Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Political Communication Essay

Political Communication Essay

The speech of Sen. John McCain first of all deals with the foreign affairs of the United States and its actual geopolitical orientations; to stress the point more distinctively, it is devoted to the last events in Iraq and the role the States play in them. He appeals to the audience in order to explain the core of the newly elaborated strategy, being implemented by General Petraeus. Moreover, in conditions of tough counteraction from the Congress, he tries to prove the necessity of this plan and to involve the audience he appeals to in their matters. In general, the main thesis of the speech can be formulated as the following: The war leaded by the States in Iraq has truly noble foundation, it is expedient, equitable and indispensable; admitting defeat is out of the question; terrorism must be fought against till the very end. McCain strongly believes in appropriate audience’s comprehension and response.

To win the interest of the addressees, he does his best to sound convincing and representative and creates the image of a faithful maintainer of “security, opportunity, peace, and hope” and claims to fight for historical justice and not for the seats in Congress, as against to the Democrats, whom he accuses of reckless behavior.

The situational audience comprises the Virginia Military institute cadets, but it’s clear from the context, that the target audience goes beyond them, even beyond the social group they belong to. We can say it for certain, that McCain’s speech is to be heard by the whole community, it’s up to form the entire public opinion, to reach the conscience of those who don’t feel indifferent to the point and, necessary to admit, are aware of the subject. In other words, the response of the public should be based on essential knowledge of the reasons and course of the war under consideration.

A further advantage of it is the tools McCain does choose to get the power over the audience, to influence their personal convictions. In the first place, the speech is incredibly passionate and emotional, it bursts with eloquence and skillfully adopted lexis. The rhetor doesn’t hide his feelings and attitude to the problems he has to touch. The tone rises more and more, becomes more and more tensive, as he goes on in his stream of thoughts. He tends to foresee the reaction of the opposite side and therefore his speech becomes much dependent on verification, which is greatly constructed by the speaker. He himself mentions the negative effect of the war and sincerely assumes it, expressing pity and sympathy to the death of innocent Iraqis, to the loss, mourning and fatigue of the American nation. Saying “We Americans”, he treats the public as peers and in this way tries to cause their trust.

Apart from this, he manages to use the facts of sorrow as convincing justifications as well, stressing that the throes and sacrifices should not be left in vain, but they will, if the USA admits defeat.

Furthermore, the inner, semantic structure is carefully supported by the logical structure of the discourse, each paragraph has its specific purpose and significance. To start with, McCain hastens to assure the cadets in his trust and hope he puts on them and then turns to the persona of George Marshall, employing it to affirm, that their “cause is just, necessary and winnable”. It is difficult to say, that the narration is homogeneous, as he goes down to the horrible events of 2001, and then returns up to the moment, and then attracts attention to the facts of his own experience. Still the passages don’t disturb, the paragraphs are connected with logical issues, with special phrases and markers, ear-catching formulations are widely used across the speech. The ideas are supported by accurate examples, such as the story of Petty Officer First Class Mark Robbins, which without any doubt is strong enough to go deep into the souls of the listeners, to touch their inner worlds and again to make the entire appeal sound realistic and to a certain extent pathetic.

Besides, McCain effectively draws on other kinds of rhetorical strategies. Here and there we face expressive metaphors, such as “egregious disservice”, “ruthless tactics”, “determined, resourceful and bold commander”, “swirl of events”, “horrendous violence”, “depraved indifference” etc. Not to mention how often he appeals to globally and vitally important values, including such items as: historical importance and global stability, security and modernity, peace and hope, future and progress, human rights and moral credibility, humanity and, after all, patriotism.
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