Analysis: The Balancing Act
In modern-day speeches, rhetorical strategies are often used to impact listeners. In Michael J. Fox’s speech about Parkinson’s Disease, he uses rhetorical strategies to assist in influencing the Senate Subcommittee to promote a larger budget to help aid in research for this disease from which he suffers, along with many more Americans.
Fox’s celebrity status substantiated his confrontation with the Senate Subcommittee to support the “need for greater federal investment in Parkinson’s research.” As an advocate of Parkinson’s Disease, Fox’s witness was greater, for people of the Senate most likely knew him from his place on the television in the past two decades. This strategy was helpful in asking for a greater budget because of his notable status.
The approach on the topic of requesting more funding for Parkinson’s is taken in a gracious manner by Fox. By praising past efforts of the legislators, he makes immediate contact with his audience. Rather than criticizing them about their insufficient spending, he very graciously elaborates on how the amount donated for research is not adequate enough in aiding the experimentation for the cure of Parkinson’s Disease.
The overall structure of Fox’s speech is highly tactical in his request for more federal funding. He begins by explaining his personal experience, therefore, he was able to reach out to the audience on a more personal level. Then he explains exactly what the poorly funded disease is and how he manages to live with Parkinson’s. In doing so, he logically reasons with the Senate and is able to give them a feeling of what it is like to live with the disease. Later in his speech, he shares the important statistics so Parkinson’s does not appear to be rare and shares with the Senate that “The scientific community believes that with a significant investment in Parkinson’s research, new discoveries and improved treatment strategies are close at hand.” Using this scientific...
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