A Closer Look: Violent Rhetoric and Arizona Politics

A Closer Look: Violent Rhetoric and Arizona Politics In “Violent Rhetoric and Arizona Politics” by Nathan Thornburgh, the author tries to get the message across that rumors can lead to more violence, than what actually happens. In a time where there are rumors flying, and people getting killed and a congresswoman shot because of them, Thornburgh is out there to prove his point that perhaps rumors are leading to all of this violence in Arizona.
However his argument would have been more effective had he shown less bias, been a bit less dismissive and had provided more evidence and statistics to back up his paper. While not all bias is bad, too much can lead to an argument being less effective. Thornburgh’s bias can be seen in many aspects of the paper. In Thornburgh’s paper bias can be seen in his use of tone and word choice. Thornburgh chooses, out of the many names to call the shooter, “Coward” (Gooch 325. ) While it definitely shows Thornburgh’s anger, where does the bias come from? Simple. Thornburgh’s praise and protection of the congresswoman.
It his small things, like his commenting on “Gifford was one of few politicians offering concrete law enforcement steps” and the fact that he later states numerous other facts to paint her in a good light (325). At the very end he goes on to say “Gifford’s is a sensible politician who was likely shot because she dealt with Arizona’s reality, not its rumors” (Gooch 325). It is Thornburgh’s bias, as bias is simply whichever way you lean towards in an argument, of the congresswoman that leads to him calling the shooter a coward. In anger or not, bias still promoted this. While bias is not bad, too much of it clouds your argument.

That is what bias did here, as the fact that Thornburgh supports the congresswoman pops out at you and is right in your face at some points. It does not help Thornburgh’s argument either, as he becomes dismissive of certain things within his argument. Thornburgh can be seen as dismissive in some parts of his argument. He seems to not really expand on the topic and just lets it go with a simple statement. Earlier on in in his article, Thornburgh states that “There were plenty of deaths there, but they were meek tragedies” when talking about the beheading that had been rumored to be going on in the desert (Gooch 325).
What Thornburgh is talking about is the fact that there are rumors going on about immigrants being beheaded in the desert, but in truth they are being abandoned by their guides. Thornburgh is attempting to say that the rumors of beheading are not true and that the rumors have led to more violence. However he comes off as dismissive towards the lives that were lost as unimportant, which would throw someone off reading his paper if they disagreed with that sentiment. Thornburgh is trying to dismiss the idea of rumors, and in the same sentence is also dismissing the event itself and writing it off as if it wasn’t that big of a deal.
This contradicts himself seeing as his whole point within the argument seems to be about the fact that these rumors lead to the violence happening. The thing he is most dismissive about, however, is the need for statistics. One of the key points of an effective argument is to provide support, usually in the form of statistics, citations, and facts. While Thornburgh does give some citations from other sources, they are just quoting of events or what people had said about events. Some of Thornburgh’s facts do lend credence to his paper, such as when he quotes about the “‘Congress on Your Corner’ ” (Gooch 325).
Yet this isn’t quite what makes a good argument. He could perhaps make a good argument without statistics but it still stands that statistics do help provide support to your argument. For instance, one of the best places to insert statistics would have been when he was talking about the fact that because the community had been “Living in such calm for so long” they were more riled up about these things happening and rumors began to start (Gooch 325). Such a statistic would be like something from Americanprogress. rg, in which they state that “Violent crimes in Arizona are down by 15 percent since 2006” (Garcia). This would back up his statement on the fact that crimes had been low for quite a while and that they continue to drop. This would lend much help to the effectiveness of his argument. The effectiveness of Thornburgh’s argument was not as strong as it could have been. If he had been less overt about his bias, and had been a bit more professional, that alone would have made it a more effective argument. The one point that would have made it even more effective was if he had provided tatistics that were from a credible and reliable source. This article seemed to be more of a personal rant meant to persuade you to Thornburgh’s thinking than an actual well thought out article. Thornburgh’s points are there, and they do have clarity, but the tone is just too informal or biased to provide for an effective argument. Works Cited Garcia, Ann. “Fact Sheet: Setting the Record Straight on Border Crime. ” American Progress. N. P. , 14 June 2010. Web. Gooch, John, and Dorothy U. Seyler. Argument! 2nd Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.

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