Dissecting Current Issue Rhetoric

Invitation: If you pay even the smallest attention to the world today, you will see arguments over every issue imaginable. In this polarized political climate, everything seems to have two sides and we are constantly being divided into an “us vs. them” mentality. Positive change is often halted by exchanged insults or vicious morality showdowns. Only by changing the way we talk will we learn to actually promote change.

Prompt: Choose an issue in our society that is being discussed in our current political discourse. Examine how people on both sides of this issue are talking about it. What are their goals and how are they achieving them? Is there an over-abundance or lack of our key modes of persuasion (Ethos, Pathos, Logos)? Does the rhetoric stay focused in the past (blame) or present (values, morals, division of right and wrong)? Or is there any focus on deliberative rhetoric: making choices, compromises, and advocating for the advantageous or mutual goal?

Summarize and break down the similarities and differences in how this argument is being treated by both sides and analyze the effectiveness. Is anyone being persuasive? Why or why not?