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Hold on There, Robert Samuelson! Let's Think This Through!

By       Message Thomas Farrell       (Page 3 of 11 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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But we in the United States live in an ongoing experiment with representative democracy.

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As a result, we live through election campaigns, the likes of which Aristotle does not discuss in his famous treatise on civic rhetoric.

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Now, in the legislative assemblies in the United States today, what Aristotle means by deliberative rhetoric occurs in the debates about proposed legislation.

Moreover, when we turn our attention to considering political campaigns for elective office in the United States today, we can usually find candidates who campaign on certain proposals for legislation that they would like to get enacted if elected. Such proposals would usually qualify as examples of deliberative rhetoric, because they do provide springboards for debate.

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Nevertheless, I would suggest that much campaign rhetoric in the United States is best understood as epideictic rhetoric rhetoric designed deliberately to "evoke deep values" (in Samuelson's words).

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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