Inform the audience about the inequality and discrimination in the US

The commencement speech “Bernie Sanders to Brooklyn College Graduates: Don’t ‘Allow Demagogues to Divide Us’ ” focuses on the topics of inequality and discrimination in the US.

To achieve his intention of informing the audience about the issues related to inequality in the US, Sanders relies highly on logical arguments and statistics (logos) such as:

…we have seen a tenfold increase in the number of billionaires – going from 51 to 565. In America today, CEOs of major corporations now earn about 350 times more than the average worker makes. In terms of income, 52 percent of all new income goes to the top 1%. (ll. 41-43)

Such statistics help the speaker build a convincing case against the rich minority in the US and to illustrate that economic inequality is a serious problem in the US.

Sanders also uses emotions (pathos) to engage the audience on this topic: “Unbelievably, in many parts of this country today, as a result of hopelessness and despair, life expectancy is actually declining as a frightening number of people experience drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide” (ll. 48-50). The speaker informs the audience of the consequences of income inequality by evoking negative emotions such as despair and fear. As the audience will connect emotions with information, they are more likely to remember the points Sanders makes.

Sanders also uses a personal family story and references to the Holocaust to informs the audience of the dangers of discrimination, which he associates with an extreme right-wing government (ll. 24-25). He also links discrimination to a demagogue's behaviour (ll. 26-28). Here, he might be alluding to the current Republican administration led by Donald Trump who made a series of controversial statements that many believed to reflect an extremist and populist rhetoric.

By using a powerful enumeration, he suggests ...

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