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Theses and Dissertations

2009

Presidential communication/rhetoric

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Talking Us Into War: Problem Definition By Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson And George W. Bush, Barbara Ellen May Warner Aug 2009

Talking Us Into War: Problem Definition By Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson And George W. Bush, Barbara Ellen May Warner

Theses and Dissertations

How presidents talk us into war merges the study of problem definition in public policy with the study of rhetoric in communications. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this research analyzes the key words used by two presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush, to persuade us into escalating a war in Vietnam and engaging in a pre-emptive war in Iraq, respectively. The findings indicate that presidents repeat words that are patriotic, emotive, metaphorical, symbolic and religious, tapping into American themes of Manifest Destiny and even predicting dire outcomes if we do not accept their definitions of the dangers ...