Stereotype of Politicians Breaking Promises Essay

Stereotype of Politicians Breaking Promises Essay

Length: 1216 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Promise Trap

28 September 1999

A common complaint about politicians--so common it's a stereotype--is that they break their promises. Audiences hear one thing, the politician seems to do another, and then the complaining begins. This scenario could be the result of miscommunication on the part of the politician or misinterpretation on the part of the audience. But the reality is more complex. Politicians do make promises, although they rarely use the word as the verb and themselves as the subject of the sentence. And audiences do hear promises being made and have a right to expect action if the concept of a promise still creates a bond, or a contract, between the one who promises and the one promised.

Listen carefully, and you will hear the politicians running for the various presidential nominations making promises. Often, they will sound/read something like this promise from a recent speech by Steve Forbes:

"Under my plan, that money is your money. If you die prematurely, you can leave it to your spouse, to your children, to your grandchildren - tax-free and untouched by the politicians. That's the moral thing to do, and that's the promise of a Forbes Administration."

Here Forbes is talking about a plan to create more wealth for retirement. As the quote clearly states, this money would pass from generation to generation tax free. The pronoun "that" at the beginning of the first independent clause of the third sentence refers to the situation of the money passing on tax free--so this passing is the "moral" thing to do. The second "that" in the second independent clause is a tricky because it could refer to the same situation as the first clause, or it could refer a general moral situation that Forbes hopes t...


... middle of paper ...


...ow going in that, in most cases, they cannot deliver specific promises. Yet they promise anyway in roundabout ways meant to create the contract in the minds of the audience while leaving an out when the "unhappy" outcome happens.

Austin is clear about what he thinks of situations such as these. As he says: "'I promise' entails 'I ought'...to say 'I promise' but not to perform the act is parallel to saying both 'it is' and 'it is not.' Just as the purpose of assertion is defeated by an internal contradiction, the purpose of a contract is defeated if we say 'I promise and I ought not'" (51).

Black is white. Night is day. Welcome to doublespeak.

Works Cited

Austin, J. L. How to Do Things With Words. Urmson, J. O. and Marina Sbisa, eds. Harvard UP, Cambridge, MA: 1975.

DiClerico, Robert E. The American President. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: 1995.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Breaking Free of Stereotypes Essay

- Stereotype has become the new fashion of labeling groups and an easier way to identify a minority group by ones opinion. Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I just met a girl named Maria” and Eric Liu, author of “Notes of a Native Speaker” escaped from any label that will shadow their minority group as a way to show others that it is possible to become themselves, rather than what society has labeled their minority group. Stereotype is not anything else other than expressions and opinions that have accumulated in past and present years....   [tags: Stereotype]

Strong Essays
542 words (1.5 pages)

Misrepresentation of Crime in by US Politicians Essay

- The crime problem in the United States has historically been misstated and exaggerated by bureaucrats and politicians. The intentions behind these overstatements vary within each context but a common thread emerges upon closer examination. As in any capitalist society, money and material possession are the primary motivation that fuels society and people. It could be argued that FBI director Louis Freeh made his comments to the National Press Club in 1994 out of genuine concern for the American people, but realistically the statement was made in an effort to gather support and increase funding for law enforcement....   [tags: Politicians and Fraud]

Free Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Gender Based Stereotype in the Media Essay

- Introduction The media plays an extremely important and arguably the most powerful role in shaping the perception individuals and members of the public holds towards themselves and their surroundings. This therefore makes it extremely difficult for one to maintain his/her unique self identity or perception of others without the influence of the media. People will define themselves and others based on the messages insinuated by the media. The problem hence emerges when the media insinuate the wrong and negative messages, consequently leading to unwarranted stereotypes....   [tags: sexual stereotype, feminism, masculinity]

Strong Essays
1727 words (4.9 pages)

The Threat of a Stereotype Essay

- Stereotype threat is present in our everyday lives and it prevents people from doing things to their fullest abilities. It is the fear of confirming a negative stereotype about you resulting in weaker performance. An example where stereotype threat exists is in the case where African Americans do poorly on tests compared to Caucasian individuals. This occurs because the stereotype is that African Americans are intellectually inferior to Caucasian people. In a setting where the negative stereotype is brought to mind, African Americans will perform poorly on tests when in fact they are able to perform equally as well if not better than Caucasian individuals....   [tags: reducing stereotype threat research]

Strong Essays
1376 words (3.9 pages)

Stereotype Vs. Generalization : Stereotypes And Stereotypes Essay

- Stereotypes are assumptions assigned to groups of people related to their race, nationality, ethnicity, and sometimes their sexual orientation. People put different groups of people in manners that lead to discrimination and can ignore the unique diversity within the different groups. Another idea is that stereotypes are automatically there and will not change, over speculation and over a belief about a particular group or class of people based on experiences. Stereotype vs. Generalization While all stereotypes are generalizations, not all generalizations are stereotypes....   [tags: Stereotype, Race, Ethnic group, Race]

Strong Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Rhetoric and Stereotype Essay

- Stereotype is a sweeping statement standardized image about a person or group with little or no evidence. The primary purpose is to hurt one’s feelings or to attack one’s character. Have you ever stereotyped someone or felt like you were being stereotyped against. How did being stereotyped affect you, or how did it make you feel once you got to know the person or persons. All kind of people make up our society. Within society, there are a massive amount of groups, most of which have been stereotyped in one way or another....   [tags: Equality]

Strong Essays
1757 words (5 pages)

Essay Breaking Free of Stereotypes

- If you say you’ve never heard a stereotype about someone else or yourself, you’re either a liar or very oblivious. Stereotypes are simplified conceptions of a group, and they are literally everywhere. People often tend to assume that all Asians are geniuses, black people like watermelon and listen to rap, white girls crave Starbucks 24/7 and are always wearing leggings or yoga pants, the elderly don’t understand technology, and homosexual men are flamboyant and love fashion. No matter what race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or age group someone belongs to, he or she most likely has a stereotype attached to who he or she is....   [tags: Simplified Conceptions, Groups of People]

Strong Essays
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Role of Promises in Our Society

- The Role of Promises in Our Society Promises. They play an integral part in everybody’s life. From the simple I.O.U. to treaties between nations-, everything relies on one’s word and promise. Promises have become a fundamental part of a politician’s arsenal to gain popularity and win votes. Many have long promised a chicken in every pot, but sadly, most pots are empty. Businesspeople love to seal deals with a handshake, another form of an agreement, another promise. Most promises are made simply to gain an advantage and are to be broken later at a more ‘convenient’ time....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
542 words (1.5 pages)

The Essential Role Of Stereotype In Propaganda Essay

- The Essential Role Of Stereotype In Propaganda People encounter propaganda and stereotypes in their daily lifestyle from social interaction with peers to family and the media. Propaganda and stereotype are correlative; however their conceptual fundaments are different. Propaganda is a systematic manipulation of public opinion that is consciously disseminated to promote a doctrine or cause. Contemporary propaganda deliberately attempts to alter peoples’ opinion and influence human behaviour through common broadcasters such as “politicians, advertisers, journalists, and radio personalities” (Delwiche 2002)....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Strong Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)

The Metamorphosis of the Schemer Stereotype Essay

- The Metamorphosis of the Schemer Stereotype In looking at movies and television, one can definitely argue that the viewer is subjected to a variety of human characters and personality types – some are older, some are younger; some are outspoken, some are timid; some are brash, some are patient – the range of characters and identities is endless. Unfortunately, this may lead to rash generalizations about gender, and in many instances, it often leads to something far more impetuous and dissuading: the stereotype....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Strong Essays
2081 words (5.9 pages)