RE Booth's Discussion of Audience & Rhetoric

"The media," Booth writes in Chapter 6, "have by now produced an inescapable expansion and multiplicity of audiences" (111), naming this as one of two major revolutions having complicated every moment of political rhetrickery, or P-Rhet. Booth goes on to write of a major result of this: "accomodation to specific audiences now becomes much more dangerous than it used to be" (111). Dangerous how? Well, Booth says it is easier for enemies to fact-check on last week's statements and declare the speaker's dishonest. Democrats do this, Republicans do this, the president does this, and Booth cites specific examples of George W.'s rephrasings concerning WMD's: "weapons of mass destruction" to "programs of mass destruction" to "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."

However, I'm finding it difficult to believe in Booth's revolution and the supposed danger of it. Given the support George W. garnered for the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, it doesn't seem to me that there was any real danger involved. The rhetoric was broad and general enough to invoke not only patriotism but a sense of "this is the right thing to do." Furthermore, I'd say that speaking to an "anti-Republican" audience is much more dangerous than speaking to a "patriotic American" audience, if only because the former's more of a minority. Not once has the current president tried in any way to speak to any minority, and all of his speeches are evidence, including the one discussed weeks ago in class. Even while speaking to the U.N., George W.'s primary audience was the American people!

In this way, the Bush administration is primarily (if only) concerned with appealing to and reinforcing the current hegemonic system of thought, with remaining unmarked, remaining natural (bringing in Trinh T. Minh-ha here). There is a distinct lack of violation of expectations (although there's often struggle to rephrase the results of certain actions, like the invasion/occupation of Iraq) and a very near refusal of deliberate openness to multiple meanings.

(slightly unrelated) closing question: If we take Trinh T. Minh-ha's suggestion to "let difference replace conflict" (216), how might this impact not only current conflicts, but also rhetoric? Of course, Minh-ha's talking about this suggestion in relation to her films, but couldn't it apply to other situations as well?