Bias, Rhetorical Devices, and Augmentation
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Axia College of University of Phoenix
Week 1 Assignment: Bias, Rhetorical Devices, and Argumentation Here are some of the examples that I found in the speech: The Campaigner states, “There is only one man who can rid the politics of this State of the evil domination of Boss Jim Gettys” (Axia College, 2009). This is an example of gender bias because it says only one “man” can do it. I believe this is also an example of hyperbole because it is exaggerating saying only that one person can do something. “Evil domination” is an example of a personal attack ad hominem, because it is insinuating that Gettys is an evil dominator. By saying “Boss” the speaker is trying to make people think negatively of him, so this is an example of innuendo and he uses this device throughout his speech. Then there is “the fighting liberal,” which is a paradox, “friend of the working man” is a euphemism and gender bias, and “next Governor of this State” (Axia College, 2009) is wishful thinking. Kane then states, “dishonesty, the downright villainy,” which is a dysphemism, “political machine—now in complete control of the government of this State” (Axia College, 2009) is an example of scare tactics.
“I made no campaign promises, because until a few weeks ago I had no hope of being elected,” (Axia College, 2009) this is a few different things like slippery slope, argument from pity, and scapegoating. ‘Now, however, I have something more than a hope,” (Axia College, 2009) is wishful thinking. “And Jim Gettys—Jim Gettys” is an example of alliteration, “has something less than a chance” (Axia College, 2009) is wishful thinking. “Every straw vote, every independent poll shows that I’ll be elected” (Axia College, 2009) is rationalization. “Now I can afford to make some promises” (Axia College, 2009) is wishful thinking.
Kane also states, “The working man—The working man” is alliteration and gender bias, “slum child” (Axia College, 2009) is a dysphemism. “The working man and the slum child know” and “The decent, ordinary citizens know” (Axia College, 2009) are both arguments from popularity. The use of “slum child” and “decent, ordinary citizens” could be an example of stereotypical bias. “I’ll do everything in my power to protect” is a hyperbole; “the underprivileged, the underpaid, and the underfed” (Axia College, 2009) is alliteration. The statement “Well, I’d make my promises now if I weren’t too busy arranging to keep them” (Axia College, 2009) is a weaseler. The last thing that Kane states, “Here’s one promise I’ll make, and boss Jim Gettys knows I’ll keep it: My first official act as Governor of this State will be to appoint a Special District Attorney to arrange for the indictment, prosecution, and conviction of Boss Jim W. Gettys” (Axia College, 2009) is an example of proof surrogate. The speaker’s main argument or case he is trying to make throughout the entire speech is that he will make a better Governor then Jim Gettys and he is going to win the election. I believe he uses inductive reasoning to address these arguments. He tries to support his claim by tearing down his opponent, but his evidence just is not substantive.
He doesn’t really provide enough proof; he mainly uses circular reasoning and beats around the bush, so to speak. In my opinion, he is a true politician, because he makes it sound like he is making a lot of promises without actually making a single one. Were the speaker’s arguments effective? That is a hard choice. I think the audience would fall for it “hook, line, and sinker;” however, he actually did not use credible evidence to back his statements. He never actually made any political claims, except that he wanted to punish Jim Gettys when he became Governor. Therefore, I think his speech was effective to his target audience, but not to me.
Axia College. (2009). Week one materials. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from Axia College, Week One, rEsource. COM220—Research Writing Course Website.