On the brink of two different wars, two United States’ Presidents rose up to the challenge of calming the American people and fighting for the belief of justice. A day after devastation on December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation”. At the beginning of a terrorist crisis in 2001, George W. Bush announces a “‘War on Terror’ Declaration”. Both Presidents have many similarities in common, yet their differences set them apart with uniqueness. These two speeches, separate by nearly sixty years, weave an outright and assertive tone into their diction and detail.
Within both Presidential speeches diction is used to similarly inform and alleviate the American people. Franklin D. Roosevelt admits he and the U.S. government were “deceived” (5) by a “deliberately planned” (5) attack which, he declares, will be remembered with “infamy” (2). Roosevelt targets Japan with spiteful and traitorous words letting Americans know he too is vengeful and offended by the attack. George W. Bush gathers nations together for the “fight of all” (35) against the “murderers” (13) of al Qaeda to stop their “evil and destruction” (16). George W. Bush cons the idea of al Qaeda being a natural embodiment of evil, boldly shaming the group for their atrocities to show his disagreement with al Qaeda’s beliefs. Likewise, he and Bush reveal the enemy with malice statements, providing model images of the enemy for Americans to accept and channel their hate towards. Both Presidents know of the panic and fear the American people now have, therefore they each use powerful words to portray fearlessness of the enemy. According to Roosevelt, the actions of the Japanese empire “...
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... Roosevelt’s address on Pearl Harbor. The amount of detail given is imperative because it provides Presidential power over the mindsets of Americans.
Although both Presidential speeches are in different eras, they still had an equal effect of empowering the United States. The similarities enforced past ideas while the differences present new ones. A considerable similarity is the fact the speeches were given just before the United States of America went to war. A major difference between these two Presidential addresses is the way they persuade Americans to commence war: Franklin D. Roosevelt uses heated anger to fuel the fire of the American hearts and in contradiction George W. Bush guides Americans to battle with visions of unity and alliance. Although the speeches have an equal amount of similarities and differences they complement each other as day and night.
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