WPA Essay





WPA Essay

Overtime, Americans have always responded to the limitations on civil liberties in exchange for security. One way that occurrence is evident is based on the same restrictive measures committed by past governments in an effort to guarantee safety and calmness among the majority especially in the event of a major threat or attack. The article, “Trading Liberty for Illusions”, by Wendy Kaminer illustrates the extent to which the American government has engaged in the repression of human liberties of certain persons despite lack of involvement or significance in an effort to ensure security. Throughout the article, different measures have been applied in order to establish a reasonable and rational basis for Kaminer’s argument against the American government and its political machinations. By applying different rhetorical measures and strategies, Kaminer is capable of initiating an effective claim on this particular subject.

In her article, Kaminer uses disparate rhetorical tactics in order to facilitate her argument. One tactic that she applies in relation to the claim she exhibits involves the use of the rhetorical appeal. In this respect, Kaminer is capable of appealing to the audience by utilizing different appeals. Specifically, her application of the logos appeal is evident. Her implementation of this particular appeal enables her to deliver the argument using logic. For instance, in establishing her claim, she asserts that, “Whenever Americans have felt frightened or under siege they have responded by persecuting migrants, members of suspect ethnic groups, or others guilty only of real or apparent sympathy for unpopular ideologies” (Kaminer para. 1). In this context, the use of logic (logos) is evidenced by her focus on clear and strong claims with warrants that are actually valid in this particular case. Her strategic utilization of logic enables her to persuade the audience or at least, evoke an interest by coaxing the audience to try to see whether it is true that Americans have engaged in repressive activities whenever faced with threats.

 Despite the use of logic, Kaminer does not solely substantiate her claims via generalization. In order to support her argument, she applies the strategy of exemplification throughout the essay. Simply, exemplification involves the use of accounted examples or evidences. Specifically in this context, Kaminer utilizes several measures documented throughout the history of America’s leadership for purposes of supporting her argument. For example, Kaminer first delivers her claim, “But the cruelty and folly of imprisoning people for their political views or their ethnicity is usually acknowledged only in hindsight”. Following this, she substantiates her argument via exemplification by stating that, “During World War II some people no doubt felt safer knowing that their Japanese-American neighbors were interned” (Kaminer para. 2). In this respect, exemplification functions as a strategy for supporting the logical claim that she makes regarding the entire argument. Her focus on Japanese-Americans and World War II evokes memories of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese and the manner in which it was unknown and spontaneous to the Americans.

Lastly, the structure of Kaminer’s essay aids in the effectiveness of her argument. Her introduction briefly outlines America’s focus on the suppression of civil liberties whenever there is supposed threat on national security. For purposes of establishing this claim, she utilizes an illustration of the different strategies that past American leaders whenever an instance occurred that could end up affecting the security of the country’s majority. Her use of examples refers her to measures such as the Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, Woodrow Wilson’s incarceration of Eugene Debs for delivering his opinion against America’s participation in World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese-Americans in the Second World War. The use of these examples by Kaminer opens a broad discussion throughout the essay on America’s implementation of measures that restrain human liberties. In conclusion, her use of a rhetorical question in the last paragraph summarizes her claim and enables her to provide a personal yet supported opinion on the way majority of Americans have become subject to the illusion of security, which is solely available when their liberties are traded.

Work Cited

Kaminer, Wendy. “Trading Liberty for Illusions.” Free Inquiry Magazine. 13 Feb. 2004. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. <http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/kaminer_22_2.html/>

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