Intention

George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address explores themes including American foreign and domestic policies regarding terrorism in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the economic recession in the US.

The speaker’s formal (official) purpose with the speech is to present to the US Congress an assessment of the situation in the US and the measures he proposes to address the issues he identifies: “As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has n…

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American foreign policy

The specific overall intention of the 2002 State of the Union address is to gain the Congress’s and the American public’s approval for the measures Bush intends to take against terrorism and states that support terrorism. In particular, Bush wants them to approve his budget and his proposed legislative reforms.

To this end, the speaker wants to convince the audience that intervening in Afghanistan and destroying terrorist networks was both necessary and legitimate, even if expensive. In this case, the speaker uses ethos, appealing to tru…

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American domestic policy 

Another intention is to encourage the Congress and the American public to agree with his homeland security strategy—to convince them the US needs to take further domestic measures to prevent another terrorist attack. This is why he invites Americans to join a volunteer organization promoting homeland security:

My call tonight is for every American to commit at least two years – 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime -- to the…

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