Presidents and Protesters: Political Rhetoric in the 1960s

By Theodore Otto Windt Jr. | Go to book overview

Preface
In his critique of the published papers from the Temple University conference on genres of political discourse, Richard A. Joslyn, a political scientist, observed: "some of the analyses of political discourse in this volume strip the rhetoric of its political meaning. Political beliefs, worldviews, ideologies, and intentions are occasionally mentioned, but only in passing, in favor of attention to the more stylistic aspects of the discourse. While this is not uniformly true of all or even most of the chapters in this volume, it is troubling when political discourse is depoliticized so thoroughly."1 Earlier in his essay Joslyn listed a series of topics that an examination of political discourse ought to reveal: the rhetor's political worldview, the rhetor's behavioral intentions, the locus and intensity of political conflict, the locus and legitimacy of political power, and the role of the public. Taken together, these topics are quite different from the constellation of topics addressed by many of the participants at the conference. In his critique Joslyn made the political perspective even more specific by posing questions under each topic that he believed anyone concerned with political discourse ought to address. Among these questions:
What does the discourse reveal about the belief system of the rhetor?
How may we characterize the belief system of the rhetor--pop-

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