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Ronald Reagan The Evil Empire Speech Analysis

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Without religion we have no morality, without morality we are beings of evil. “The Evil Empire” speech by Ronald Reagan, is verbal dissent of the Soviet Union and his supports for abolishment of abortion. Reagan’s speech was held in 1983 at the Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, seemingly a tactical decision to have a crowd susceptible to a religious appeal. Using word choice and repetition, Reagan rallies the public’s support with arguments of morality using religion, a pathos and ethos appeal. Reagan begins his speech with a religious joke, though seemingly just an ice breaker, this is how Reagan beings his pathos and ethos appeal. The joke is based on the idea that there are few politicians that go to heaven, though not literally implied, Reagan makes the connection of himself with the politician that went to heaven. This subtle joke appeals to pathos and ethos, people think that he’s moral and belongs in heaven and also gives him the credibility of someone who has done good and belongs in heaven. This is also an endorsement of Christianity specifically, the largest and most prominent…show more content…
Reagan, based on an appeal to the general public, chooses to gain credibility and an emotional appeal with religion by using associating his ideas with words like god and morality then repeats this association with all his ideas. His repetition and word choice creates an association of his ideas and religion, in a public of very religious citizens, will create a positive connotation regardless of the actual merit of the idea. This connotation will help make the general public more receptive and accepting of Reagan’s decision making based, as well as have a generally more negative connotation when thinking of the Soviet Union. Having the public’s support can reduce scrutiny of his decision making and minimize public backlash regardless of the merit of his
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