What evidence does Moore offer to support his contention that America is a nation of idiots? Is calling us all a "nation of idiots" an effective way to get our attention and sympathies? Moore shares a number of personal experiences in this selection to dramatize his disgust with formal education. Overall, how would you characterize his attitude toward school and schooling? What textual evidence leads you to make those conclusions? What are the potential problems with using this kind of rhetorical or argumentative strategy in his writing?
Moore offers evidence of public ignorance to support that America is a nation of idiots. He does this by stating, “Only 11 percent of the American public bothers to read a daily newspaper, beyond the funny pages or the used car ads” (Idiot Nation excerpt, Colombo, Cullen, Lisle, 129). This example is a good reflection of Moore’s attitude and style of grabbing the reader’s attention. He relates to the readers in simple terms, but always with a hint of sarcasm. I believe that calling America a “nation of idiots” is an effective way of getting us to listen. The way Moore sees it, schools have used various tactics to educate its students and politicians have used different forms of engaging the public, but the public is not interested. Moore states, “A nation that not only churns out illiterate students but goes out of its way to remain ignorant and stupid is a nation that should not be running this world – at least not until a majority of its citizens can locate Kosovo (or any other country it has bombed) on the map” (Idiot Nation excerpt, Colombo, Cullen, Lisle, 129). The potential problem with using this kind of rhetorical strategy in his writing is that the readers probably do not think of themselves as “idiots” and therefore will assume that Moore’s words do not apply to them and readers will tune out. Another problem is Moore will offend some of his audience and naturally these audience members will become defensive and...
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