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No clothes for emperor, or legislators--Deseret News

Sarah Payne, p8

Can you picture our politicians walking around without any clothes on? No clothes for
emperor, or legislators is a very interesting editorial written by John Florez from the newspaper
The Deseret News. The point of the article is that our government is only pretending--they really
have absolutely no idea what they are doing.
Florez relates this situation to the childrens tale The Emperors New Clothes. In this
story, two fraudulent weavers come to the palace of an emperor and tell him that they can make
him a suit of clothes that is invisible to anyone who is stupid or not able to do their job. They
pretend to weave cloth, make clothes, and suit up the emperor, when in reality, they use no
materials at all. There really is no such thing as invisible cloth that you cant see if you arent
competent. The plan is ingenious because everyone will pretend to be admiring the clothes they
cant see. They dont want to look bad.
This, says Florez, is what our government is doing. They are trying to make us believe we
have results, when really we do not.
In the first paragraph, the author describes how our government is trying to make us think
they know what they are doing, although multiple times, Florez calls this a pretense--in other
words, they are putting on a show. This is where the analogy to the childrens story comes in.
The emperor has no clothes, and the legislators have no clue how to run a country or a state.
As to the analogy of the emperors clothes, however, while it shows that John Florez knows
plenty about fairy tales, is not contributing to his ethos; there really is no proper use of the three
appeals in this entire half of the editorial, and because of this, it does not seem like the author
knows what he is talking about. An impartial judge, were he or she to read this, would not be
properly convinced.
Perhaps a better way to make his point would be to use a different analogy. Relating a real-
life situation to a fairy tale could be seen as irrelevant, just as some people say that there is no
such thing as happily ever after. More use of the three appeals would also strengthen his
argument, especially logos.
Some credit must be given to the author. There is one place, close to the beginning of the
article, where pathos is used to great effect. The phrase Is it any wonder that oozes
exasperation. This is very effective. It encourages us to feel frustration that many of us already
feel toward our government, thereby giving us something to relate to.
From here on out, however, there is very little logos or ethos. The pathos, however, is very
overdone. Obama has been elected twice; his government clearly has some support. Therefore,
saying that the governments bills have no coherence, thought or vision is useless unless there
is some logos to back it up. Clearly, there are some who disagree. They will not be convinced.
There is a crippling lack of logos throughout the whole editorial. The author provides few facts
to back up his arguments. On an issue as emotionally charged and heavily opinionated as
politics, those on the other side will not change their minds without some logos or ethos.
There is a part which does show a bit of logos following the fairy-tale analogy. The author
gives an example of something Becky Lockhart did that he took issue with. To show how its all
an act, Florez describes how Lockhart gave a speech about having faith in the process, then
proposed a very expensive program without first presenting it to the proper task force. This not
only presents logos, in the form of facts, but it also shows a bit of ethos. He follows up on what
the government is up to. This is admittedly a bright spot.
From here on, however, there is little improvement. The following paragraph is full of
accusations that are meant to make us angry. This is the very same reason that the Declaration of
Independence lists offenses by the king to the American colonists. What Florez is attempting is a
very useful strategy, but it has to be done properly. Here is another place where ethos and logos
could be used to great effect. Without these, the authors argument seems lopsided and biased,
causing us to wonder if this is really the full story. The accusations are there, but they do not
work as they are meant to without the much-needed facts.
This would be remedied if the author would take a moment to discuss the views of those on
the other side of this issue--that is, those who are in support of our state and federal governments.
This would lessen the overwhelming bias that is demonstrated throughout the editorial, with
generous helpings of contempt. It is difficult to take someone seriously who is so partial that they
cannot possibly argue an issue from both sides. Far easier is it to listen to someone who
considers their opponents points of view in their argument. The fact that Florez fails to do this
causes serious damage to his ethos.
This might lessen the blow caused by another problem with Florezs ethos in his editorial:
the way that some of the paragraphs dont connect like they should. Grammatical errors do not
help a persons credibility. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs have this problem. There are
few leads to guide the reader on. Each of those paragraphs end an expression of how big of a
pretense the government is putting on, such as What a pretense or Another pretense. Quite
apart from the fact that neither of these are complete sentences, they do little to encourage the
reader to continue to read on, as a good paragraph should. Rather, they make the reader think
Wow, Ive heard that line before. Time to read something else. A good paragraph should end
with the reader interested in what happens next.
Phrases such as stifle the will of the people, killing the intent of the peoples
initiative (This phrase is poorly worded and doesnt make sense--the reader has to think about it
for a minute to figure out its meaning. Its very unhelpful to his argument.) and bogus
compromise jump out at you. These are a bit weak because they leave so many questions
unanswered. How is our government moving to stifle the will of the people? What makes the
author say that they are killing our initiative? The lack of answers just leaves the reader
In particular, the phrase bogus compromise frustrates the reader. What was the bogus
compromise? The article refers to a compromise but does not provide any information about
what kind of compromise it was, who made it, or what was compromised. A compromise implies
that something was given up. What was given up? Was it our rights? Was it our initiative? Was it
our money? Was it power? There is no explanation, no expanding on a phrase to which our
attention latches on. It feels incomplete. The reader is left hanging, desperate, frustrated, and
There is some ethos in the facts and quotes that we can find, but John Florez continues to
rely too heavily on pathos. There is a quote by LaVarr Webb which agrees with Florez, which is
nice, but there needs to be some sort of credentials listed, such as United States Senator or
politics professor so that people wont look at the quote and say, Who is LaVarr Webb? Who
are they to say this? Instead, it would make them look like someone who knows what they are
talking about, and who should be listened to.
Florez chooses this moment to refer back to The Emperors New Clothes. This is a
woeful and fatal mistake. As previously stated, a fairy tale reference in a professional paper does
not help the authors ethos. This is not a good idea.
What is also not a good idea is how the author then makes a few comments along the
lines of Citizens do what the government tells them to do, even if they dont like it. (This is
paraphrased.) There is another comment previous to this which says If we dont see the
purposewe are ignorant and do not understand. These types of comments could be taken as an
insult to the citizens. These people are the ones who are probably going to be reading this article;
they are Florezs intended audience. If they take offense at this, they could decide now to
disregard the whole article.
At last, we come to the finale of the editorial--the conclusion. The conclusion is quite a
bit more compelling than most of the rest. It includes a crucial part of a paper like this: a call to
action! This is absolutely indispensable. By adding a challenge at the end for the people to bring
about the change they want--by encouraging us to make it happen--Florez gives the reader
something to think about. This is exactly what you want to do, and for doing so, the author must
be applauded.
The article written by Florez presents a very controversial issue with strong feelings on
both sides. Although the case presented is something to think about, Florezs argument does not
encourage such thought. Included are some suggestions on what could help. Hopefully the reader
of this paper will take what has been discussed here today into his or her own writing. Always
remember to use the three appeals; they will bring so much success to your own arguments.

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