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ERIC Number: ED202075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Value Analysis of the 1980 Presidential Debate.
Hochel, Sandra
Although Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan appealed to many of the same basic American values in the 1980 presidential campaign debate, there were some subtle but major differences in their value appeals. Other than attempting to convince his audience that his policies had been and would be successful and that Reagan's policies would be disastrous, Carter's major persuasive emphasis was to convince his audience that Reagan was impractical and irresponsible. He linked the values of efficiency, practicality, and pragmatism with external conformity, the latter implying that Reagan would upset the tone of American society. Reagan also strongly appealed to the values of efficiency, practicality, pragmatism, achievement, and success, but external conformity was not his basic strategy. The major premises underlying Reagan's arguments were appeals to material comfort and Puritan and pioneer morality. He also appealed more strongly to Americans' aversion to governmental restraints. According to numerous public opinion polls, Reagan won the debate. It is possible that Reagan aimed his arguments at more salient values than did Carter, particularly material comfort and rejection of government authority. It is possible that Carter did more harm than good by appealing to external conformity before an audience that, while commonly accepting standards, still prizes individualism. (HTH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A