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Cuomo's Speech - Essay Example

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The stripped down version of Cuomo’s speech was still relatively persuasive, mainly because it was logically coherent and hung together fairly well, and each argument was simple and distinct. A prime example of this logical coherence is Cuomo’s argument that Regan “venturing out to witness” the suffering that was occurring in the United States “wouldn’t make much difference [because] the president told us he believs in social Darwinism, in which the government should care for the strong and the rest will benefit from the economic prosperity of the upper class.” Despite the fact that this is something of a distortion of social Darwinism, (Reagan would probably argue that the gove…
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Cuomos Speech Essay
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Download file to see previous pages This speech remains persuasive, on an intellectual level at least, even when stripped down. The full text of the speech was much more convincing, and especially elicited a strong emotional response. Cuomo does an excellent job painting a picture for the listener, which engaged senses other than simply the ears, and ideas that stir the heart as much as the mind. He creates images of different Americas: “A shining city is perhaps all the President sees fromt he portico of the White House and the veranda of his ranch” compared to an America where “people can’t pay their mortgages, and most young people can’t afford one; where students can’t afford education they need, and the middle class parents watch the dreams of their children evaporate.” This imagery elicits a strong emotional response. ...
“We believe,” he says twelve times, trying elaborate on differences between the Republicans and Democrats. These descriptions also get progressively shorter and shorter, allowing Cuomo to build a rhythm that moves from very specific, long details to short but powerful statements, such as “we believe in civil right, and we believe in human rights” – statements that raise the hairs on one’s skin and create an incredible emotional response. Based on the above observations, it seems that logic and rhetoric are not inherently connected; rather that rhetoric can augment an already sound logical argument. I firmly believe that if Cuomo’s speech was absent from logic the stripped down version would not be persuasive at all, and the full text would be less persuasive, but possibly still convincing on emotional grounds. It seems that rhetoric can add an emotional layer to a logical argument that would otherwise be absent, which convinces someone not just of the validity of one’s arguments but about the fundamental righteousness of one’s goals and mission. Also, it seems that the rhetorical devices that Cuomo employs would have been just as potent even if they were not overlaid on top of an already logical framework. The “we believe” section is almost entirely absent from the cut down version that eliminates much of the rhetorical language, show that much of that was simply imagery and rhetoric without much argument. And the imagery he uses in describing the two different visions of America can almost always be used – I doubt there has been a presidential nominee that has failed to use this rhetorical device in the past twenty years. It seems, therefore, that logic is not the only thing about an argument that makes it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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