Bias, Rhetorical Devices, and Argumentation
The topic I chose to examine was the “1992 Republican National Convention Address: A Whisper of AIDS” by Mary Fisher (1992). I was impressed with how even keeled she presented her speech. If there was any bias, then I had trouble detecting it with one exception; that she implied that if you are ignorant and believe the hype that only minorities, gays, and drug users can contract aids. (Fisher, 1992). I feel that it was a rhetorical analogy that she used with fear to get her point across when she used an example of scare tactics in the quote: “If you believe you are safe, you are at risk.
If you do not see this killer stalking your children, look again. There is no family or community, no race or religion, no place left in America that is safe. Until we genuinely embrace this message, we are a nation at risk. ” (Fisher, 1992). Mary addressed her argument by appealing to the audience that despite any belief or denial they have about AIDS is the truth is that anyone can contract HIV/AIDS.
She spoke with a very un-emotional voice but used fear, and rightfully so, as the premise of her argument. She proved her claim by presenting statistics at the beginning of her speech stating 200,000 Americans have died of AIDS up to 1992. She showed the opposition of her claim by presenting the various stereotypes that medicine, society, and the media have placed on AIDS and HIV. (Fisher, 1992). I was impressed with Mary’s ability to present a very emotional and scary topic with a balanced tone of voice.
Because she didn’t present emotion I was able to take in what she was saying even as she used various devices to get her point across and I felt this was very effective. At the end when she spoke to her children as the future of her cause was a tear jerker, and even if this wasn’t necessary, was a smart move to gain support for her cause. The underlying current of her whole speech was that with proper education and an open mind we will be able to stamp out AIDS from existence and still help the ones infected now.