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Why can’t we all get along? “Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today (Miller).” Today politics is all about who you know and how to obtain “the goal.” It isn’t about who is going to do the best job or informing the public about important stands on issues. On September 1, 2004 Senator Zell Miller of Georgia illustrated a great example of this. Zell Miller is a conservative democrat from Young Harris, GA. He is an ex-marine, a Methodist, and a family man. Senator Zell Miller gets way off track and begins using a very negative rhetorical approach during his speech at the National Republican convention.
Senator Miller begins and ends his speech by relating to the audience. He refers to his family as his most precious possession. This is a good technique to get his audience, the registered voter, interested in his speech. He then uses key words and phrases to draw the audience in even further.
“I know that’s how you feel about your family also.” “Like you, I think of their future, the promises and perils they will face.” “Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in. “And Like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and yes, the backbone to best protect my family?”
Senator Miller uses denotative language when making comments about his family. He gives examples to show Bush is a family man and a religious man as well. Miller says, “I am moved by the respect he shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America.
Miller builds his credibility by stating that he was a Marine (patriotic). He tells the audience he's family oriented (just like everyone else). He also states that he worked with George Bush as a governor (knowing him on a personal level being able to talk of his character).
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Miller then states, “His family is more important than his party.” This becomes obvious in the middle of his speech when he starts bashing the Democratic Party. He asks the question, “Where is the bi-partisanship in this country when we need it most?” Then Senator Miller proceeds to contradict himself in the next part of the speech when he brings up countless invalid points. Miller constructs a list of decisions Kerry has made and begins to incorporate negative opinions instead of sticking to the issues of the Bush Administration.
Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.
Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.
The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.
The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.
I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.
This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces?
U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?
None of this information is pertinent to whether or not one should vote for Bush. His whole point was not to inform the audience about what Bush is going to do or what Bush has done for “us” in the past, but to encourage voters not to believe in John Kerry. Senator Miller refers to John Kerry eleven times in his speech and to George Bush only six. If Senator Miller had stuck to his nominee this speech would have been stronger.
There is a great deal of emotion in this piece. Miller says, "Our country was not yet at war but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could." This one sentence is solely calling on the emotions of the American people, their fear. He has made this one sentence intergenerational; he appeals to all ages of his voting audience. He then asks the older generation to remember the fear and horrors of World War II, when there were "crazy men across the ocean who would kill" them. He says this to get them to remember the fear they once felt, and to feel that fear again in this present situation. He appeals to younger generations by telling them that fear is necessary, for there are still "crazy men across the ocean who would kill" them if they got the chance. Senator Miller is relying on this fear, this raw emotion from all generations, to fear these faceless "crazy men" across the sea and support him in his beliefs. In this case he wants the audience to decide who should be Commander in Chief? He reiterates the importance of fear when he calls the thinking of the Democratic Party "warped." He is referring to the belief that there is no "real danger in the world." He tells his audience that to not fear is to be warped.
If the audience is to vote for Bush they need to know what he is all about. The audience doesn’t want to know why they shouldn’t vote for Kerry. That isn’t the purpose of this speech. This speech is supposed to convince voters why they should vote for Bush. Senator Miller started out well, but got way off track. There are many different kinds of registered voters out there. Some are very well educated. Some have their mind made up before they even listen to the speeches at the National Republican Convention. Others aren’t sure about their views and are looking for inspiration. A well-written speech can make all the difference in a voter’s response.