America's Story if it Happened Somewhere Else

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On December 22nd, 2017, the Washington Post published this article written by Ishaan Tharoor. A recap of Trump's first year in office is made by the writers. He uses the article to make a critical evaluation of the changes seen in the president's position during 2017. The writer criticizes the government as a matter of fact, and makes it clear that the new leadership is unfit for office. The article provides vivid critique that suggests the writer's deep disapproval. According to the report, Donald Trump, referred to as "the leader" in parables, is not up to the challenge and is in charge of serving his interest and the will of those close to him. In the first place, “the leader” was not elected on a popular vote which according to the article makes him a president of the minority. Secondly, the leader’s actions after assuming office are not convincing and render him incompetent. Although the writer uses facts to show his contempt for the leader, the argument is full of biases, and to a more significant deal, the prejudices form the basis for this article. As a reader, one will not hesitate to note the hatred the writer has for the leader described in the section.

The article uses a deductive form of argumentation to bring forth its debate. Right from the start, the author use true premises to develop his claims and form his conclusion. The conclusion is entailed by the premises of the argument indicating that the reasoning is deductive and valid. For instance, the author makes valid claims and uses facts to shape the debate presented in the document. A typical deductive argument will assert the premises and accept the conclusion. Apparently, the case filed in the article above asserts its propositions and makes a determination based on the claims it states. One can tell the side which the author supports because he criticizes the leader throughout the argument making his stand evident even before he concludes.

The article makes use of the three persuasive appeals. The three are logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos are the most rampant of the three in the piece and are used to shape this argument. The debate as presented in the article is founded on facts and real premises. The leader criticized in the item has not been able to live up to the expectation the whole nation had on him. The information shared in the article is the same information that is found in the public domain. Therefore, the argument made is logical and is readily accepted by the reader due to the truth in it. For example, the accusation made on the president by the author is real and known to every citizen. The president is accused of making inflammatory remarks during his campaigns which is right. Hence, the argument made in the article makes sense and is highly convincing.

Similarly, the author also embraces the use of ethos. The language used in the article is polite and non-abusive. The writer has used his expertise to communicate facts in a manner that shows respect to the subject discussed and does not offend the reader in any way. Ethos is fundamental in literature for they help develop confidence and esteem of the speaker or author among his/her audience (Mshvenieradze, 2013). The use of parables and metaphors evident in the article are among the numerous ways in which the author developed the ethos in the argument. Similarly, the magazine in which the report is posted is another source of ethos in the discussion. The Washington Post is a well renowned newspaper and one that is trusted by many readers.

Lastly, the argument achieves its goal of creating contempt through the use of pathos. In line with the claims made in the article, the author’s primary objective is to generate disdain and show discontent of the leader among his subject. He links the idea that the leader was not elected relatively to the fact that the leader is not able to perform as a president of the United States should. The writer first describes how leaders close to the president were opposed to his election and then goes on to show how fast they have been manipulated into acknowledging him. All this is done in a bid to evoke hate among the readers and possibly convince them that the president is not fit for office. Examples of an instance in which the author uses pathos is when he claims that the leadership campaign camp had a connection with a foreign power suspected to have influenced the results of the election in his favor. The pathos help paints a negative picture of a person (Mshvenieradze, 2013) in this case “the leader” corresponding to the writer’s will.

The above three elements of speech are efficiently used in the argument. They successively form the basis of the debate and have helped bring out the perfect picture aspired by the author. With logos and pathos, the article presented a sound persuasive argument that employed the use of facts and feelings to create contempt (Mshvenieradze, 2013). Together, they have aided the author show how the “the leader” is not the man for the office.


Analysis | the story of America in 2017, if it happened somewhere else. (2017). Washington Post. Retrieved 22 December 2017, from

Mshvenieradze, T. (2013). Logos Ethos and Pathos in Political Discourse. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(11).

July 24, 2021
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