Rhetorical Analysis of “The Rise of the Rest”
In “The Rise of the Rest,” Fareed Zakaria moves his thesis about how America is not declining, but instead the rest of the world is rising, through his use of tone. His piece sounds highly optimistic because of the way he describes the state of the world. This tone on such a topic regarding the state of the US vs. the world is contrary to the sentiment held by most Americans; however Zakaria’s belief that the rest of the world is quickly catching up to American standards does not translate to America declining. Through his optimistic tone, Zakaria is able to convey the unpopular belief that America no longer being on top is a good thing.
“In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the ‘wrong track.’” (Zakaria 1). A bleak picture, indeed, yet Zakria debunks this by saying that things like unemployment numbers, terrorism, and foreclosure rates are simply not bad enough to warrant such poll numbers. This type of rebuttal shows his positive and counter-cultural tone about this issue. He talks about how this sentiment is most likely due to the changing tide in our world where America is no longer as powerful and influential as it used to be and this leads to a pessimistic society. A major reason, he believes, for this is the heavy influence of the media.
With the advent of social media and instantaneous world news due to the Internet, relatively unimportant and mild acts of violence are over-sensationalized by the media and made into things much bigger than they are. An example Zakaria used was the two million people died in Indochina in the 70s but because the media did not cover it everyday or show videos of it, Americans were not as influenced by the events. Now compare it to a café bombing in Afghanistan, and “every bomb that explodes is BREAKING NEWS.” (Zakaria 2). He then leads back with an optimistic tone that whenever Americans hear of a...