A recent article authored by the editorial board of The New York Times discusses an unannounced meeting between the United States President Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this July (“What did Trump and Putin,” 2017). The authors’ main point is that it is unclear what the two leaders were discussing; different sources suggest different versions, and the authors provide assumptions on the topic of the conversation, too. Also, the general theme of the article is that it was not a wise decision for President Trump to the initiative this meeting with President Putin.
The authors make the case by referring to several versions of what the two leaders could discuss proposed by different speakers, including President Trump himself and a White House spokesman. The current relations between the United States and Russia are reviewed, and on this basis, additional ideas are suggested on why President Trump might have needed to initiate the unannounced meeting.
The authors use both logical argumentation and rhetoric. For the former, they present the list of existing conflicts between the United States and Russia to show that meeting unofficially with President Putin might not have been a good idea for President Trump. Further, President Trump is blamed for holding this meeting without his advisers or even his translator present, and the authors explain why this was unwise, too. Finally, the authors repeatedly ask rhetorical questions, which according to Patrona (2012), make articles more emotionally appealing.
Based on the presented arguments, readers can find the authors’ position valid and reasonable. President Trump’s decision to talk unofficially to President Putin does appear to be questionable, and the way the meeting was held does suggest President Trump’s lack of experience in foreign policy.
Patrona, M. (2012). Journalists on the news: The structured panel discussion as a form of broadcast talk. Discourse & Society, 23(2), 145-162.
What did Trump and Putin tell each other? (2017). The New York Times.