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Rhetorical Analysis Of Tear Down This Wall

Decent Essays
In summer of 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke to the citizens of Germany at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Throughout his speech, “Tear Down This Wall”, Ronald Reagan uses rhetorical techniques in order to convince Germany to accept western democracy and oppose the Berlin Wall.
Reagan appeals to both extrinsic and intrinsic ethos. At the time, Reagan had a lot of extrinsic ethos and was known to be the “Great Communicator”, who had a lopsided victory election after a successful first term. Because of his political background, Reagan can get away with his lack of statistics and data. For example, “Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself”. Reagan does not back this up with any evidence, even if this statement could be taken literally, because he knows that his status as POTUS makes him seem trustworthy. Also, he acknowledges other opinions and views of other world leaders who oppose Western Democracy, then provides his own viewpoint on the matter. He mentions Khruschev and Moscow, stating “In the 1950s Khrushchev predicted: ‘We will bury you.’ But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity… In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health… too little food… We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness… political prisoners have been released… foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with
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