But they added that the President's remarks reflected a welling-up of his concern about social ills and a new determination that his Administration be seen as addressing the crime problem head-on. No Holding Back
In the speech, Mr. Clinton said he had been personally moved by recent news accounts of violence among young people.
And as he stood before the ministers in the Temple Church of God in Christ in an economically depressed neighborhood of south Memphis, he did not hold back from vivid description of the violence that has plagued the black community more than any other. The President said he grieved that more than 37,000 Americans are killed each year by gunshot wounds and that 160,000 children stay home from school each day in fear of violence there. But he said that while passage of tough anti-crime legislation could help to limit the damage, lasting answers must come from within individuals and social institutions.
"I tell you, unless we do something about crime and drugs and violence that is ravaging our country, it will destroy us," Mr. Clinton said. He later vowed, "Somehow, by God's grace, we will turn it around."
For a President who tends to wrestle in many speeches with the arcana of public policy, Mr. Clinton's address to 5,000 ministers and other leaders gathered in the cavernous church was remarkable for its passion. His speech was interrupted by applause many times.
He was welcomed as "the first President of the United States to set foot in this holy place," and Mr. Clinton made clear that he recognized the significance of his visit to the last church in which Dr. King spoke on the night before his assassination more than 25 years ago. It was in that final appearance that Dr. King seemed to foresee his own death as he said he had seen the "promised land" but told the congregation, "I may not get there with you." Feeling at Home
Mr. Clinton clearly felt at home among the group, which was taking part in the 86th convocation of the Church of God in Christ, to whom he was introduced as Bishop Clinton. He said he recognized that he could not have won election last year without the support of blacks, and said he had done his best since taking office to keep the faith.
But Mr. Clinton seemed intent on being seen urging black Americans to assume greater responsibility for the problems in their communities.
It is a theme that has recently been taken up by prominent blacks like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who terms efforts to stop violence the "new frontier of the civil rights movement."
While Dr. King could take pride in the election of black Americans to political office, in the expansion of opportunity for them and in the creation of a black middle class, Mr. Clinton said he otherwise might say:
"I did not live and die to see the American family destroyed. I did not live and die to see 13-year-old boys get automatic weapons and gun down 9-year-olds just for the kick of it. I did not live and die to see young people destroy their own lives with drugs and then build fortunes destroying the lives of others. That is not what I came here to do.
"I fought for freedom, he would say, but not for the freedom of people to kill each other with reckless abandonment, not for the freedom of children to have children and the fathers of the children walk away from them and abandon them as if they don't amount to anything. I fought for people to have the right to work, but not to have whole communities and people abandoned. That is not what I lived and died for."
Mr. Clinton said he hoped that passage of the crime bill, overhaul of the health care system and an expansion in American jobs could begin to mend what has been damaged. But he said that without changes "from the inside out," nothing that politicians might try could end what he later described as public pathology. Discipline and Love
"Where there is no hope, where there is no order, where we are reducing the size of our armed services because we have won the cold war, who will be there to give structure, discipline and love to these children?" Mr. Clinton asked the church leaders. "You must do that, and we must help you."
Crime is an issue that historically has held more appeal to conservatives, and the Administration's new emphasis on it may be intended, in part, as a foil to concerns that the attention to health care and other traditionally liberal programs reflects an outlook that is skewed to the left.
In remarks after the church address, Mr. Clinton recounted recent chilling news reports and said, "I can no longer justify going to bed at night thinking about these children killing other children, thinking about these little kids planning their own funerals and not doing something about it."
A day after the Justice Department began a criminal investigation into claims that Republicans funneled money to black ministers in New Jersey cities for their help in keeping the black turnout low -- and therefore the Democratic total down -- in the state's election for governor, Mr. Clinton made no mention of the incident, whose details remain murky but which has angered blacks. Seeking Church's Help
Mr. Clinton asked the Church of God in Christ, a denomination that counts five million members from 30,000 churches around the country, for its help "to make our people whole again."
Dr. King delivered his sermon in the church on April 3, 1968, the night before he was shot dead by James Earl Ray on the balcony of a Memphis motel. In that address, he told the congregation: "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land."
Mr. Clinton said this afternoon: "If you had told anybody who was here in the church on that night that we would abuse our freedom in that way, they would have found it hard to believe. And I tell you it is our moral duty to turn it around."Continue reading the main story
Rhetorical Strategies Analysis of “Bill Clinton’s First Inaugural Address” Introduction William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He got authority at the end of the Cold War. During Cold War, in order to compete with the Soviet Union’s military power, the federal government spent a great deal of financial resources to establish a powerful military. The quality of life of common people decreased year after year. At that time, people desired to have a new powerful authority to rebuild people’s confidence.
Clinton won the 1992 presidential election with 42% of the vote against his predecessor, George H. W. Bush who had 37. 4% of the vote. Clinton’s wining ended the Republican rule of the White House of previous years. With 43% of the vote, he outpolled the winning House candidate in five districts. Clinton has been described as a New Democrat. In January 1993, he had campaigned on the theme of change and the public expected him to deliver. And in his first inaugural address, he continually promised change.
The purpose of my article is to figure out: what rhetorical strategies and tactics did President Clinton use in oder to accomplish hi task of change? Inaugural addresses have often served as the civil religion. Clinton was well – prepared to take this tradition. According to the evidence, it suggests his three main resources for first inaugural address are his lifetime study of the Bible, his education at Georgetown University, and his reading of others’ inaugural addresses by Republican and Democratic presidents.
During the campaign Clinton mentioned that when he was a little child, he felt a strong calling to go to church even though his parents did not go. He grew up in the Southern Baptist denomination and as he remembered, “I had to get other people to read the scripture every day or do it myself. ” His religious choice fits the American belief. Most American believe that God “is actively interested and involved in history, with a special concern for America,” as Robert N. Bellah said. During the 1990s, Clinton skillfully used biblical language to make common eople trust him and rebuild their confidence in a future president. Context The inaugural address of an American president is a vital ceremonial event and an occasion for a particular kind of communication between the President and the people. The president represents all the people of a country and his inaugural address shows a direction of the government. The address is the first official announcement made by the new president and it is analyzed as setting the tone for the four years to follow.
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Presidents have had their own skill in shaping and delivering their addresses, drawing on rhetorical devices to convey a message and to communicate a sense of meaning and value. Clinton gave people a vivid image about a brand new future for the United States with a short first address. He bring a metaphor for the future, “a spring reborn in the world’s oldest democracy, that brings forth the vision and courage to reinvent America. ” For the spring to be reborn in America, President Clinton called for government and public to change.
Clinton thought that America have to change for better notion and “not change for change’s sake, but change to preserve America’s ideals – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” Thus, from my perspective, the rhetorical strategy of Clinton’s first address is persuasion. He tries to explain contemporary situation of America and he tries to advocate “change” on this issue. The Strategy of Persuasion As we learned, the three main methods of persuasion involve pathos, ethos and logos. President Clinton seems to use one major approach, pathos, to persuade audiences.
Also you can read Rhetorical Devices in Night Walker by Brent Staples
Pathos is to use emotion to persuade audiences’ minds in a rhetorical argument. President Clinton uses basic American beliefs and ideologies, such as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” trying to arouse people’s passion. Also, he brought out the social problem of America, that “raised in unrivaled prosperity, we inherit an economy that is still the world’s strongest, but is weakened by business failures, stagnant wages, increasing inequity, and deep divisions among our people. ” He used realistic problems to relate to common people’s daily life. It brings out another passion, which is to struggle for their life.
Then, in the middle of his first inaugural address, Clinton calls for people’s responsibilities to renew and create a better nation. He uses child to bring out a bigger theme of posterity and he calls people’s passion to create a better society for their posterity. He said, “posterity is the world to come — the world for whom we hold our ideals, from whom we have borrowed our planet, and to whom we bear sacred responsibility. ” By using pathos of persuasion, President Clinton tried to arouse the public to put more effort into establishing American society in order to renew the United States.
The significant purpose of persuasion always to change people’s behavior eventually. Then, Clinton mentioned three main parts to renew the whole country. First of all, “to renew America, we must be bold,” which brings out the responsibilities of citizens and government; second of all, “we must revitalize our democracy,” which discusses reinventing authority and the federal government; finally, “we must meet challenges abroad as well at home,” and President Clinton gave two ideas both diplomacy and national thoughts. The Strategy of Biblical Language
In the end of first address, President Clinton emphasis on how individuals change themselves to drive the government’s and country’s change. He used emotional language to make that argument, that is “in serving, we recognize a simple but powerful truth — we need each other. ” In the final paragraph of the inaugural address, it included a verse from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, “and let us not be weary in well – doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” which could make special resonance. As mentioned above, Clinton uses biblical language to reference to political trusts and purposes.