In political debates, it can be hard to keep a cool, calm and collected persona when expressing your side of the argument. Most of the time an attempt at a factually based argument will become an overly opinionated rant on the subject. It takes a truly credited and professional author to deliver a political argument that is convincing to their audience. A great example of this type of author is Tim Bradley who wrote an article titled “No, We Should Not Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use” published on ?The Public Discourse?. Bradley’s article addresses the rising rate of states that allow recreational marijuana to be used ?legally? by citizens and why this is a mistake that needs to be corrected. Bradley’s article was published on October 18th, 2016, which is? perfect timing for this argument to be presented. Around this time current president Donald Trump was being inducted into presidency and it was a ?significant? turn around from previous president? Barack Obama.
?Transitioning ?from a Democratic president to a Republican president will induce a lot of changes, so this was a ?excellent ?time to push for this major change. Although he has a limited amount of sources presented, Tim Bradley constructs an amazingly persuasive argument by using all of the rhetorical appeals, rebuttals to counter arguments and a professional tone throughout the entire article. Bradley’s credibility derived from his educational background is just one thing that makes his work so impressive to his audience. Bradley graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 with high honors. He has many degrees in theology, economics, and Constitutional Studies. Due to his hard work at Notre Dame, he was awarded ?the ?Notre Dame Theology Department Reverend Joseph H. Cavanaugh’s, C.S.C. Award in 2016.
Although all impressive factors, it is Bradley’s? personal ?writing accomplishments that prove he has the skill to make an adept argument. Bradley was elected the editor in chief at the Irish Rover which is Notre Dame’s newspaper. He was also a research assistant ?for? the Charlotte Lozier Institute which? is a pro-life (anti-abortion) think tank. This shows ?the readers? that Bradley may take a more conservative viewpoint in politics as abortion is commonly deprecated in conservative environments. This makes sense as he chose to write this piece for ?The Public Discourse ?which is advertised as a journal of? The Witherspoon Institute? which is an openly conservative think tank. With this political background in mind, it can be said that the majority of Bradley’s audience will be Republicans. Bradley’s education and work history lay a credible foundation for this article that reaches its conservative, as well as non- conservative readers efficiently.
Evoking emotion in an audience is a skill that an effective writer like Tim Bradley must use to compose a persuasive argument. Bradley is writing ?a political article?, about a law that he feels, needs to be put in place. It is hard to really play into people’s emotions when discussing laws about marijuana use?,? but Bradley takes an interesting angle to do just ?this.? When discussing health-related issues to ?readers?, it is sickness in children that can really affect a reader’s opinion. Whether it is a parent or a relative or anyone else, asking for a change that could benefit a child’s life is not a tough argument to make. Knowing this, Bradley writes about how legalizing recreational marijuana ultimately can lead to health problems in children related to marijuana use. Bradley first makes the connection between the legalization of recreational marijuana and marijuana use in children.? He does this by analyzing the state of Colorado which is one of the four states that have legalized recreational marijuana at the time this article was written. ?Colorado lifted its prohibition on recreational marijuana in 2012 and ?the following ?statistics are alarming.
Bradley writes in a? certain ?statistic he gathered from ?Jama Pediatrics? stating that the rate of exposure of marijuana to children has increased 150% since 2014. After making sure his readers noticed there was a connection between youthful marijuana abuse and ?legalization of ?recreational marijuana he ?transitions? into what exactly this means for children.? According to Bradley, “At least one of every eleven young adults who start smoking marijuana will become addicted” (Bradley). This percentage increases in places that have legalized recreational marijuana because the drug is two to three times more potent due to the higher levels of THC. ?This exposure causes damage to these children’s working memories and that is the? focus ?message Bradley is trying to? portray.? Bradley wants readers to feel ?empathy f?or these children and feel as though there should be ?change. ?This ?excellent ?use of pathos makes for an even more convincing argument. Recognizing that there are some people who ?believe? recreational marijuana should be legal is an important step that Tim Bradley takes when ?constructing ?his argument.
Taking the time to ?include? an opposing argument makes the reader realize that the author is not blinded by their own opinion. Bradley does this on multiple occasions?,? referencing how ?some people f?eel differently than he does and why they feel differently. ?For example, popular ?opinion is that marijuana and alcohol should be compared on the same level?, if alcohol is legal marijuana should be too.? Bradley addresses this opinion with this statement; “Defenders of marijuana legalization argue that marijuana can be used just as alcohol is—as a mild social lubricant, or to relax and unwind after a long day at work—without the intention of getting high” (Bradley). Bradley references? this counter-argument as well as many others?,? like the argument that this debate is a matter of freedom. This, according to Bradley is the “driving force behind their movement” (Bradley), legalizing recreational mariju?ana inv?okes liberty for American citizens. Mentioning the main? argument of his opposing debaters is what makes ?this article much more ?respected among readers. Tim Bradley did not stop at recognizing the many counter-arguments embedded in this debate, he then formed excellent rebuttals? to these arguments?.
There is something very powerful about the effect Bradley? has ?on his readers with his well thought out rebuttals. When you present someone you are debatin?g w?ith their own arguments and then continue on to explain the irrelevance of these arguments with facts, it makes a colossal difference. Using blatant undeniable logic when arguing certain points will always be very convincing to a reader. For instance, when talking about the argument? discussed ?in the previous paragraph, Bradley ?forms excellent points against it. The argument being, alcohol and marijuana can both be used as social stimulants so if alcohol is legal? marijuana should be too. ?Bradley’s simple and blunt rebuttal? in response to? this point is “No one sits down to smoke a joint hoping to avoid getting high” (Bradley). In more detail, it is Bradley’s point that people can drink alcohol without the intent of getting drunk, say it be a glass of wine with dinner or just one beer with some friends. In contrast, people who are using marijuana whether it be smoking or ingesting it, are using it to get high. No one is smoking marijuana without the intent to get high unless it is for medical purposes which Bradley addresses in another paragraph as being respectable. It is common logic, according to Bradley that people can drink and not want to be drunk but people do not smoke unless they want to be high.
Thi?s, ?is his terms is abuse and abuse is never okay. We see Bradley’s great use of logos here that is extremely effective in diminishing the counter-arguments for the readers. Bradley does an excellent job at supporting his argume?nts w?ith statistics but fails to provide a clear list of sources of where these statistics originate. When discussing one of the counter-arguments that ?was ?discussed in previous paragraphs he provides an eye-opening fact. According to Bradley, people who want legalization argue that prisons are over proper population levels mainly because of people charged? just with ?possession of marijuana. Bradley counters this argument with ?the? interesting fact that “Less than one percent of federal and state prison inmates are in jail for possession alone, and many of these sentences were the result of plea bargains leading to the dismissal of more serious offenses” (Bradley). Although providing his readers with facts like this is a great persuasive technique?,? he neglects to provide a clear display of his sources. In the quote I mentioned above Bradley attaches an external link on the words “Less than one percent” in order to give the reader a view ?as to ?where he got this information.
The only indication the link is there is the fact that these few words are colored blue instead of black like the rest of the text. When you click on this link it redirects you away from the article to a google preview of the book he use?d, but it is ?very confusing where in the book he got this information from. He uses this externa?l link tech?nique all throughout the article and it his only reference ?to his so?urces. The fact that the reader must leave the article all together just to see where a certain statistic came from is impractical. Bradley should have just made a clear list of sources at the end of his article. This, unfortunately, is very distracting and confusing to readers but luckily is the only factor taking away from Bradley’s writing credibility. What really masks Bradley’s lack of clear sources is his overall calm and professional tone that is executed throughout ?the entire? article. Expressing an opinion in? a p?olitical debate can often lead to one’s emotions becomin?g much ?too apparent. Often writers trying to convey their opinion about a subject like this will give off an angry or aggressive tone to the readers.
Bradley, impressively, remains calm and does not attack opposite opinions with an aggressive way of writing.? There is one short paragraph that Bradley writes in towards the end of his articl?e that I find very powerful. Bradley writes; No family is better off when one of its own abuses drugs. No child is better off with parents or family members who are drug users or living in neighborhoods and attending schools where marijuana is accessible. No community is better off when a large number of its people are drug users—what employer would be pleased when the pool of potential employees increasingly features habitual drug users? No society is better off with legalized marijuana (Bradley). This is Bradley’s way of ?conveying his overall message to his readers? in an influencing manner without attacking his opposing debaters in a vicious way. Bradley never calls an opposing argument stupid or degrades it in any way.
He simply forms his own defense against opposing opinions and delivers it in a professional manner. This calm and professional tone and persona lets Bradley’s readers take him seriously and ?ensures ?his message is never overshadowed. When looking at Tim Bradley’s article on why recreational marijuana should not be legalized in The United States it is easy to see it is a very well written article. The points made above about Bradley’s article make it clear that Bradley is a very talented writer and this article would be effective in persuading? any type of reader?. There are some people who write persuasive articles but only really reach the people who originally shared the same opinion. It is safe to say that Bradley’s article is capable of persuading somebody who originally ?thought ?recreational marijuana should be legal as well as the people who already agreed with him. Take me for example, it was my original opinion that recreational marijuana should be legal for a various amount of reasons. After reading Bradley’s article it was my newly formed opinion that it shouldn’t be legal and it is all because of how well written this article was. His lack of sources is his only mistake, it really is obsolete? when paired with all? his talented writing techniques. It was Bradley’s excellent use of rhetorical appeals combined with a calm tone and well-formed arguments that set this article above many others.
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