Week 4 — Democratic Ideals and Material Realities
Jessica King

What happens to the notion of “speaking truth to power” when the “landed affluent” (the powerful) perceive themselves as disenfranchised?

I think this is a great question. I often times find myself frustrated when I hear friends, colleagues, and family members complaining when they have privileges that they do not foresee.

Jessica, in addressing your question, Rai may believe that it is the job of possibly a bipartisan member to “emphasize biases and exclusions” in order to make make the “landed affluent” realize they are being undemocratic. I think this would also be a case of explaining to the “landed affluent”and defining “disenfranchised” in terms of acceptable terms, particularly in explaining how the protection of private interest and securing of public goods is not equal for those who are not affluent.

Personally, I think that this is why rhetoricians are so important, because oftentimes, the “landed affluent” have a sense of entitlement or “thinly veiled racism or classism” that they cannot see (100), and when someone highlights particular biases, immoral/selfish truths or potential injustices, then sometimes that is when the persuasion happens; I hate to just say it is ignorance, but sometimes ignorance occurs and it is through rhetorical analysis that ignorance can be enlightened and then possibly mobilization to change courses of actions.

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