ENG102 Barbara Jordan Essay - Barbara Jordans speech on...

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Barbara Jordan’s speech on ImpeachmentPresident Richard Nixon withheld evidence, lied to Congress and stole important funds and documents. I say that this is true and he should have been impeached. This was the stance that House Representative Barbara Jordan took in her July 25th, 1974 televised speech, “Statement on the Articles of Impeachment” before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. In this paper I will summarize this speech, share my own views on the subject, as well as the quality of her speech and show her use of rhetoric tools. Barbara Jordan’s main goal of the speech is to persuade the audience that the President should face charges of impeachment for his actions. She uses explicit details when referring to the charges she is claiming he has committed. Barbara Jordan gave this speech in front of the House Judiciary Committee, however this was a televised speech that could have been seen by anyone with a television. Therefore she had quite the diverse audience. She opened her speech by referring to the preamble of the Constitution. “Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: "We, the people." It's a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that "We, the people." (Barbara Jordan-1). She uses the rhetorical technique of “pathos”, or appeal to the emotions of the audience, to connect to the audience and she does this successfully. By bringing up the Constitution and at the same time referring to her race and the issue of racial inequality she touches a nerve with the audience. The audience therefore feels compassionate towards her.

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