How Did Blair and Bush Create and Reinforce Their Political Ideologies in Their Post 9-11 Speeches?

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How did Blair and Bush create and reinforce their political ideologies in their post 9-11 speeches? The rhetoric, lexis, semantic field, syntax and various other linguistic features utilised by Tony Blair and George Bush in their post 9-11 speeches were crucial in reinforcing their political ideologies. Political language of counter terrorism promotes and limited range of meaning, as it has its own assumptions, symbolic system, rhetorical modes and metaphors. A critical analysis of Blair’s and Bush’s discourse will allow me to analyse how the use of language makes up the political reality of our social construct. My analysis mainly focuses on semantic fields and syntax. A semantic field of fear runs throughout the discourses of both Blair and Bush. Bush began his speech with the following sentence; “Good evening… series of deliberate and deadly terrorist attacks”. Blair also opts to utilise the same method “it was the events of September 11 that marked a turning point in history, where we confront the dangers of mankind, it was tragedy, an act of evil”. Due to the semantic field of fear and terror running throughout the discourses of Bush and Blair their choice of lexis is crucial in conveying their political ideologies. The introduction of Bush’s speech was of dire importance. Antithesis is being used within the first sentence; Bush begins his discourse “… Our fellow citizens, our way of life…”, and then ends with “deadly terrorist acts”. Due to the contrasting image portrayed listeners feel their “way of life”, they, as individuals and citizens of America are at threat, of “deadly and deliberate terrorist attacks”. This further promotes the global normalisation of terrorism and the “War on terror”. Furthermore, Blair says “just a choice; defeat it or be defeated it”. These charged words and many more are the backbone to Blair’s address to the nation.

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