Rhetorical Analysis Of Ronald Reagan 's Farewell Address Essay

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Farewells and Fair-Warnings
A Rhetorical Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address
Introduction to Analysis
On January 11, 1989, President Ronald Reagan sat at his desk in the Oval Office to address his nation for the final time. This rhetorical moment was not the first of its kind. Rather, the Farewell Address is a Presidential tradition, started by George Washington, that every president takes part in before leaving office. As a sort of “goodbye” to the nation, the President discusses the accomplishments of his administration while offering pieces of advice for the future. Washington warned against a government with an “unmoderated” political party system (Spalding 75), Ronald Reagan warned of the effects of an America devoid of patriotism.
While in office Ronald Reagan had a disapproval rating that soared to 54% in 1983 (How the Presidents Stack Up). However, in 2001, his retrospective disapproval rating was a mere 27% (Newport). Often the focus of criticism while in office, Ronald Reagan has become known within the ranks of historians as one of the most influential American Presidents, ranking 10th in the Annual C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leaders in 2009 (C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership). Lauded as the “Great Communicator,” much has been said of Reagan and his oratorical skills, including his simplicity, clarity, and sincerity of speech (Thompson). While his speech at the Bradenburg Gate, with its famous line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” has

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