, its purpose was to unite the American people through nationalism. The exploration of his rhetoric and style throughout this paper will cement why the speech was beneficially identity transforming for Obama's political career.
The election of President Obama marks the most noteworthy political accomplishment for African Americans in the United States during the post-civil rights revolution, thus bringing about a change in the country’s social and political landscape that was steeped in racial discrimination since the founding of this great nation. Because social and political conditions are subject to constant change, President Obama’s
Within his speech, Barack Obama admits that the United States is in the "midst of a crisis" but he believes that it can change, but he also makes it clear that the change cannot happen overnight. Obama's inspirational tone stirs up the nation with phrases such as “dust ourselves off” and “bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions.” Barack Obama's message persuades his audience because the message is believable and delivered by an honest man. In his previous speeches, Obama spoke of race and prejudice, an economic crisis and his hopes and fears with such intelligence that when
This inaugural speech marked the beginning of the second term of Barack Obama as president of the United States of America. It was delivered at United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2013. The event followed the presidential election in the United States and it was very important all over the world, about a million of people gathered outside the Capitol to witness the president's words and millions more from around the world watched him on television (Staff). For first time, a president talked about same sex marriage and gay rights, he also talked about divisive issues such as reform of immigration policies, stopping climate change and preserving a social welfare safety net. Obama showed a progressive and liberal agenda, focused on equal rights and possibilities for all the citizens. The theme of the speech was “Faith in America's Future,” (Caldwell) and he successfully used various rhetorical techniques and resources to influence the audience.
Barrack Obama’s inauguration speech successfully executed crafty rhetoric to ensure our country that we will be under safe hands. The speech draws from ideas straight from the founding documents and Martin Luther King’s speech to establish ‘our’ goal to join together and take action on the many problems facing our country. As President Barrack Obama begins his speech, He refrains from using ‘me’, ‘myself’, and ‘I’ but instead ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘together’ to establish ethos. He makes sure his audience feels at his level, and he at theirs. This way he connects to the audience, and in turn, aids his
From the beginning of Obama’s administration, when he announced that the police officers “acted stupidly” by detaining a black professor they had reason to believe had broken into what was revealed to be his own home, he set the stage for a new, improved racially-charged drama