In a speech delivered on 2 October 1926, concerning the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy played a number of different roles. In the first two paragraphs, he plays the role of the chief executive as he updates the American citizenry on the current state of affairs. His reference to ‘the government’ shows that he is speaking as the top person in the administration.
The third and fourth paragraphs are noteworthy in that he goes into detail about the destructive capacity of the deployed missiles and their potential range capabilities. By explaining these details to the public, he is playing the role of commander in chief of the American forces. President Kennedy was at pains to convince the American people that he tried his best to reason and negotiate with the Soviet foreign minister despite the latter’s dishonesty.
His diplomatic efforts reveal another role of chief diplomat, which he plays very deftly by restating various international treaties that the Soviets appear to have violated. Kennedy also reminds his audience that he personally warned the USSR on two occasions about the dangers of military buildups so close to American soil, but they appear to have ignored his warnings. These actions portray the soviets as the aggressor and the US as the victim.
International opinion normally favors the victim and in this case, Kennedy’s speech is gain to international support for a Soviet withdrawal from Cuba. In appealing to the American people to support him against a treacherous enemy, Kennedy is using the power of persuasion to sway the American public to his side and stir up patriotic feelings. This is evident in the one sentence paragraphs, ‘that statement was false ‘repeated twice.
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