Rhetorical Analysis: The Crooked and the Dead

Topics: Rhetoric, Politics, Constitution Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: October 29, 2014
Rhetoric Essay Analysis: The Crooked and the Dead
The article “The Crooked and the Dead” by Jill Lepore, published in the New Yorker, deals with the corruption within our political system. It states that money is the true ruler of the United States. Everything revolves around money in politics. Lepore uses a mixture of logos and ethos in order to try to create the argument that the constitution protects political corruption. Her writing is mainly fact and law based writing with specific scenarios of how they have aided corruption. The rhetoric of the piece is serious and almost entirely fact based, it is written as a dry piece but uses the subject matter to make the reader understand her view.

Jill Lepore primarily uses logos throughout this piece. most of the writing is based off of fact and specific laws within the constitution. Lepore uses these facts to back up her views on how the constitution protects corruption within the political system. Most of the article is laws and talk of committees which appeal to most peoples’ logic. She makes her argument valid through the facts she presents. “Between 2009 and 2012, donors gave $232,000,000 to legislators in Albany, and lobbyists gave $693,000,000, a total of nearly one billion dollars in direct political spending. 80% of of individual contributions came from big donors” (pg. 23), is just one specific example of the facts she presents throughout the article.

Another strong aspect to this article is ethos. She makes the corruption sound so unethical that it seems awful to anyone. She uses specific stories such as that of Halloran to make it seem like corruption is awful. “She thinks that there ought to be three debates: one on education, one on immigration, and one on fracking. But all three would end up being a debate about corruption. no debates are scheduled” (pg. 28) is an example of how she is using ethos throughout the piece. The overall argument of this paper is primarily strengthened by the use of...
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