"...the people to whom Jesse appeals will respond to an appeal that
"the Bible says so" because that is one of the avenues to persuading
Is that avenue an artistic appeal? The Bible is one of the most
significant books ever written, but does that mean it "proves"
"...from a traditional rhetorical perspective, it's the appeal from
And "from a classical rhetorical perspective" we know what all the
classical rhetoricians thought about "authorities."
"...which is every bit as effective in some cases..."
Only to those who have little or no understanding of the kind of
rhetoric I have been discussing.
"...a linear-logical argument or anything else."
Any isolated component of rhetoric is not persuasive.
"This appeal does not work, of course, with people like yourself and
those in much of academia, where agnosticism--at least--appears to be
the middle position; "
I am not an agnostic. Proofs based in "authority" do not persuade me
because they are not artistic nor a component of a complete rhetoric.
"...what you've said in this particular argument, for instance,
assumes that your audience will join you in piling on Jesse,
unquestioningly--sort of the "we all know it's cool to hate Jesse"
You are in no position to make judgments about my "intention" from my
language. I don't happen to think its "cool" to hate ANYONE. In my
opinion, Jesse Helms wants and expects you to believe him and follow
him from a position of blind faith, not a critical thinking informed
one. As a rhetorician, there is nothing more dangerous than blind
faith. Faith is very important. Faith arrived at from the
application of a complete rhetoric is critical to a full life. Blind
faith is worth the effort you put forth to acquire it.
"Now, before you get into an ad hominem deal with me,..."
"I'll tell you that, from what I know of him (which is probably as
little as almost anyone knows of him who bashes him regularly), he
seems pretty damn narrowminded to me, too, and his brand of
politics--again, from what I know of it--doesn't look that great to
All I can say about him is that his ability to influence life in
America and the world is a flaw in our democratic system and he is a
"But the fact is, Jesse is an idiot (in relation to his positions and
his reasoning for those positions) only to someone who wouldn't
recognize effective rhetoric if it reached up and bit him on the ass."
Hmmm, I think I should be offended, but since I have a tough time
finding my ass with both hands, I guess I wouldn't know effective
rhetoric if it bit me there, and I won't be offended by pathetic