Essay #4: Politics and Propaganda
Many people have witnessed, heard, or read some famous politician’s speech. It is because of their speeches that they are either elected or thrown off the ballots depending on how nice their future promises and words are. However, according to Donna Cross’ article called “Propaganda: How not to be Bamboozled”, taking into consideration their choice of words and persuasive techniques would help us. We could be misunderstanding them, falling for their hidden tricks. By reading through a speech by Sally Kern and taking into consideration the advice of Cross, we can learn how to look carefully at details and unravel their disguises. Instead of falling for their sugar coated lies, looking deeper into the true meaning of words will get you voting for who you should actually vote for. Propaganda is not necessarily wrong to use, it gets people elected, but its methods are questionable and perhaps dishonest.
A politician’s duty is to persuade people to stand with them and their ideas. According to Cross’ article, there are many methods that they use to sweet talk their audience. One of the methods found first in Sally Kern’s speech is the testimonial about Christianity and the Bible. In “How not to be Bamboozled”, Cross states that testimonials are given to show support for an idea from someone or something to distract from their main purpose (Cross 535). For example, in Kern’s speech, she uses many Christianity references from books such as The Practical Benefits of Christianity and Total Truth to build up support for her claims and ideas later on. She tried to sway her audience by reminding them that “What made us great is that we were a nation founding on Christian principles” (Kern 1). These were attempts to earn favor and distract her audience to think about her statement regarding the Bible. Though her testimony is not false, and her ideas may or may not be wrong, but her methods are.
Besides making testimonials using...
Cited: Cross, Donna Woolfolk. “Propaganda: How not to be Bamboozled”. 526-535.
Kern, Sally. Published Speech. March 2008.
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