swa4

Fred Prichard

SWA4

Senator Kamala Harris’ presentation of self on her website is mostly a person-to-person approach. The first thing shown on Kamala Harris’ website is a YouTube video which seems to be intended for the viewer to get to know her on a more personal level. For example, the video begins by her talking about how she was born in Oakland, CA and that her parents met in college and were active in the civil rights movement. She goes on to say that her mother, who was a scientist and activist, was one of her greatest inspirations in life. She then says, “I was taught that I had a responsibility to be a part of the fight for justice. And that’s what I’ve done my whole life” Through explaining her upbringing, and how her values were formed as a result, Kamala is presenting herself on a personal level. Kamala sets herself apart from other candidates by providing information on the “meet Kamala” section about legislation she introduced or co-sponsored and cases she worked as an Attorney General in California. The opening statement on this section is “Throughout her career, Kamala has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable and a vocal and determined fighter on behalf of all people.” This notion of Kamala’s interests being “for the people” is reinforced by her campaign slogan, which is “Kamala Harris For the People.” This slogan reflects her personal characteristic of wanting to help people from all aspects of life. Kamala Harris’ website is visually appealing. The red, white, and blue color scheme is easy to look at, and represents America. However, there is very few pictures on the website other than of Kamala standing at a podium smiling.

Similar to Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker’s presentation of self on his website is mostly a person-to-person approach. He too talks about his upbringing in order to connect with his audience in a more personalized manner. In the YouTube video on his website, the first line is “In America we have a common pain, but what we are lacking is a sense of common purpose” then cuts to him walking in the streets of the city he lives in wearing informal clothes (hooded sweatshirt). We then hear his person-to-person approach when a stranger (presumably) yells out “Cory!” then he responds, “What’s up!” The stranger the says “2020” to which Cory responds “Amen!” This brief and informal exchange highlights his homestyle/person-to-person approach of walking the streets of the city he lives and casually interacting with the people there within it. He goes on to discuss how, as a child, his parents tried to move him into a neighborhood with good public schools but were discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Through bringing up this discrimination Cory faced early on, he is setting the stage to speak about how he moved to the inner city of Newark and spent his career “to fight slumlords and help families stay in their homes.” He then says he still lives there and is “the only senator to go home to a low-income, inner-city community, the first community that took a chance on me.” Through this homestyle language, Cory is presenting himself as someone who continues to fight for his marginalized community instead of abandoning it. Similar to Kamala’s website, Cory presents information about his background and family, which allows for the audience to get to know him on a more personalized level. Additionally, both candidates have the option to view the website in Spanish, which highlights their ideals of working for immigrant communities.

Some media, such as theroot.com present Kamala as someone who had been “aggressively pursuing criminals in every sector except for police and prosecutorial misconduct.” The article explains that she had even fought against forcing cops to wear bodycams across the state of California. Additionally, this media outlet claims that “as a prosecutor, Harris refused to hand over the names of officers involved in police misconduct.” These notions are contrary to Kamala Harris’ presentation of self on her website as being someone seeking justice for the people. The media attention around Cory Booker, however, reinforces notions represented on his website of his homestyle approach. On thedailybeast.com is an article about 9 times he’s “saved the day.” The article includes stories about how he rescued an elderly lady from a burning building, personally shoveled snow from people’s driveway, and even saved a dog from freezing to death. These personalized actions by Cory Booker show his strong commitment to his community.

 

 

Resources:

Kamalaharris.org

Corybooker.com

theroot.com

thedailybeast.com

SOTU2019

Fred Prichard

SWA3

 

Foreign policy
Trade- Reciprocal Trade Act
National security- military buildup
Taking on the problem of “global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients”
Try for peace in Middle East- bringing troops home

Domestic policy
Border security,
Infrastructure
Lowering cost of health care and prescription drugs-protecting people with pre-existing conditions
immigration
Fighting AIDS, childhood cancer, late term abortions

Throughout the speech President Trump used bipartisan cooperative language. For instance, he starts off the speech suggesting that America “is at a moment of unlimited potential” as this new session of Congress begins. He goes on to say that millions of fellow citizens are watching in the hopes that the United States “will govern not as two parties but as one Nation.” He then says that his agenda isn’t a Republican or a Democrat agenda, rather “the agenda of the American people.” This bipartisan rhetoric is extremely important for our nation because politics has gotten so polarized in America. In today’s age, people are so invested in party politics that they do not see that both parties present good ideas that could advance our society in a positive way. Furthermore, “gridlock” occurs when members of Congress only vote the way their party tells them to, which results in political stagnation. Trump cites bipartisan legislation dealing with the opioid crisis, veterans reform, and criminal justice reform, to show that Congress can accomplish great things when working together. He then suggests that Congress must continue to work together to keep this great progress going.
Language that hinted at Trump’s views of Congressional oversight of the executive branch was his alluding to the Mueller investigation. Trump says that the only things that could stop America’s economic miracle are “foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.” He then says, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way. We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.” These quotes suggest that Trump views Congressional oversight as an impediment to the progression of our nation. It seems like he is saying that, in order for Congress to accomplish things for the American people, they must focus on issues concerning our society, rather than his own potential misdoings. Furthermore, if Congress is rallying against him, and America doesn’t work as a collective, then foreign powers could more easily take advantage of us. Trump expresses his views on the importance of Congress by stating, “think of this Capitol- think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, to face down an evil empire.” Through this language, Trump shows the great things that Congress has done, and then he suggests that even greater things can be accomplished if Congress works together.
In the response by the Democratic Party, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams mostly disagreed with the President. However, some of what she said highlighted issues with a potential for compromise. A major point of disagreement with the President that Abrams suggests was Trumps hardline on immigration. She claimed that America thrives with the “presence of immigrants, not walls.” It seems that Abrams and the Democratic party disagree with the idea they believe a wall would symbolize, rather than its functionality. Whereas Trump believes a wall to be an effective means of securing the border regardless of the message it may send to immigrants. However, Abrams called for a “bipartisan 21st century immigration plan,” which presumably would cover some sort of border security. Additionally, Abrams blamed the President for the government shutdown, calling it a political stunt. Abrams suggested that it must be through Congress “coming together, not shutting down” to keep our government functioning.
The legislative agenda outlined during the SOTUA and the agenda outlined in my state legislature is similar in some regards. The major similarity is combating the drug epidemic. Trump spoke about how illegal drugs are destroying many communities across the country. In West Virginia, both illegal drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as painkillers are destroying our community. Another issue that appeared in both agendas is the need for lower prescription medications. This is a major problem in West Virginia as well, because people often can’t afford certain medications, so they turn to the “street” to obtain drugs that are often dangerous and addictive.