In the USA, there is an election held every four years and their first official inaugural speeches will be given by the newly elected president. I will compare the used of rhetorical in the speech during the election campaign from Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The length of the two speeches is 1471 words long for Donald Trump in 2017, compared with 2404 words for Barack Obama’s inaugural speech in 2009. Barack Obama use more
Firstly, in the speech “Yes, we can” is one of the most influential speeches of Barach Obama, the 44th president of the United States.The mention of the political situation is also an essential component of Obama’s victory. The former president administration involved the Iraq battle war with other countries, this unpopular warfighting which the USA would not be able to escape itself from the war. In Afganistan, due to the military mission, it has cost a large amount of money to the taxpayers. Also, the great deep recession in the economy during that time makes the election debates worst and damaged the popularity of the Republicans.
The speech uses lots of powerful rhetoric devices in his speech during the presidential campaign.Rhetorical devices are used to make a speaker’s arguments appealing and memorable, helping them achieve their intention of creating a connection with their audience and encouraging the audience to accept their arguments.(definition from the studienet.dk website). He normally uses these words in this speech where they are inclusive in the mother wit that all Americans are the addresses in the speech, even the ones not physically nowadays in the audiences.He often uses lots of personal pronouns such as “I”, “We” “Us” and “Our” to emphasize his membership from the Republic Party in front of America and to aid between him and the audience.
And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect, for the world has changed, and we must change with it. (I. quote from Obama’s speech)
In this quote, I explore the word the repetition of the word “we”. Obama’s use of pronoun can be understood in such a way that he reaches out to other developed countries such as Mexico, Cuba and etc. and makes them felt urges to follow America ‘s leading role in how they paid attention they respond to the world earthly concern and the future of the planet in the next century. The first few pronouns refer solely to Americans, however, the rest can be seen to encompass a larger team of people, all countries that are “enjoy(ing) relative plenty.” This creates a group-mentality of sorts between people from distinct nations. This might mean that those people are rich, they can able to enjoy the rest of their life however, they should think of the outside of the world, there are thousand millions of people suffering without basic sanitation or not even have a better a stable job to supply their standard of living to survive.
However, he seems to like to use the third person plural pronouns, “We”, “Us” and “Our” in the rest of the speech, the pronouns which play their significant role in creating sense of unity of the speaker with the audience.We, us and our(s) are employed 61, 20 and 65 times respectively and are, probably, the most often used words of the speech. He makes the connection between the American people because he thinks most of the problems can be solved when it’s with us which is the citizens of the United States.(A Linguistic Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Address by Liilia Batluk pg.9)
Following the personal pronouns, Obama uses repetition to drive the message of his hope and unity, in addition, to use the deeply embedded metaphor to explain the current state of the United States faces. First, I will talk about a metaphor that Obama used in the inaugural speech.A metaphor is usually highly common used rhetorical tools in their speech. Most political leaders used oversimplifying metaphor themes in their crisis speeches in order to make the crisis more understood and more clear to the people. (An analysis of metaphor used in political speeches responding to the financial crises of 1929 and 2008 by Hanne Penninck,2014).
Obama uses the metaphorical language to begins his speech to gain the trust and attention of the audience.
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. (II)
The opening of the speech is making Obama and the audience place on the same level. He is very humbled with the aid of the challenge they all share with the audience and he is solely in this role due to the fact of the people voting and their trust. He pays lots of respects to those people who have born and died before he appeared. The main goal to establish this speech because he wanted the people to get united so that he could reach his goal and keep the world in peace. The use of the word “I” and “You” is a pathos which built up the emotion through the speech and also gains the audience support.
Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer and more memorable. As a rhetorical device, it could be a word, a phrase, or a full sentence to repeated to emphasize its significance in the entire text. However, repetition is not distinguished solely as a figure as a figure of speech, but more as a rhetorical device.(definition from the literacy device website) In this speech Obama repeated the main slogan of his first victory of inaugural speech “Yes, we can” more than five times. The three words become the mantra of the Obama campaign, this makes it more motivational to persuade the people, it seems to be promising that the government can and will solve the issues of America. It helps to gain the trust of the people, by solving the energy crisis, healthcare crisis, end of the war and bring lasting peace. If people have enough faith this could change the world even a single bit.
Obama also emphasized the rhetorical question “What change will they see” and “What progress will we have to made?” this makes them think about what they should do, what they changed and by using what kind of progress to change.
Next, I will analyze the inaugural speech by Donald Trump called “Make American Great Again” on 20th January 2017, he was successful again the presidential campaign against the Democrats candidate, Hillary Clinton and to become the 45th president in the next four years. “Make America Great Again” serves as a perfect microcosm of Trump’s rhetoric and reveals much about the assumptions inherent in many who have been wooed by the Republican nominee for president. At some point, America has moved from a state of greatness to a state of non-greatness — that America has endured a significant regress. (A Rhetorical Analysis of “Make America Great Again” by Josh Skinner)
In this speech, Trump’s use lot of inclusive, collective pronouns “We”. Trump employed “we” as the leading element in a rhetorical device called anaphora, where the repetition of a word helps to knit together a series of sentences.( In victory speech, Donald Trump discovers the power of ‘we” by Christian Lundberg, Nov 9, 2016).
“We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time, we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us. We will be. We will have great relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships.”
The repetition of “We will” is used to make people to united for a greater hoping to be successful. This repeated use of ‘we will’ accomplishes two important goals. First, it’s a departure from Trump’s usual tone, moving from the self-focused ‘I’ of the campaign trail to the broader idea of ‘we’ the nation. Second, it changes the tone of the speech from candidate Trump’s negative claims of an America under threat toward a tone that is aspirational, even hopeful.” (Trump’s rhetoric has suddenly flipped from me-me-me to we-we-we said by Christian Lundberg, wrote by Georgia Frances King, Nov 10, 2016).It makes the people feel that “we” are important because if we don’t unite together, the whole world will change, the economy of the countries will be affected and other countries will put all the blame toward Americans, not to Trump. He also repeated “great” three times, this show how we should have a good relationship between each other, so that the outsider will feel we are satisfied with the new president ruling.