In the year 1984, the current president Ronald Reagan was running against former vice president Walter Mondale. During this time, the economy was rising and oil and interest rates were high. America was recovering from the scare of the Cold War and was getting back to work and becoming productive once more. President Reagan was nicknamed “the Teflon president” for his ability to get out of sticky situations during his time in office. For Reagan’s second running, he used a campaign ad titled “Train”. Within this ad, political candidate Ronald Reagan uses pathos laden images like the massive group of people waiting for the train with Reagan on it, fallacious arguments such as the red herring being that the phrase “Leadership that’s working” without any visual proof, as well as desperate appeals to kairos in the “Train” ad to convey the idea that he does not deserve my vote; this is especially because he does not provide enough evidence of his good works aside from basic facts that times are on the rise.
A good way for any political candidate to get the public’s attention in an advertisement is to have a mass amount of people in the advertisement itself. At the beginning of the commercial we see that a barber shop is closing early and parents are picking up their children from early dismissal from school. Everyone in this advertisement is all rushing to the train tracks to see their beloved president pass by. An interesting trait about this commercial though is that President Reagan is revealing himself to the public eye so that he’s not only seen on a screen but in the flesh. That right there has a huge amount of pathos on the target audience of American voters. The audio track over the commercial says that some people would attend seeing Reagan go by on a train to simply tell their grandchildren about it, and others went to see a man they truly admired.
The red herring behind the whole commercial is primarily at the end of the campaign ad. The phrase, “Leadership that’s working,” crosses the screen but there is no evidence provided about that in the ad. Granted, President Reagan as a political figure did do a lot of good; there is simply no evidence in this commercial. He is loved by the people that are in the ad, but that is barely any proof that he’s a leader. He could simply be seen as a celebrity or idol without further investigation of who he is or what he’s done to serve our country.