ERIC Number: ED313743
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-23
An Ethical Analysis of Reagan's Rhetoric Justifying the Invasion of Grenada.
Dowling, Ralph E.
A study examined the Ronald Reagan Administration's rhetoric about the invasion of Grenada to determine its ethical quality and whether the American public could make a fair judgment about the incident based on this rhetoric. Examination of President Reagan's rhetorical efforts revealed numerous violations of democratic ethical standards. Arguments and evidence that were distorted and withheld inhibited the American public's ability to appraise the incident fairly. Four criteria for democratic ethical standards were clearly violated. The first criterion requires that all relevant evidence be disclosed, and the record shows that significant facts were withheld from the American public. The second criterion of democratic standards of ethics requires that all arguments be clearly presented and understood. The Administration, however, disseminated inaccurate information and many unproven assertions. Democratic ethics also require the individual be allowed to make a rational, well informed choice. Clearly, since the American public was deliberately deceived, its ability to make a significant choice was impeded. Finally, the democratic standards require that appropriate emotion be used. Here, again, the Reagan Administration failed by consistently appealing to fear for the safety of the Americans and the threat of communism as justifications for the invasion, when neither was justified. (Twenty-nine references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Grenada