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A Time for Choosing Rhetorical Paper

In: English and Literature

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Description of “A Time for Choosing”
By Zachary Riggan

Ronald Regan’s “A Time for Choosing” campaign speech for Republic President Nominee Barry Goldwater was aired on 27 October 1964. This speech was actually given a few weeks prior at a fundraiser in Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. After the speech Mr. Regan was approached by “a delegation of high-powered Republicans” and asked to record that same speech on national TV. This speech raised 8 million dollars for the Barry Goldwater campaign. This speech was also the launching pad for Ronald Regan’s political spotlight. According to President Regan, he never gave this speech a title.
A brief history of President Regan is important to the description of this artifact. President Regan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. He attended Eureka College, there he studied economics and sociology. President Regan was a known actor and appeared in a total of 53 films during his career. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California and re-elected in 1970. On January 20, 1981 Regan became President of the United States overwhelmingly defeating President Crater 489 electoral votes to 49. On March 30, 1981 just 69 days into his presidency President Regan was shot and wounded by John Hinckley Jr. During his first presidency, Regan focused on stimulating economic growth and sought to curb inflation. During his second term Regan focused on foreign policy and to achieve “peace through strength.”
The 1960’s were a very turbulent time in American history, I want to focus on the years 1963 and 1964 and point out a few key things that were happening before, during and after this speech in the Post New Deal America.
The most impactful event that occurred during this time frame and perhaps in our short history occurred 11 months before this speech. On November 22, 1963 the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. With the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson became the 36th President of the United States. In July 1964 President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in law. Near the end of July American forces in Vietnam totaled 21,000. The Cold War was in full effect and on October 16th China tests its first atomic bomb, making it the world’s fifth nuclear power.
In 1964 using the term “Great Society” several social programs were created and passed by Lyndon Johnson, several of these programs are mentioned by President Regan in this speech, a few of those programs are: * The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided major funding for American public schools. * The Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and other discriminatory methods of denying suffrage to African Americans. * Medicare was created to offset the costs of health care for the nation's elderly. * The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities used public money to fund artists and galleries. * An Omnibus Housing Act provided funds to construct low-income housing.
President Regan used this speech to warn the people of a centralized government stating:
“This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” President Regan was dealing with poverty, war and a backlash against conservatism much like we are dealing with today. President Regan was appealing to the patriotic working class individual separating himself and the Republic party from the “politicians” in the “far-distant capitol.” Personalizing himself stating that he was once a Democrat but “Recently have seen fit to follow another course.” President Regan used this speech to attempt to restore faith in not only a political party but the country as a whole.…...

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