Friday, August 31, 2012

Civility Watchdog: Rep. Paul Ryan's Acceptance Speech to GOP Convention

On August 29, 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) gave a speech accepting the vice presidential nomination at the GOP National Convention. Below are some of the highlights concerning civil, productive debate:
"I'm the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power. They've run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they've got left. With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money— and he's pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can't be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious— and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney."
Comment: Democrats are desperate to keep power? This is similar to the way that Howard Dean demonized Republicans on February 26, 2008. Ryan is also making the "fear-mongering" accusation as well as the "divisive" accusation. I think there's an implicit "only my opponent does it" caricature here, as well.

"What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn't just spent and wasted -- it was borrowed, spent, and wasted."
Comment: This is the "failed policies" assertion.

"Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing -- nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue."
Comment: Ryan uses "demagogue" rhetoric here.

"Whatever your political party, let's come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let's give this effort everything we have. Let's see this through all the way. Let's get this done."
Comment: This is an appeal to "unify the country".

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