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Comparing Rhetoric Styles of Kennedy and Clinton - Essay Example

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Comparing Rhetoric Styles of Kennedy and Clinton

John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton were not only the greatest leaders of American politics in the twentieth century, but they were two of greatest American orators also. These two prominent leaders faced many rhetorical problems during their public meetings. This paper compares similar rhetorical problems faced by Clinton during his addressing in the 1992 American Legion Convention and Kennedy during his speeches to the Houston Ministerial Association in 1960. During his election campaign speech on September 12th, 1960, John F. Kennedy addressed Houston Ministerial Association which consists of ministers from the Protestant community. Kennedy himself was a firm Roman Catholic believer and he forced to speak about his stands on religion. Because of the increasing conflicts between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, the Houston Ministerial Association members were curious to know what Kennedy says about religion or the beliefs of Protestants and Roman Catholics. In other words, Kennedy was forced to solve the problem; how to uphold his religious belief without causing any insults to the Protestants. Same way Bill Clinton also faced the same type of dilemma during his speech in the 1992 American Legion Convention. Clinton was a strong critic of Vietnam War and he had no military service experiences when he was contesting in the 1992 presidential election. The general public had some concerns about Clinton’s abilities in performing well as the commander in chief of the United States....
Both Kennedy and Clinton faced the dilemma of convincing the audience; something beyond their proven abilities, values, ideals, beliefs etc. In short, public inertia was the common rhetoric problem faced by Kennedy and Clinton. Inertia is the property of an object to stay in its position until an external force changes its position. Both Kennedy and Clinton applied the external force through their speeches to change the beliefs of the audience. I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end, where all men and all churches are treated as equals, where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice, where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind, and where Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, at both the lay and the pastoral levels, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood (Kennedy) Here Kennedy tries to uphold his belief in secular values. He tries to convince the public that in an election campaign, religious beliefs and customs have less prominence in front of the interests of the country. He has stressed the importance of isolating religion from politics during this speech. He argued that America should never become a country which takes orders from the heads of different religions. He had also mentioned that any activity against a particular religion or community should be treated as the activity against the American. In other words, he neither supported his community (Roman Catholics) nor he opposed his opponent community (Protestants). He has maintained a neutral approach about religious beliefs throughout his speeches. Thus he ...Show more


An essay "Comparing Rhetoric Styles of Kennedy and Clinton" reports that smartest speakers often find ways to overcome such rhetorical problems they may face during their speeches. They will never give the opportunity to the listeners to realize their dilemma…
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