The success of a political campaign is rooted in its ability to inspire its audience to believe in their politician’s leadership. They do this through signs, television commercials, various media outlets, newspapers, flyers, and perhaps the most effective means; speech.
The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, divided the art of rhetorical persuasion into three categories: ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos appeals to one’s credibility. In others words, how believable and trustworthy is the speaker? Pathos inspires an emotional response in the audience. It establishes a connection with the speaker and their audience. Logos is how, for lack of a better word, logical and verifiable the message of the speaker resonates with the audience. These three rhetorical devices are used by successful politicians to persuade their potential voters and audiences to support their campaign.
When a speaker successfully employs these rhetorical devices they can be a effective speaker. This could be seen in the Obama/McCain elections and the current local elections happening now. Obama was successful in his use the ancient Greek method of persuasion and therefore won the elections. At the end of our local elections it will be evident who the successful speakers were and who failed to implement Aristotle’s methods of persuasion.
What made you vote the way you did? Was their positions on topics enough or did they have to persuade you to believe them? Let us know!