When the word rhetoric comes up, we, the American people, always think of a shady politician trying to convince the public about one thing or another. Since we began exploring the topic of rhetoric and how it ties in with our democratic society, it has been hard for me to not separate rhetoric from politics. As the campaign for the 2012 presidential election heats up, I have been watching closely. A great example of a rhetorical device being used is “kairos.” Before reading the chapter about kairos in our Rhetoric and Civic Life book, I had not the slightest clue about what “a kairos” was.
Now that I know what kairos is, I can see it all around me, especially in the political realm. Kairos is used a way to make a point at the most effective moment. For example, when there is a spree of violence in a city, officials automatically want to tighten controls on weapons and impose stiffer penalties for criminals. In the political realm of the United States today, kairos is used all the time. It is often used at the right rhetorical time to establish a spearhead for a political campaign as well as to gather support for a politician or his or her policies.
Whenever President Barack Obama seems to fail or make a mistake on something such as the economy or universal health care, his opponents are very fast to step up and criticize him and propose their own methods that they claim will work better than what the President did. Democrats and republicans are both guilty when it comes to using kairos to bash their opponents and propose their own ideas. Kairos is extremely commonplace in the political world, you can just turn on the television and watch public figures use it. As race for the Whitehouse heats up, we are most certainly guaranteed to see kairos used to a large extent.