2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

"You're Either With Us, or Against Us": A Rhetorical Analysis of Clinton's Crime Bill Speech 

Chloe E. Garcia
Dr. James Cianciola , Faculty Mentor

It is always of the utmost importance for citizens of a country to critically investigate the words of their political leaders. The rhetoric of Bill Clinton represents no exception to this task. In 1994, President Clinton delivered his Crime Bill Speech, which called for all Americans to aggressively combat the issue of crime in the United States. Implementing the lense of ideological criticism, this paper examines the underlying hegemonic ideology of “you’re either with us, or you’re against us” present in Clinton’s speech to illustrate the issue of crime control as one which exists only between two contrasting forces: right and wrong. This strict dichotomy reduces the space for political discourse, and as a result, cultivates an enthusiastic, rather than questioning, atmosphere surrounding Clinton’s crime policies. This concept will be explained in three sections: a description of text, methodology, and analysis. 


Keywords: Ideological Criticism , Crime Policy , Political Rhetoric


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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