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Amanda Jones
Weaver
RHE 101
November 14, 2014
Its Morning Again In America
Former President Ronald Reagan released a political commercial entitled
Its Morning Again in America during the 1984 Presidential Election in which he
ran against Democratic candidate, Walter Mondale. He assures the American people
that there is nothing to fear as long as he remains President, and is able to carry out
his plans to keep the United States safe. The advertisements themes of safety,
leadership, and stability are clearly conveyed through its use of rhetorical elements
like ethos, logos, pathos, and constraints.
The United States in 1984 was much different than it is today. It was in the
midst of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The threat of nuclear war was always
lying just beneath the surface, and was always in the back of peoples minds. Its
Morning Again in America conveys a sense of safety and security through its use of
logos. Logos is the logic behind a rhetorical situation. In this case, the logos is the
use of a facts and numbers to ensure the audience that the United States is going
strong, and is still a world power. Interest rates, inflation numbers, and prices are
mentioned to give the article credible leverage. They are facts, theyre logical, and
the audience will understand and believe them. The audience is anyone who is
watching television, at any time of the day. It could be children, adults, businessmen,
etc. The audience, in this case, can literally be anyone who owns or has access to a

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television. Pathos is also used, and is relied on heavily to convey the message of
security in this commercial. People want to feel safe and secure. The tone, music,
and images all touch peoples emotions. Pictures of children, people living their
every day lives, and happy couples all getting married make people feel like they
have nothing to fear if Reagan is elected as President. As far as ethos, Reagan makes
sure that the audience knows that he knows that it is his responsibility to keep the
American people safe and out of harms way. The constraints of this commercial and
how they apply to safety is mentioned with the threat of the ongoing Cold War with
the Soviet Union. There is something real to fear. War is happening, and at that point
in time, there was no actual fighting going on, but the possibility of true war was
constantly lingering. The constraints are the current political and global tensions. In
addition to security, another theme of the commercial is leadership.
Leadership is obviously a large theme of this commercial. The reason, or
exigence, for the commercial in the first place is the Presidential Election, or election
of the new leader of the United States. The audience is looking for someone to show
them who should be the leader of the United States. Theyre looking for answers,
and this commercial gives them those answers. The narrator says, Under the
leadership of President Reagan, a country is stronger, prouder, and better. Why
would we ever want to return to where we were? The commercial is urging the
American people to look at the past presidency, and to not vote for Mondale, who
was associated with the former administration, and to elect Reagan because he has
brought strong leadership to the United States. The ethos for the theme of
leadership are Reagans traits as a leader: fearlessness, stability, responsibility, and

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also caring about the country as a whole. The logos is also mentioned in the quote by
bringing up the past presidency, and asking why would the want to go back to their
previous situation. The pathos of the leadership theme is that the American people
are afraid that they arent going to have a good leader, and as mentioned before,
they are looking for someone to step up, and the commercial makes it clear that
Reagan is willing to step up, and take charge of the United States during this time of
fear and threats on the U.S. The final theme that is supported by rhetorical elements
in this commercial is the theme of stability.
Stability is a major factor in the 1984 election. For constraints of the
commercial, stability hadnt always been there, and the citizens of the U.S. know
that. With former President Jimmy Carter, they knew that stability wasnt there, and
when Ronald Reagan took office, he brought stability. The commercial reiterates
that with using the ethos, logos, and pathos again. The ethos behind stability is that
Ronald Reagan took what he was given at the start of his presidency, didnt
complain, and made things better. He is dependable and stable when it comes to
helping the United States through hard times. The logos for stability are again
figures that are given to support that he has stabilized the economy, inflation prices,
and has managed to keep the U.S. out of harm during his first term, even though
there is a real threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. For pathos, people want
to feel stable; they want to know whats around the corner, and what they can
expect. With Reagan, they know, because theyve had him for the previous four
years, which have gone well. They can feel hope for the next four years, and know
there will be stability and a constant if the reelect President Reagan.

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Its Morning Again in America has themes of security, leadership, and
stability, which are strengthened by its use of rhetorical elements such as ethos,
pathos, logos, and rhetorical constraints. The success of the commercial is evident
with Reagans overwhelming win over Walter Mondale, in which he beat Mondale
by 512 electoral votes. The American people believed the commercial, and decided
that Reagan was the best choice for President, and the commercial was one of the
key components of his success.

Link to the Its Morning Again in America Commercial:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fy-uhxiXcE