Among all human qualities which control the most power is the ability to use, understand and communicate effectively through language. Proficient use of language allows us to clearly deliver ideas from one person to another or a group of people. The capability of conveying the state of mind is equal to the acquisition of power and the important link between these two is persuasion. The power of persuasion acknowledges certain individuals to be able to give influence and control a huge number of people and connect people together in discussing similar issues.
Persuasive power could easily be seen in the victory speech. This way has the purpose of assure thing is going on the right track as has been planned. In its application, variety of persuasive appeals in the victory speech since politics is based on the power of influencing. Discourse is one of the greatest means that may adjust the audience’s thinking and behavior. In Obama’s victory speech of 2008, he used tight paragraph structure and sophisticated lexical, tones with a formal form to enhance the efficiency of delivering the message. Furthermore, there are mainly three positions in the political field, namely the dominant hegemonic positions, the negotiated positions, and oppositional positions. During the speech, Obama tried to construct a coalition formation that combined the three prevailing groups. The use of language has an ideological effect and he successfully conveyed his ideology coherently through organized speech.
In the opening, Obama reconstructs the audience’s attitude from neutral to supportive. He strengthen his credibility and applied several strategies. Through this, his personal appeal as an orator automatically appears. “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our Founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” (Transcript: ‘This Is Your Victory,’ Says Obama, 2008). This statement shows that the president held a strong belief in America’s future. He guarantees the prospect of the American dream and the democracy of the USA. The phrase “ tonight is your answer”, he takes responsibility for being a reliable leader. His speech gave people a truthful feeling and consider him a role model. Since he promised that he would change America by the time he mentioned “ our Founder” to offer greatly different political policies from the past one. The speech would influence the audience’s cultural values and beliefs.
Moreover, “ Yes, we can” (Transcript: ‘This Is Your Victory,’ Says Obama, 2008) was more than just a slogan. It was the most frequently used phrase in his speech. Saying the slogan multiple times could make people believe that the crisis in America could be solved. These three words seemed simple but powerful. ”Yes” demonstrated his proven determination. Using “We” instead of “ You and I” indicated the unity among the candidate and the audiences who shared the same belief and balanced position.
This slogan expressed that voters are not individuals but an irreplaceable group that can change the state. The identification by using the pronouns“ we”, associated with the persuasive strategies of pathos conveyed the demands of audiences. They might consider themselves an “insider”, and the emotional appeals were closely linked with the identification. Obama administers the American Dream ideology to the public. In Karl Marx’s concept, “ Ideology is seen as an important means by which dominant forces in society, such as royalty, can exercise power over the subordinated group.” As Obama was the first black president in America, he boost a lot of supportive energy from the opposition groups. Different races of Americans expressed their royalty of Obama. Meanwhile, he could devote power over and spread the ideology. He is conscious of the ideology and language that could derive together in order to become a continuous method of gaining supporters. Obama was an orator who authorize emotive language well. He reminded that he was just an ordinary man like the rest of the people. ” I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, ….. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am.” (Transcript: ‘This Is Your Victory,’ Says Obama, 2008) He showed his appreciation to his family. Mentioning his grandmother had just passed away, has the purpose to win the sympathy of the audience. The whole paragraph was evolving the listener’s sentiment with the triumph of emotional sense. He dived deeply into their deep emotion. Besides, the triple and alliteration could easily optimize in the speech in order to increase the emotion. In triples, there were some categories of wording each time to get the desired result. Take this sentence as an example. “When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.” (Transcript: ‘This Is Your Victory,’ Says Obama, 2008) “ New deal, new jobs, and new sense” were the positive and energetic words, which implied a bright future.
Language is experienced every day by everyone in any circumstances. Its power can be tremendous and unlimited. Proficient use of language can allow us to communicate ideas and even persuade others to any point of view. Leaders have used this fact to control their constituents. Famous politicians and orators have used language to get them elected and win the election. Shortly, language is the basis for all knowledge and power.