Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Grip of the Oil Giants

Our dependence on oil must come to an end by rewarding U.S. automakers and schools that produce highly competitive and efficient vehicles which use other sources of energy at a cost that the average American can afford; although the oil companies will fight to keep selling their products, as the consumer, we can no longer accept the monetary and environmental costs.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Issues of Today

* U.S. Automaker Bailout

* Are Small Businesses the Economic Engine?

* Independence from Foreign Oil and the Oil Industry

* U.S. and China’s Relations

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Mormon for President? Influences in the Nevada's GOP Caucus

Is there a Mormonism phobia in this year’s presidential race? With the republican nomination approaching, the chief editor of Gallup Inc. (Frank Newport) successfully overstates the influence that LDS voters have in Nevada by directing his audience to American Citizens who are not “Mormon.” Newport convinces Non-Mormon Americans by using rhetorical fallacies in conjunction with statistics, logical arguments, allusions, and overstatements to evoke strong emotions and logical questioning to exaggerate how significant Mormon voters are for Mitt Romney; in the Nevada GOP Caucus, “The Mormon Vote in Nevada’s GOP Caucuses.”

Throughout the article, factual statistics are used to inflate the political significance of LDS followers. In the blog post, Newport states that, “95% of these Mormon caucus participants voted for their fellow Mormon- Mitt Romney.” It shouldn’t be a surprise for most of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to vote for a fellow member of their church; their values and beliefs are very similar to each other. Would it be absurd that a Democrat voted for Barak Obama? That question can hint at the notion that Mitt Romney is “guilty by association” and less credible for most of his church advocating him. Therefore, this rhetorical strategy causes the reader to question Romney’s validity, because Newport implies that Mitt is heavily backed by people who only vote for him because they are members of his religious group.

When Newport stated: “Mitt Romney most likely will have a strong foundation of assured votes in Saturday’s Nevada Republican caucuses if this year’s voting patterns duplicate those in 2008,” an argument by deduction was made by Newport. This specific rhetorical tool expresses a logical sounding conclusion, while the true result is not necessarily the same or definitive. Thus, a reader of Newport’s article might think that simply because Mitt stole Nevada in 2008, he will do so again this year. Why? Because the author infuses the idea that Mitt Romney will very likely win this year since he did in the past. Thus, Mr. Newport places the conclusion as his opinionated ending result. Also, Newport insinuates that Mormons are simply coerced into the “ad populum” bandwagon that they should vote for a Mormon because they are. Although, this may be the case for some in the LDS Church, it could easily be said that parental political influence affects voters just the same. Even further, in the 2008 election, many voted for President Obama because he is black. Some voters chose Obama because they didn’t want to appear bigoted. They chose to forgo ideals and parties to support a history in the making moment by backing the first and only black president of the United States. The editor uses the “ad populum” ideology to express that many Mormons do this, and that it is wrong-- while others perform this very action in another instance without any question.

Later, Newport makes the allusion that: “Mitt Romney most likely will have a strong foundation of assured votes in Saturday’s Nevada Republican caucus,” because “Mormons are highly likely to be Republicans.” However, that statement is both a “sweeping generalization” and a “red herring” to the issue at hand. Those living in more rural areas are likely to be conservative, while those in more populated areas or cities usually have a more liberal opinion. Regardless the political view, every regional social group or religious culture has their own collective preferences, making it neither wrong nor right. Each social/cultural voice is equally important to the entire society as any other. By using the rhetorical fallacy, “sweeping generalization,” the author causes the reader to assume that most Mormons are Republican. Newport uses this strategy to distract the reader from the real issues, and makes him or her think that more LDS members will vote for Mitt Romney.

It is quite interesting, towards the beginning of his article, Newport creates a huge overstatement that, “Romney will have a built-in cushion of support in Saturday’s voting… There is no reason to believe that [he] will not try to duplicate that feat this year.” Although, Newport later comes forward saying that, “It's important to note that Romney would have won in 2008 without the strong Mormon representation. The entrance poll data showed that he won at least a plurality of the vote of every religious group participating, except for those who said they had no religious identity, and those were just 7% of the GOP caucus-going population.” While the LDS voting population contributes to the percentage of Mitt’s support, even without their presence, Romney would still have won the caucus. Though, it isn’t until after the editor has brought forth his case, he uses a form of “stacking the deck” throughout the article. Thus, the ideals of most Mormons reflect the rest of the general public. Newport did not use the true version of stacking the deck, but he did withhold information for his benefit to convince more people. If you think about it, most people will read or scan an article to get the most information from it without reading the entire thing into detail; most skipping the ending because they already know what the main thoughts and arguments have been made in the editorial. Thus, many readers will have experienced a form of “stacking the deck” by withholding information without the author directly keeping the truth from the reader. Finally, if this is the case, the reader will have received a bias information and most likely believe those previous statements to be honest and factual.

In this particular blog post, the editor successfully convinces Non-Mormon Americans that the LDS community’s impact in politics is greater than what it truly is. With multiple rhetorical fallacies and tools, the head Gallup political writer suggests strong feelings and sound claims to drive the image of a heightened influence that Mormon voters have for Mitt Romney in the Nevada GOP Caucus. Just as Frank Newport eventually mentioned, although the LDS members do contribute to the former Governor of Massachusetts’ support, their influence is not worth the hype.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Thoughts About Rhetorical Analysis’

I really enjoyed writing the opinion editorial, but analyzing someone else’s thoughts and the way they express it is awesome. Even more intriguing is seeing their thought process and how they attempt to convince their audience through different rhetorical tools. Also, I realized that this assignment helped me look more closely to my own writing and how I can better persuade my audience.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Op.Ed. & R.A. Peer Review Faceoff

I think that the RA peer review process was much better. Each of us had a chance to become familiar with the other person’s paper, and there were more people that conveyed their thoughts about my paper. I really liked the fact that each person discussing my paper said something new, different, but equally helpful and important.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beef IS What’s For Dinner

After enjoying a perfectly marinated Top Sirloin Steak with my sister and brother tonight, it brought me back to days in Nebraska. Sometimes, my dad, grandpa, and I would be in the field harvesting during a Cornhusker Football game; suddenly after a great play, the radio would go to a commercial and the speakers would rumble with the deep voice, "Beef… it’s what’s for dinner!”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Power of Words

(Just to give you a heads-up, the blog that I am analyzing is pretty straight forward; the following rhetoric strategies are a bit of a stretch.)

Overstatement: “Romney will have a built-in cushion of support in Saturday’s voting… There is no reason to believe that [he] will not try to duplicate that feat this year.”

Analogy: “Although there is a Super Bowl going on this weekend, for political junkies, of course, the relevant action will be in Nevada.”

Allusion: “Mitt Romney most likely will have a strong foundation of assured votes in Saturday’s Nevada Republican caucus…”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 2012 GOP Nevada Caucus

Rhetorical Analysis Thesis:
In Gallup’s “The Mormon Vote in Nevada’s GOP Caucuses,” it effectively uses imagery, allusions, and various rhetorical fallacies to evoke strong emotions and logical arguments to push how influential Mormon voters are for Mitt Romney in the Nevada GOP Caucus.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hot Topics in the 2012 Presidential Election for This Week

By Gallup’s Polling Matters Chief Editor, Frank Newport
Audience: American Citizens who may not be “Mormon”
Issue: Examining the influence of voting Mormons in Nevada

By NBC’s First Thoughts Editors, Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower
Audience: American Citizens who may have not decided on Romney or Obama
Issue: Things to consider about both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and the building conflict between them

By CNN’s Election Center Editor, Alan Silverleib
Audience: American Citizens in Nevada who may still be deciding between the GOP Candidates
Issue: Arguments made for and against each GOP candidate that you may want to mull over

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thoughts About My Editorial

Throughout the process of creating my opinion editorial, I feel that it went very well. I think the most difficult things for me were deciding on a topic, sticking to it, and finding ways to trick my mind into revising it. I really enjoyed doing more research, writing, and contemplating on my topic. Even though I wrote about six renditions of the paper, I would gladly write another opinion editorial! Thank you Chris for asking us to write one! (If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention the subject of my opinion editorial… it’s only a couple scrolls down- enjoy!)