Essay on Great Society Speech Analysis

Words: 1496
Pages: 6

Lyndon Johnson was convinced that liberal nationalism and the power of the federal government could transform society. His faith grew out of his youthful experiences with poverty in Texas, his political apprenticeship during the New Deal, and his desire to surpass Roosevelt's legacy. When he took office in November 1963, after John F. Kennedy's death, Johnson inherited the early initiatives to address poverty that the Kennedy administration had under consideration. With characteristic enthusiasm and expansiveness, Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964 and pushed legislation through Congress to establish the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).In this speech, the purpose Lyndon B. Johnson outlines his vision and goals for "The Great …show more content…
As president of the United States, Johnson’s reputation preceded him, and posited him as a credible source on the topics of American society and policy, especially given that this speech was presented before his decision to enter Vietnam, while his approval rating was still high. His delivery techniques also built up his ethos. By maintaining even volume, a slow and clear speech pattern, and appropriate voice fluctuations, as well as allowing for responses from his audience and presenting the information in a way that listeners could easily follow, Johnson demonstrated his preparedness and ability to easily communicate with a variety of audiences, both of which also bolstered his credibility. Altogether, these elements helped to represent President Johnson as a trustworthy and informed source on the topic of building up American society.
The final proof is pathos, the pathetic appeal, which is the speaker’s attempt to stimulate emotion in the audience. While expounding upon principles of his plan for The Great Society, President Johnson presented reasoning supported by values held by the majority of Americans and that most citizens are particularly passionate about. He first said, “The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue