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Rhetoric in the Political Jungle

January 29, 2016 , , , ,

rhetorical triangle

rhetorical triangle

The role of rhetoric in politics is to convince  voters to take action.  Politicians make speeches and conduct public meetings in order to share their views and opinions for the voters’ consideration.  There is a difference between absolute empirical truth and rhetorical “truth”.  Words meant to sway opinions are crafted carefully to leave impressions on the reader or listener.  Theory rather than fact is the realm of rhetoric.  Theoretic situations and projections onto the future can not be measured.  They are emotional and unpredictable in their very nature.  When a candidate tells us what will be happening when he becomes president he is using rhetoric to stimulate our imagination.

Cultural beliefs can’t be proven, but are held by a group to be factual.  Prejudice is one of the many forms of cultural belief.  Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are another kind of cultural belief. Now in American politics there are at least two camps with firm and opposing views about the Constitution.  When a lawyer goes to court his arguments are built on rhetorical truths, but his emotional appeal to a judge or jury is often aimed at changing cultural beliefs.  Tribal or group dynamics are hard to predict.  Our two party system is going through a test in this election cycle.  I wonder which way the cookie will crumble in November.  I urge the gentle readers to vote and consider carefully all the facts while making a decision.  This election is already a game changer.  Your vote matters more than it did in the past.  Please register to vote, and show up to make your voice heard.

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Your insight is pretty spot on Pam. It’s incredible the amount of rhetoric and not quite factual information being spread out there. People will be disappointed no matter who wins.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

February 5, 2016

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