Steel Prices Rhetoric

909 Words4 Pages

In John F. Kennedy’s speech given during a 1962 press conference regarding the rise in steel prices, he heavily appealed to the logic and patriotism of the steel companies, as well as using connotation to further emphasize his point. He speaks not only about how nonsensical the rising price of steel is, but also how un-American it is, something that at this time was a terrible quality to possess. In using these rhetorical strategies of logical appeal, patriotic appeal, and connotation, Kennedy convinces his audience that the steel industry is a selfish, anti-American establishment that negatively displays the nation’s ideals. Kennedy used several facts and statistics to prove his point that the rise in steel prices is entirely unwarranted …show more content…

Within his first sentence, he states that the price increase is an “irresponsible defiance of public interest” - in other words, it does not allow Americans to prosper to the fullest extent. He reminds the audience that their fellow Americans are suffering; he mentions “Reservists [leaving] their homes and families for months on end”, servicemen [risking] their lives”, and the “restraint and sacrifice” asked even of common American people. He paints a picture of American hardship for the greater good, of perseverance, of unselfishness, all American ideals. By then stating, “The American people will it hard, as I do, to accept [that] a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans.” This statement is key to Kennedy’s purpose of proving that the steel companies have greedily betrayed the people who may have trusted them before. Kennedy also talks about how the increase in steel prices would raise the costs of “homes, autos, appliances...machinery, and tools” for American families, businessmen, and farmers, as well as “eating up the pensions” of the elderly. These examples are powerful in that the audience consisted of men that had businesses, relied on farmers, had families, homes, and older …show more content…

He appealed to the logic of the American people, proving through factual evidence that the price increase of steel was completely unfounded and driven by greed, reminding Americans that the patriotism their country was built on was not in the minds of the steel executives, and pointing out through connotation that the qualities they posses should benefit the American people but are not. With these rhetorical strategies, Kennedy made his audience realize that Americans are far smarter, more hardworking, and more deserving of fairness than the steel industry gave them credit

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