America, as the world’s most powerful nation, has faced several challenges to be the leading nation that it is today. Being ahead of the pack has been the sole motivating factor for Americans. Americans always strive to ensure that the U.S remains victorious despite the various challenges that it faces. This trait of the United States and its people is depicted in the article “Don’t Bet against America” by David Von Drehle. This research paper will analyze the article in an effort to determine the effectiveness of the article in conveying its intended message. Furthermore, the paper will consider the reasons that motivated the author into writing the article.
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The article, “Don’t Bet against the United States,” speaks of the resolute nature of the United States as a country, even in the face of hardships and tribulations. The article notes that there are several incidences that have led many Americans to claim that the U.S’s downward spiral is irredeemable. Influential Americans such as Samuel Adams clearly stated that there was no possibility of men ever being free. Charles Lindbergh despaired and said that there was no possibility of America winning if it ever engaged in a war, in Europe. Despite such comments of individual despair, the entire America has had adequate civilization and adequate virtue. Furthermore, the US has always been resolute and united even in times of crisis. In the early years, when the author was still young, the cold war was raging; Russia propagated the notion that the USA was “as dumb as rocks.” In addition to that, the president, John F, Kennedy also asserted that USA had an oblique future and that there was no hope for brighter and happier days ahead. Eight years later, President Richard Nixon to claim that the country had sunk even lower and had performed poorly in every aspect than during Eisenhower’s tenure. During this time, the country faced numerous issue such as a costly Vietnam War and scandals such as the Watergate scandal. It was President Jimmy Carter who began to sow the seeds of hope among Americans. The author further explains that America has had to soldier on through tougher situations ranging from The Great Depression and prodigies of soviet science. The fact that America always came out victorious is a clear indicator of power and strength that it beholds. The purpose of the author coming up with such an article is to describe to the audience how America has come a long way to become such a powerful nation. The author seeks to encourage and give hope to Americans that, despite the current challenges facing the country, there have been tougher times before. The author cites several relations and experiences that America has gone through and eventually emerged victorious despite the odds being against America. The author has effectively communicated the purpose of the article. The examples clearly place the United States at a disadvantage. However, America withered the challenges. The author references to the economic recession that hit the country in 1958. He suggests that it would be expected that America would be no more just like the “Captain and Tennille.” However, the United States did not fail.
The author’s audience is the American citizenry. The author targets the American citizens to encourage them and remind them that just like in the past, America will pass through the tough and challenging times. The author uses several statements that suggest communication with American citizens. A key indicator is when the author states that, “Poor U.S of A.…” The author directly references to the United States of America. This statement indicates that the author is targeting the American people.
The author has effectively used logos in his attempt to persuade his audience of his line of reasoning. The author does this by arranging the events that America has undergone in a chronological manner from the Boston circa of 1790, through the damning report on schools of 1983, the recession of 1958, the Vietnam War and the civil war. These events are crucial events in the history of United States. The author uses these events to show the logic in suggesting that the current tough situation is not new to America. This is remarkably convincing to the audience since the events used are key historical milestones that relate to every American. The author further alludes to the current problem of income inequality. This is a common problem facing Americans, and the relation to past events makes sense.
Pathos has also been used to clarify the message in the article. The author has ingeniously incorporated events in the history of America that have emotional aspects involved with them. To begin with, the Russian demeaning of USA touched in the patriotism of many Americans. Furthermore, the civil war and Vietnam wars resulted in the loss of loved ones in the military. These events have a significant emotional attachment to the American people. Therefore, the author has effectively used ethos in his attempt to persuade the targeted audience.
Ethos has also been extensively used in the article. The author develops his credibility in order to persuade the audience. The author refers to the tax code when making a statement about the issue on income inequality. Furthermore, the use of statistical data to corroborate statements also plays a significant role in building the story’s credibility. The author gives the value for the production of a single American. A single American produces what six Chinese citizens produce per capita. Additionally, Americans produce more than the Germans and the Japanese by up to 30 % while the European Union by up to 45%.
In conclusion, the examples used by the author are persuasive because they focus on all the three aspects of persuasion; pathos, ethos and logos. The chronological arrangement of historical events influences the logos, the inclusion of examples that touch the audience’s emotions involve pathos while the use of statistical examples gives the author’s work immense credibility and influences the audience’s ethos. These examples are persuasive enough to make the audience contend with the author’s opinions of the issue at hand.
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