Rhetoric has a long history and various definitions. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines rhetoric as language that is intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable; the art or skill of speaking or writing formally and effectively, especially as a way to persuade or influence people (Merriam-Webster, 2014). Rhetoric is basically the study and practice of communication in order to persuade, inform, inspire or entertain. It is the strategic use of communication to present the facts in a persuasive way. Any time we give an argument for or against something, we employ rhetoric, it is vital in everyday life. During a political campaign, the candidate must select their language carefully and utilize rhetoric in order to attract new supporters and not alienate those who already have given their support. Most of us believe that all politicians should be honest when it comes to their decisions, preferences, and problem solving because their constituents are the primary affected. Nevertheless, this is not always the situation today.
In reviewing the website of Senator Jeff Merkley, it is apparent that he is passionate about protecting the environment and supporting the middle class. Senator Merkley notes on his website that he “cosponsored legislation to provide full and permanent appropriations for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)... Senator Merkley knows that protecting and maintaining our public lands not only provides environmental and recreational benefits, but also creates jobs in the tourism, recreation, timber, fishing, and other natural resource sectors” (Natural Resources and Rural Development, 2014). In addition Merkely strongly supports availability of healthcare for all Americans. Even in the throes of the health care crisis, Merkley stands by all efforts to get the system running effectively, and he fought to get insurance extensions for those who were unable to get signed up immediately. Many sites side against Merkley, but not because he doesn’t stand up for Oregonians but because he does stand up for healthcare reform. From his upbringing to his adult actions, Senator Merkley not only gives the impression that he does what he says; he actually puts his rhetoric into reality.
Another Oregon Democrat, Senator Ron Wyden, moves along the same path. Both senators vote primarily along party lines. Senator Wyden’s passions lie in many of the same areas of Senator Merkley, healthcare and environment primarily. However his strength is in the area of listening to the people. One of his early campaign promises was to make his accessibility to his constituents a top priority. His priorities appear not to have changed. After his election into the senate, Ron Wyden opened the first U.S. Senate offices in Oregon history, outside of the Willamette Valley. Every year, he holds open community meetings in each of Oregon's 36 counties, and frequently