Conservatism and Audience

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Ronald Reagan’s address to the National Associations of Evangelicals (NAE) proved to be a speech that will forever be remembered and referenced because of its rhetoric. In a time of war, Reagan delivered a speech that impacted our nation and branded the term “evil empire” in the minds of Americans in reference to the Soviet Union. His deliberative “Evil Empire” speech strategically coaxed the audience by commending the religious power of America and advocating the unity of religion and politics. Reagan knew exactly what to say and how to say it in order to gain the support of his audience.

Reagan was and still is known to be a “Great Communicator”. He seems to know exactly what to say to a particular audience in a way that is inoffensive and empowering. Before he said the first word of his speech, he was already a credible speaker to his audience of conservative religious citizens because he was also a conservative republican known for delivering great speeches. However, this speech enabled Reagan to gain the trust and attention of his audience. The entire speech is framed in religion which was his key to connecting with this audience of the most religious members of society. He begins by thanking the audience for their prayers for him and his wife and revealing himself to be a praying man. This was the first statement that won ears in the audience. Stating that he believes in prayer was an excellent way to use ethos, pathos, and logos in one paragraph. This allowed the audience to see Reagan in a more personal light. He showed them that he too was a religious person and allowed them to feel as if he shared their same values.

Reagan used issues and statistics that were not very credible, but the subject of them appealed to the audience. He first spoke of abortions and how there were clinics allowing underage children to receive abortions without the consent of parents. This was sure to strike the nerves of these highly religious conservatives. This has...
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