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ERIC Number: ED440420
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Devolution of 20th Century Presidential Campaign Rhetoric: A Call for "Rhetorical Service."
Heinemann, Robert L.
Over the course of the 20th century, American Presidential campaign rhetoric has undergone various metamorphoses. Most of these changes can be traced to developments in technology and media. Furthermore, many of these changes have had the unfortunate effect of undermining a rational choice of the electorate, and thus threaten our democracy. Like candidate-selecting conventions, controversial debate on substantive issues has all but disappeared, having been replaced by the marketing of images. The marketing process is, in turn, controlled by corporations, unions, PACs, and individual moguls who can finance the huge costs. It seems quite unlikely that those now in power, those benefiting from the system, patrons and politicians alike are likely to change on their own accord. It is within this context of information void created by political planners, strategists, spin doctors, and media consultants working for isolated candidates and anonymous monied interests that this paper will argue that it is up to academics to create rhetorical resources for voters. These resources should range from objective compilations of facts to analysis and interpretation to partisan argument and debate. The dissemination of such communication can be provided by public media such as PBS and NPR, or it can be facilitated by universities themselves, crediting faculty and students as they provide an urgently needed national community service. Contains 36 references. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A