Remarks At The Brandenburg Gate Speech

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On June 12, 1987, former President Ronald Reagan gave one of his famous speeches, “Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate.” On a superficial level, Reagan uses the speech to petition to the Soviet Union for peace, nuclear and chemical arms reduction, and the demolition of the Berlin Wall. He also highlights the progress and prosperity that have arisen in the western world since the division between communism and democracy was established. Beyond the surface, Reagan subtly disparages communism while simultaneously building up democracy. He emphasizes the importance of freedom, liberty, free trade, and other democratic ideals and uses the speech to inspire hope and restore faith that the western world will prevail through adversity. Above all else, …show more content…
Instead of stating his belief at the beginning of the speech, he appeals to the logos of the audience first by supplying multiple, rational arguments in the form of enthymemes. Presenting these assertions before stating his idea prompts the audience to accept his claim with little resistance. Reagan continues to support his thesis as he transitions to a discussion about the Soviet Union’s recent efforts at reform by demonstrating that the Soviet Union is attempting to be increasingly similar to the United States. While maintaining a suspicious tone to deny naivety, he subtly encourages hope by declaring, “We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty — the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world …show more content…
First, he reflects on the love that Berliners have for their city that has allowed them to face major adversity and still discover a way to thrive. In the next sentence he returns to the contrast between East and West, accusing the totalitarian world of being offended by symbols of love and then attributing the inability for these symbols to be suppressed to Berlin’s survival. After this point has been made, Reagan articulates what could be considered the most potent remark of the entire speech. He describes graffiti he saw spray-painted on the wall: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” And then, in an all-encompassing, evocative quote, he states, “Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.” Although one might believe that this would have been the ideal moment to end the speech, Reagan chooses instead to address the demonstrations against his coming and brings his argument to a close by saying, “And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they’re doing again.” This leaves an open ending that is sure to provoke his audience to contemplation and allows for the speech to

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