In E . J. Dionne’s essay, “Political Stupidity, U. S. Style” he wants to address the political stupidity that the government is making. To start his argument, he raises an emotional question, “Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? ” The author is saying are we letting politics, irrational ideas on fiscal policy and an antiquated political structure undermine our power. He divides political stupidity into three parts: stupid tax policies, irrational ideas on fiscal policy and antiquated political structure.
In his essay, “Political Stupidity, U.S Style,” Dionne employs ethos, connotation and an emotional appeal. In paragraph sixteen, Dionne uses ethos. He writes, “I’m a chronic optimist about America. ” E. J. Dionne is confident about the future to get better but we need well intentioned republicans who care about the nation interest to realize something has gone fundamentally wrong with their party and work to help bring it back. To get rid of political stupidity, he wants to form a senate, a new conservatism that is worthy of our name, liberals willing to speak out on the threat our daft politics poses to our influence in the world, and moderates.
However the readers might have complete trust of the government of the United States and so they might not like someone questioning their credibility. In paragraph number seventeen, Dionne uses connotation saying “We need moderates who do more than stick their fingers in the wind to calculate the halfway point between two political poles. ” Dionne is hoping to make people aware of the political stupidity and the need to bring change in the system of politics.
Sticking their fingers in the wind, means a person putting his finger in the wind is unlikely to come up with original solutions, and decisions are made without backing evidence. It says that the politicians are making blind decisions without even thinking about its consequences. It also makes them look like fools running the country. However, if some people think that the politicians were fools, the United States would not have been a super power. In paragraph seven, Dionne uses a strict emotional appeal as a mean to persuade his audience.
He writes, “The simple truth is that the wealthy in the United States- the people who have made almost all the income gains in recent years- are under taxed compared with everyone else. ” Consider two reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. One, issued last month, highlighted findings from the Congressional Budget Office showing that, “The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007.
” The other, from February, used Internal Revenue Service data to show that the effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes declined by nearly half in just over a decade, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger. He writes this, hoping that by using the reports from the Congressional Budget Office, he would be able to prove his point that the United States is politically stupid. It seems as if he is trying to bring awareness among the people of the United States about the decisions made by politicians.
Although he has demonstrated his evidence very convincingly and it seems that he would get his readers attention and they would listen to his concerns but some of his readers think that he is being blunt and through his essay he is making direct acquisitions on the politicians of the United States. The United States is falling behind and the public seems not to notice. In paragraph number fourteen, Dionne talks about the structure of our government. He talks about how the ratio between the largest and smallest state was 13 to 1. Now it’s 68 to 1.
He writes,” because of the abuse of the filibuster, 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the national population can, in principle, block action supported by 59 senators representing more than 89 percent of our population. And you wonder why it’s hard to get anything done in Washington? ’’ Dionne gives convincing evidence to support his claim which is the politics of the United States is stupid. He uses ethos and shows his concerns by saying he is a chronic optimist about America. He also uses reports to prove his point and persuade the audience. However he seems blunt and tells it like it is without any fear.
Subject: Taxation in the United States,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 November 2016
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