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The Rhetorical Presidency - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Institution: Date: The Rhetorical Presidency Introduction Popular rhetoric has become one of the principle tools used by presidents in their attempts to effectively govern the nation. It is not uncommon for presidents nowadays to hide their imperfections with programmatic speeches that put forward grand and ennobling views aimed at exhorting the public…
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The Rhetorical Presidency
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Download file to see previous pages He managed not only to rescue his presidency but also instill national moral revival which had been diminishing. Now it has become a common phenomenon in contemporary leadership. The Genesis of Rhetoric Presidency Throughout the 19th Century, rhetoric presidency was received with a lot of suspicion and presidents rarely attempted to directly communicate to the people. Even the few speeches delivered by presidents were totally different from the ones delivered today. They were mostly concerned with constitutional matters, patriotism or conduct of war as opposed to today’s domestic policy speeches aimed at moving the nations’ conscience. In the modern times however, presidents have come to believe that they are not effective presidents if they cannot be able to exhort the public. It is now common for presidents to make press conferences, radio or TV coverage speeches, news releases or congressional address every so often. These speeches have a common tone to them, i.e. “Speaking is governing,” (Ceaser, 159), and are aimed at exhibiting the public’s reaction as if to a real situation. ...
President Nixon was aware of the public’s reaction to a lot of rhetoric and came up with his own anti-rhetoric promising to stop it, but the president could not even control himself from ‘shouting back’ at his detractors. And of course there was President Carter who at first was all calm promising to bring sanity back to government but by the mid of his term his speeches were all full of rhetorical forcefulness talking of the decline and revitalization of the country. But what are the implications of these rhetoric speeches that almost all the contemporary presidents find themselves caught into? The Rhetoric Presidency: ‘Pulpit Bully’ or Mere Baloney? Many people term these speeches as mere rhetoric and they know that it’s all talk. But despite the knowledge of this fact, the excess speeches have continued to inflate people’s expectations to the detriment of these leaders. This has developed into an institutional dilemma for all the modern governments. These presidents are expected to match their actions with the ideals they created in the public’s mind through their rhetoric speeches. In the end, it is their government that is weakened by this kind of leadership since it is hard to measure up to the peoples’ puffed up expectations. With failure comes criticism and cynicism from the same people they sought to impress. When George Bush was asked about his most disappointing experience in leadership, he admitted that he was not a good communicator. Clinton too wished he had done a good job in communicating to the public according to what he could achieve, (Edwards, 20). So is the president’s office exactly a ‘bully pulpit’ as Roosevelt described it? Most modern ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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