Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sanders' New Approach

Bernie Sanders is one of the prominent contenders for the Democratic Party's nomination of the 2016 presidential election. Sanders gains his support through emphasizing and expanding his skills of rhetorical strategies. In the most recent Democratic debate, Sanders took a more aggressive attitude towards his opponents, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley, ultimately allowing him to receive the final 'win'(as according to most viewers and internet users) before the first primary election in Iowa. Throughout the debate, Sanders contentiously establishes his ethos and pathos to draw more voters and convince Americans that he is best suited to be the next president of the United States.

In the beginning of the debate, Sanders uses ethos when he forcefully depends his viewpoints on presented issues. When moderator asks Sanders about his controversial split-viewpoint on gun control, Sanders fires back with a clearer point of direction. Sanders expresses that "as a senator from a rural state with virtually no gun control" he is the position to make American feel united about this issue. Sanders explains how he knows from experience that he will succeed in making Americans unified on gun control. Additionally, Sanders also speaks of the time of when he was a congressman in Vermont in 1988. He continually uses vehement words such as "stood up," "came out," and "maintained the position" to establish his trustworthy character towards the audience. Sanders also asserts his views are legitimate, due to his previous experience in such gun legislation. He attacks the issue with background and strong emotion to rigorously establish his views. Ethos prevails as one of the dominant forms of rhetoric Sanders uses to capture his audience. 

Furthermore, Sanders creates strong pathos when expressing his future plans for America.  When discussing his top priorities if elected president, Sanders determines he stands for universal healthcare, increased minimum wage, and more employment opportunities. He frequently asserts phrases such as "I'll bring America together," and "[I'll] have a government that works for all of us!" enthusiastically to convey to his audience that he is active and will respond to the needs of his voters. Sanders pulls emotion from stating powerful words to convince his audience he will make a better America. Additionally, Sanders claims that this campaign is a "political revolution!" Sanders declares such powerful and possibly radical terms in effort to demonstrate his positive and beneficial differences from the other candidates. Conveying such terms allows the supporters to rally behind Sanders and to see him have his motivation for a cause he is passionate about. From these examples, pathos is a eminent element Sanders establishes to win over voters. 


  1. You thoroughly analyzed his approaches and how they appeal to the audience. Sanders' successful use of ethos and pathos is examined and gives us a clear understanding of his platform.

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  3. Personally, I believe that if a candidate brings strong pathos to the table, they need to back it up with logos and ethos and firmly state their plans to change the nation. Do you believe that Sander's did that? Do you believe that Sanders had a good balance of ethos, pathos, and logos in the debate? I think that his arguments are so effective because he is very concise on issues. Do you agree?