Background: My brother, Tom, is teaching a college freshman rhetoric course and has recently shown Farhenheit 9/11 in his class and apparently asked for some sort of reaction paper to be written. There also was a paper comparing the rhetorical techniques of Gandhi and Malcom X. Seen in Tom's away message:
In grading student papers over the weekend, I've learned the following:
- It's not fair to remove a president from office before he finishes a war he's started.
- The war on Iraq was unjust, the president doesn't seem qualified, and the facts presented in "Fahrenheit 9/11" are disturbing, but it's unpatriotic to question the president and wrong to vote against him.
- Gandhi was a "coward and a suck-up" and "soft"
- During the 1960s, "some slavery" was beginning to be abolished.
- Americans never get to hear Bush's side of the story
- Direct quotes: "you are a liar" (to me), and "Michael Moore can eat *&@!"
- Gandhi is more like a "Care Bear" than Malcolm X
- It's "fucking awesome" that Bush was a cocaine addict and alcoholic
Those are the building blocks of some fine arguments.