Rhetorical Analysis Of The Evil Empire By Ronald Reagan

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In the early spring of 1983, Americans are threatened by the hovering uncertainty of a nuclear war, courtesy of the Soviet Union. The ultimate goal of the Soviet Union is to suffocate the ideology of capitalism, which of course is the support on which America was built, and replace it with their own ideology- communism. This pronounced menace also threatens all those who worship God, as communism does not support belief in a higher power. After achieving an understanding of this fact, our President at the time, Ronald Reagan, who is heavily devoted to the Christian faith, sets about exposing the dark innuendos communism submits upon its subjects. Through his speech “The Evil Empire”, the Republican President inspires the American people to …show more content…

By instituting himself as a servant of God, he is promoting the idea that he knows the way to righteousness. He emphasizes that the abolishment of sin and the pronouncement of freedom is only possible through the verification of God. Most politicians, or people for that matter, would shy away from boldly announcing themselves as a passionate Christian. In a country as diverse as the United States, such a statement is bound to drive controversy between people of different beliefs. And yet here’s Reagan, proclaiming his awareness of the prayers around him and even going as far as sharing his appreciation for everyone who has prayed for him. Through asserting himself as a devout Christian, Ronald Reagan flies the colors of righteousness and truth behind him. He quotes American heroes such as Thomas Jefferson who had declared, “the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time” (Reagan). Reflecting America as a country built upon the almighty God’s values relays a feeling of empowerment to the public. And who better to be trusted with the guidance of America than a man who understands the life and liberty God has blessed upon it, a man who stands by the values that shaped the very nation, a man who is backed by the power of the all-knowing Lord? In remaining firm in his Christian beliefs, Reagan reaches out to the public with his honesty and continues the …show more content…

By highlighting prominent “sins” earlier in his speech, Reagan subtly transfers the association of these sins to the Soviet Union, thereby further driving his attempt to rally the American people. Having progressed on a communistic base for years, the Soviet Union’s drive is to destroy capitalism and replace it with its own ideology- communism (“Cold War”). The Soviets intend to force these ideals upon democratic nations by the production and possession of nuclear missiles, a terrifying prospect to any country. Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union out in this speech; the title alone, “The Evil Empire”, condemns the Soviets as ruthless destroyers of peace and freedom. His words not only influence the American people, but also reach the hearts if the Soviets. The Reagan biographer Edmund Morris wrote that Reagan’s speech even “help[ed] the motherland realize…it was indeed evil” (Busch). Reagan’s careful setup of controversial discussion topics easily propels the momentum of discontent forming towards the Soviet Union. He affectively transfers the emotional responses to familiar topics, such as abortion, in order to drive the American public into taking a strong stand toward issues that seem distant and not as prominent a

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