Unity Through Equality
In late June of 2016, Vice President Joe Biden had an official visit to his ancestral country, Ireland. Biden planned his five-day visit to meet with Prime Minister Enda Kenny to discuss Irish-American relations, and to address the Irish people about the value of global inclusiveness. Throughout his speech, Biden uses different rhetorical strategies that aim to unify the Irish and American people. Biden’s arrival to Ireland occurs at a time when immigration is heavily debated, and right before the world’s largest pride parade in Dublin. Strategically, his words express the similarities between Ireland and America, by connecting the two nations on one shared value of equality. Biden uses equality as the foundation of a shared sense of resilience that is evidenced in Irish and American past, present, and future.
Biden argues that both Ireland and America hold the same values at heart when comparing the Declaration of Independence and the 1916 Proclamation. He states that the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”, and the 1916 Proclamation’s, “all of the children of the nation equally”, are notions founded in equal rights, equal opportunity, and religious and civil liberties for everyone. Biden mentions that these terms are grounded, and are “not empty words on a page. He is trying to explain the depth of their meaning by noting that they are the foundation of any political or social organization that aims to