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Ronald Reagan Farewell Speech Essay

On January 11, 1989 President Ronald Reagan gave his Farewell Address to the Nation from the Oval Office in The White House. The speech was broadcast live on nationwide radio and television. He had served our country for 8 years and now it was time for George Bush to take office. He used his 34th and final speech as president to not only bid the nation farewell but also to give thanks to the American people. He shares with America his experience as the U.S President and ensures that he could not have made the changes he made without the nation’s help. The speech is deliberative. His goal is to be sure to persuade the people that America is a great nation and that our nation and our people are looked up to by other countries, making America feel like a great place to live.

In regard to logos in the speech, Reagan tells the audience an experience that he had with his wife when they went to Moscow. This was to let them know that he was more than just the President, and that he too liked to indulge in excitement every so often. He and Nancy had decided to lose their entourage to visit a shopping area. In telling the story he said that many of the Russian people recognized them immediately and gave them a warm welcome. In that moment the Committee for State Security shoved the people in the crown. “It was an interesting moment, he said, It reminded me that while the man on the street in the Soviet Union yearns for peace, the government is Communist. And those who run it are Communist, and that means we and they view such issues as freedom and human rights very differently.” This statement makes the American people appreciate what is had in this country and realize that not every country has the liberty of living in a democracy based government. So again, it is something for the American people to be proud of.

He also speaks of the Soviet leader at the time, President Gorbachev and wishes him well in fixing things that are wrong with his society. It is clear that Reagan is proud to serve the American people. Most of the appeal in this speech is to pathos. Very early on in his speech Reagan states, “And so many times I wanted to stop and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well maybe I can do a little of that tonight”. This is the beginning of his regard to pathos. With this statement he is trying to make a connection with the people which he did a phenomenal job of doing so. He uses the term “we” throughout the speech because he wants to be sure that the people know and understand that he has served this country for them. Reagan is also sure to make the people apart of his serving time. “I’ve been asked if I have any regrets. Well I do. The deficit is one”, this is another example of Reagan stepping out of his President shoes and admitting that there were mistakes that were made during his term. His intentions are to simply make the American people proud to be Americans.

In regard to ethos, he talks about how the American tradition is the first in the history of the mankind where we “truly reversed the course of government.” The purpose of government is not to tell people what to do and “tell the people what their privileges are.” Rather, it is the people who tell the government what to do, including “where it should go, and by what route, and how fast.” This is because we are free. The recognition of this principle was, Reagan said, “the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past eight years.” Of all the support that he had from the people he also wanted to be sure that they give him the support that he received. “If we’re to finish the job, Reagan’s regiments will have to become the Bush brigades. Soon he’ll be the Chief, and he’ll need you every bit as much as I did.” With this statement he seems to be genuine in letting the people know that it doesn’t stop here and that George Bush is going to need their continued support in leading the country during his term as well. . He also stated, “I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, Stop.

I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do.” In other words he made it clear that even in his presidency; he has always been an American at heart. Who better to have run a country than a citizen who has everyone’s best interest at hand? And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do. This is his way of attempting to keep the American pride and history going. He wants to be sure that every American understands what being an American is all about. The speech was a plain style speech. Overall the content of the speech is easy to understand. It is simple and straight forward so that it can appeal to Americans of most ages which I feel was what Reagan wanted.

Overall I feel the speech was very effective. In the beginning of his speech Reagan stated that he wanted to connect with the people and he did just that. I appreciated that he continuously made his term seem like a team effort. He constantly used “we”, and “our”, which made me feel that he truly appreciate his people. In his final 2 paragraph of the speech he says, “And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all”. This statement does a great job of tying ethos, logos, and pathos all together. At the finish of the speech although I was not a witness to his presidency, I was proud to have had a president with his characteristics to had served my country.


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