I. The following selection is taken from a speech delivered by George C. Wallace, former governor of Alabama, on July 4, 1964. In this speech Wallace attacked Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act. The speech is liberally sprinkled with emotive terminology. Make a list of what you consider to be the twenty-five most highly charged words or phrases, and then indicate whether they are intended to evoke a favorable or an unfavorable attitude from the listener.
We come here today in deference to the memory of those stalwart patriots who on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish and defend the proposition that governments are created by the people, empowered by the people, derive their just powers from the consent of the people, and must forever remain subservient to the will of the people. Today, 188 years later, we celebrate that occasion and find inspiration and determination and courage to preserve and protect the great principles of freedom enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress. It is a fraud, a sham, and a hoax. This bill will live in infamy. To sign it into law at any time is tragic. To do so upon the eve of the celebration of our independence insults the intelligence of the American people. It dishonors the memory of countless thousands of our dead who offered up their very lives in defense of principles which this bill destroys. Never before in the history of this nation have so many human and property rights been destroyed by a single enactment of the Congress. It is an act of tyranny. It is the assassin’s knife stuck in the back of liberty. With this assassin’s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the federal force-cult, the leftwing liberals will try to force us back into bondage. Bondage to a tyranny more brutal than that imposed by the British Monarchy which claimed power to rule over the lives of our forefathers under sanction of the omnipotent black-robed despots who sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court. This bill is fraudulent in intent, in design, and in execution. It is misnamed. Each and every provision is mistitled. It was rammed through the Congress on the wave of ballyhoo, promotions, and publicity stunts reminiscent of P. T. Barnum. It was enacted in an atmosphere of pressure, intimidation, and even cowardice, as demonstrated by the refusal of the United States Senate to adopt an amendment to submit the bill to a vote of the people. To illustrate the fraud—it is not a civil rights bill. It is a federal penal code. It creates federal crimes which would take volumes to list and years to tabulate because it affects the lives of 192 million American citizens. Every person in every walk and station of life and every aspect of our daily lives become subject to the criminal provisions of this bill. It threatens our freedom of speech, of assembly, of association, and makes the exercise of these freedoms a federal crime under certain conditions. It affects our political rights, our right to trial by jury, our right to the full use and enjoyment of our private property, the freedom from search and seizure of our private property and possessions, the freedom from harassment by federal police and, in short, all the rights of individuals inherent in a society of free men. Ministers, lawyers, teachers, newspapers, and every private citizen must guard his speech and watch his actions to avoid the deliberately imposed booby traps put into this bill. It is designed to make federal crimes of our customs, beliefs, and traditions. Therefore, under the fantastic powers of the federal judiciary to punish for contempt of court and under their fantastic powers to regulate our most intimate aspects of our lives by injunction, every American citizen is in jeopardy and must stand guard against these despots.
II. The following selections were taken from the letters-to-the-editor section of a newspaper. Each can be interpreted as expressing one or more arguments. Begin by identifying the conclusion of each. Then disengage the covert assumptions, value claims, and other cognitive assertions from the emotive language and translate them into emotively neutral premises. Use the two examples in the text as models. Finally, evaluate the restructured arguments. Some may turn out to be good ones.
Liberalism has turned our welfare system from a social safety net into a hammock. We hand out money with few questions asked. When welfare recipients are asked for some contribution to our society in return, liberals scream that it’s unconstitutional. Liberalism has transformed our criminal justice system into one that cares more about the criminal’s past childhood problems than for the victim. Liberalism in its never-ending quest for “social justice” has sacrificed the rights of the majority while continuing to push the rights of a few to new limits. Liberalism has turned our school system from one of excellence to one where condoms and metal detectors are more important than prayer.