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The Researched Rhetorical Analysis Paper
The importance of elections in the modern world cannot be gainsaid as far as the health and well being of any nation is concerned. Democracy has in the recent times been regarded as one of the most fundamental pillars of the modern or contemporary society. It is noteworthy that elections cement the importance of democracy as people get to choose the leaders who will govern them in the future, in which case they would be choosing their destiny. This explains why voting is touted as a fundamental human right for any individual who has attained the legal age in the United States. However, little attention is given to certain people who have been “discriminated” upon as far as voting rights are concerned. While every other American enjoys the right to choose their future and destiny through choosing their leaders, ex-felons hare denied this right in a large number of states. Little attention has been given to the impact that this aspect has on the fundamental freedoms of the United States. It is, therefore, no wonder that the debate on whether ex-felons should be allowed to vote is so rife. A large number of people have argued for the restatement of the rights of these people to vote while an equally large number have argued against it. This is the main issue in Harry J Enten’s article in The Guardian, titled “How US rules on former felons voting can swing presidential elections”.
This article argues against the elimination of voting rights of ex-felons and felons, as well. The writer quotes estimates from a 2002 study that estimated that 4.7 million American felons were not allowed to vote in the 2000 election, a number that was estimated to increase in the 2004 elections to around 5.3 million American felons. As much as these numbers were mere estimates, they create a considerably clear picture that approximately 2-3% of the United States citizens were not allowed to vote as they were or had been felons (Enten, 2012). In the article, the author uses pathos, logos and ethos to convince the reader about the efficacy of allowing felons and ex-felons to vote. The character of the author is undoubtedly bound to convince the reader as to the importance of such an action. It is worth noting that he has been writing on electoral and political statistics, not to mention the fact that he is a graduate in government from the Dartmouth College. He has also worked at the NBC political unit situated in Washington. All these factors underline the fact that the author is knowledgeable on the issue that he is addressing. In addition, the author tags on the emotions of the reader so as to push his point. He notes that of the voting laws are discriminatory against African Americans as they make up about 40% of the entire disenfranchised population of felons and ex-felons. The surprising fact is that blacks compose about 13% of the entire United States’ population, which is quite low. The fact that a population that takes such a low percentage in the entire United States population would make up the largest population of ex-felons, and still be denied the right to vote speaks of discrimination. It is worth noting that, discrimination is an extremely volatile issue especially considering that its past is rooted in discrimination of certain communities such as blacks and Latinos. In essence, tagging the statistics on the percentage of African Americans is bound to tag on the emotions of many people.
On the same note, the author, towards the end of the article, states that democrats would be likely to vote for the lifting of the ban while republicans would be likely to vote for their continued stay (Enten, 2012). This underlines is bound to create the impression that the republicans have something to gain from the continued denial of the rights of ex-felons and felons to participate in voting (Enten, 2012). This speaks of discrimination of democrats, which is likely to stir up emotions.
This statement is supported by the Human Rights Watch. In an article published in 1998, the international human rights organization stated that restrictions on ex-felons from voting in the United States amount to political anachronism that reflects values incompatible with the principles of modern democracies (Manza & Uggen, 2006). The organization notes that the laws serve no purpose, but end up arbitrarily denying the convicted offenders the capacity to make their voice irrespective of the nature of their crimes or even the severity and magnitude of their sentences (Manza & Uggen, 2006). On the contrary, they capriciously deny ex-felons and convicted offenders the capacity to vote without consideration of the nature of their offenses, severity or magnitude of their sentences. They also end up creating political outcasts of law-abiding and taxpaying citizens,.............
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