Monthly Archives: November 2004

Identification

Much emphasis has been placed on Kerry’s military service record. The ubiquitous and sometimes satirized recount of his three Purple Hearts may come to mind. Kerry is using this strategy as a form of rhetorical identification. That is, in order … Continue reading

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Anesis

Although the President cultivates the image of a plainspoken Texan, and despite his oft-criticized ineloquence, Bush frequently has a sense of what is appropriate to say in a given situation; however, his actual execution may veer slightly—sometimes grossly—off track. Rhetorical … Continue reading

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Cliches

Clichés are generally thought of as overused or trite expressions, like “every cloud has a silver lining” or “nobody is perfect,” and hence given scant attention. Yet many clichés are what Richard Rorty calls “dead metaphors,” once new and provocative … Continue reading

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Escalation

Escalation is a trope that attempts to create a sense of crisis by predicting future calamity. We’ve seen this trope repeatedly during the Presidential Debates; the most glaring example was Vice-President Cheney’s claim that if Senator Kerry were elected, the … Continue reading

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Religious Rhetoric

In the final debate, President Bush claimed, “God wants everybody to be free,” reiterating a theme that has been a staple of his discourse—and foreign policy— since January 2003. For Bush, such rhetoric is politically invaluable: it speaks directly to … Continue reading

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Fallacies

Both presidential candidates committed logical fallacies during the debates. Bush, for instance, repeatedly made use of the red herring fallacy, otherwise known as changing the subject. Ask Bush where he stands on affirmative action policies and why, and he discusses … Continue reading

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