Essay on Engl101 Project 1

Submitted By chrischan33
Words: 1260
Pages: 6

Chris Chan
February 12, 2013
Project 1 In the YouTube video “Banned US Commercial About the National Debt,” the organization Citizens Against Government Waste conveys what they see as the future of America if the government continues to engage in enormous amounts of wasteful spending. The organization argues the government’s continued stimulus spending, takeover of private corporations, and changes to healthcare financing will lead to the nation’s downfall. The intended audience is the general public, more specifically, those who assume the neutral position on the issue of whether the government should continue their plans. The video’s usage of rhetorical appeals and figurative language help to not only support the organization’s argument and persuade others to take the organization’s stance, but also to ignite the citizens’ passion in assuming their role in society, preventing the government from spending on programs or ideas that, in the long run, will hurt the country. The video makes use of several techniques to appeal to its audience. Not only does the video utilize ethos and pathos, but also uses a rhetorical question and a very direct approach in presenting the situation, argument, and delivery of the message in order to reach out to its particular audience. The video opens up in a futuristic 2030 A.D. China with a Chinese man, possibly a professor, starting his lecture with the question “Why do great nations fail?” (0:05-0:08) to first capture the audience’s attention. By using the provocative, yet much discussed question, the intended audience is drawn to watch and hear what the professor has to say until the end. While the United States of America is one of the many prosperous nations in the world and throughout history, other similarly great civilizations that have fallen from power: the “Ancient Greeks, Roman Empire, [and] British Empire” (0:11-0:15). When the professor announces that the United States of America is now one of those fallen nations, he pauses for a brief moment. The video uses this brief moment to let the gravity of the situation sink in, while the dark, eerie silence and cold atmosphere of the foreign classroom make it all the more uncomfortable and unnerving to hear. It is critical to the video’s argument to begin its message by stating that America has fallen. Its grand implications are meant not only to shake a viewer to the core, but also to continue watching to seek a way to prevent such a catastrophe. Lastly, the appeal the video secures with this ground-breaking news makes the organization behind the advertisement seem more credible because the audience can infer it is only protecting America’s well-being. The video’s use of ethos gives the organization the credibility needed to persuade the intended audience. After listing the once-great nations that fell from power, the professor continues and explains why those nations fell, saying they all made the mistake of “turning their back on the principles that made them great” (0:21-0:24). By saying this through the voice of a professor, the video suggests the organization has done its research and has drawn a valid conclusion. This encourages the audience to believe the organization and its goals. The professor continues his lecture, specifically focusing on how America “tried to tax itself out of a great recession. Enormous so-called ‘stimulus’ spending, massive changes to health care, government takeovers of private industries, and crushing debt” (0:25-0:40). When certain businesses begin to fail or file for bankruptcy, the American government has been known to help those companies get back on their feet. Furthermore, the American government has strived to implement universal health care in ongoing political debates. The organization’s mention of these actions indicates an awareness of current issues and adds to credibility. However, the Chinese professor appears to be mocking America’s methods to escape recession by using