Letter to President Trump

In relation to my degree, I've been reading a variety of articles everyday to help me get a better understanding of what's happening globally, and particularly in the United States of America. I've read everything from newspaper and magazine pieces to fiction and non-fiction books. I seek information in its purest form and, in the process, hope to educate myself on the various issues that are present in the world. While on the road to fulfilling the aim, I have been keeping myself up to date on your intriguing policies ever since you took hold of the office, which is why I am writing the letter to you.

It is a well- known fact that you have been adamant about dismantling quite a few policies set in place by former President Barrack Obama. It is also a well- known fact that you have faced quite a lot of backlash for your stance on political matters, and yet you continue to stand firm and go forward with what you believe in, which is an admirable quality. Most recently, you were able to officially execute the dismantling of the immigrants’ program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), introduced by former President Barack Obama during his term in the White House.

I hold no political affiliations as such; I believe that every new government comes with its set of pros and cons. However, I do not support your stance on the rescinding of a program that was providing people with a chance to make their lives better. Immigrants are what our country is made of. The United States of America constitutes a population that is primarily made up of African- Americans, Latin- Americans, Asians and other minority groups who have come to the country in the hopes for a better future. By rescinding DACA, we are taking away their right to freedom, especially of the children who are only trying to turn their lives around. They may have entered the country illegally, but if they are working jobs to support themselves while helping our economy, what harm are they causing us? Yes, specific areas of crime may have increased due to the presence of such groups, but we, as white people, play an equally important part in promoting those crimes when we acknowledge that they are only meant for such purposes.

What is done is done. However, I believe that you possess the power to introduce an even better policy that will benefit such people. If you believe that they are taking over our jobs or merely creating too much havoc, at least give them a fair chance to prove that they would benefit our country. Agreed, no one wants people to be a part of something if they cannot actively contribute to society. So, provide them with incentives to do better rather than deporting them to the country. Make them see that you have a logic behind your actions. America came into existence because of immigrants, so why expel those immigrants from the country now? I hope you will consider the letter as you move forward with your presidency, and move towards a better future for the country.

Part II: Conforming to social pressure

The social experiment that I chose for the paper was derived keeping in mind Asch’s conformity experiment, given that it will assess the level of conformity in school-going children when it comes to bullying. My reason for choosing the topic is because, growing up, bullying was a familiar sight to me in school. There are often incidences where children, having impressionable minds, conform to social pressure and take the side of one party not to stand out and be the next target of the bully. The aim of conducting the experiment is to find out whether children more commonly take the side of the bully or the bullied in a school setting, and why. I believe that the outcome of the experiment will prove that school-going children do, in fact, often end up siding with the bully or taking no sides at all due to social pressure, so as not to become the target of bullying as well.

Procedures and methods

Firstly, I will select a school and get consent from the school authorities as well as the parents. Once I get permission, I aim to carry out an observational experiment whereby I note the children in their natural settings, during both playtime and classroom hours, to yield the best possible results. The children will not be aware of being observed, as that would likely lead to them becoming conscious of how they behave around me. I will be assuming the role of a teacher’s assistant so that the children are not alarmed by any of the experiment’s proceedings. Even though the children will not be aware of the experiment, the parents and school authorities will be well- informed of the whole procedure beforehand.

Once the bullying starts, I will make sure to record down how everything started, who started it, how the children reacted, and what happened in the end. The point of noting all these things down is so that we can later justify everything. After the observational part of the experiment is completed, I will proceed to ask the students specific structured questions regarding their stance on bullying and how they are likely to react in such a situation, to get a better sense of their thinking process.

For the research to be effective, along with a sense of the ethical dilemmas, parental consent will be taken well beforehand to avoid any such mishaps during the time of the experiment. Furthermore, despite knowing the likely outcome, the experiment will still be conducted over a large area to give a positive outcome and so that the study can be generalized.


There are more than likely to be specific aspects that would hinder the process of the experiment, the most common being parental consent. Many parents, and even school authorities, may have a problem in letting their children be exposed to such an experiment even though the experiment would not be causing the bullying to take place.

Furthermore, the experiment could be a very time-consuming, given that we cannot predict when a child will bully someone or be the subject of bullying. It could take place anytime and anywhere, which would require that I am always vigilant about the activities of the children. As such, the experiment would also need a lot of patience, given that it could happen the same day or it could take up to weeks before a significant bullying incident takes place.

Part III: Socratic Dialogue

Characters: Hannah, Jennifer, and a waiter

One Sunday afternoon, Hannah and Jennifer are having lunch at a well- known restaurant and catching up on each other's lives. Both of them have been friends since college, and are now married and well- settled in their respective careers. They have both made it a point to schedule a meet up at least once a month, to stay in touch. However, ever since they started their careers and then eventually got married, Hannah has been noticing subtle changes in Jennifer that she is not entirely in favor of. Jennifer seems to have become quite judgmental and more concerned with materialistic things and appearances ever since she got a high- paying job. The matter was only aggravated more since her husband provides for everything and just allows her to spend her own money to treat herself. This bothers Hannah a lot, but she has refused to comment before out of respect for their close friendship. Hannah keeps her thoughts to herself and does not let her concerns get in the way of their friendship. On this day, however, Hannah does not seem to be in the mood for such materialistic and judgmental behavior and ends up calling Jennifer out on her behavior that Hannah deems utterly ridiculous.

Jennifer: Oh my God, what in the world is that woman wearing? Have you seen her? The woman that just entered the restaurant.

Hannah: Looking perplexed. What? No. Why would I even bother myself with a stranger?

Jennifer: Yeah, but just look at her. Someone tell her that outfit went out of fashion a long time ago.

Hannah: Looks at the woman. I do not see what is wrong with the outfit. She looks fine. Just concentrate on what you are doing, not on others. Please.

Jennifer: Fine. She still looks weird though. I feel sorry for her now.

Hannah: So, anyway. How is your job going? You mentioned on the phone that you were getting frustrated by some things at the office.

Jennifer: Oh my God, my boss is so annoying. I just do not get her. All she does is throw orders at me as if I am a lowly assistant. I do not think she realizes my real potential. Who does she think she is? She cannot even be bothered to dress up appropriately, and I am the one being punished for no reason.

Hannah: Getting more and more frustrated by the minute. Hmm, okay, but is not that how jobs usually are? I understand it is not always the best thing, but she still is your boss. Plus, you are getting such a good salary here. Focus on your work, and maybe you will be taking over her position one day.

Jennifer: Yes, I am very well aware of my greatness, thank you. It does not change the fact that she is just intolerable. Ugh, what is with the service here? We have been here 5 minutes, and still, no one has come to take our order. I think I should file a complaint. Excuse me! Can we get some excellent service around here, please? We do not have all day.

A waiter rushes over to take their order, looking disheveled.

Waiter: I apologize for the wait, madam. We have just been swamped with orders.

Hannah: That is alright. We have only been here a few minutes anyway.

Jennifer: Are you serious? We have been waiting for ages! I am not paying good money here to get service like this. I will be speaking to your manager about this.

The waiter, scared at the prospect of being fired, quickly takes their order and runs off towards the kitchen.

Hannah: Okay, what is going on with you?

Jennifer: What do you mean?

Hannah: Since when did my friend become so materialistic and judgmental? I thought we made fun of those women, but now you are just one of them.

Jennifer: Relax, Hannah. I have learned this is how the world works. You cannot escape it, so you might as well accept it.

Hannah: I think I have successfully managed to escape it. No? I feel like you are conforming to some societal pressure. You should not have to change yourself to fit in with people's perceptions about the world in general.

Jennifer: I am not conforming to any pressure. This is just who I am, Hannah. And even if I am, what is so wrong with that? I am not alone in it. Everyone does it, so why are you getting mad at me?

Hannah: Because you should not have to change who you are to make people like you. I thought you were better than that.

Jennifer: Gets mad. Excuse me? Better than what? I am still me. I have just adapted to my surroundings.

Hannah: You have not adapted. You have completely changed. And, I am not looking down upon you. I just genuinely believe that you so much to offer. You should not have to change your personality because some people will not like you. In fact, I believe standing out would mean that a lot of people look up to you. Because you are one of the nicest people I know. Do not conform to such pressure. Not when the cost of it is that you become an elitist who finds flaws in everyone. Nobody likes that, especially in this day and age, when people are so focused on trying to stand out. Be who you are, and I think you will be good to go.

Jennifer: Okay, I will admit that it is not always fun. I know I am becoming this person that I do not always like. You have given me a lot to think about. And I am glad you are the one person who keeps it real. I do not know what I would do if you were not there to point out my flaws, honestly. You are the only person who can help me see where I am wrong and where in my life I need to make changes. Thank you for that.

Hannah: Laughs. I am just glad you have not run away despite my constant need to point things out for the way I see them.

Jennifer apologizes to the waiter for talking so rudely. Both women part on good terms, promising to meet up again soon.

Part IV: Analysis of Socratic Dialogue

A Socratic dialogue is one in which one person focuses on proving his/ her point of view right and get the point across to the other person. As the name suggests, the dialogue stems from the work of the philosopher known as Socrates. Socrates aim was to encourage the use of critical thinking based on dialectic, which focuses on a logical argument carried out one- on- one with another person. The method was applied in the dialogue written above, which centered on two college friends with different opinions on conforming to the perceptions of society in general. Both had varying views, but one of them eventually understood the other's point of view as being correct, thus bringing about a Socratic Dialogue, i.e., an argument based on logic. As such, the essay aims to analyze the dialogue mentioned above, keeping in mind the rhetorical techniques utilized in the process.

Firstly, the dialogue makes good use of the Toulmin Model, in that Hannah presents arguments supported by logical claims. On the other hand, Jennifer's argument seems less convincing because she knows, in her heart, that she is wrong and fails to provide grounds for her claims. For the most of the dialogue, Hannah continuously points out that trying to conform to societal pressure does not make Jennifer stand out or become a better person. She gives a reasoning for everything she claims and makes Jennifer realize, through the reasoning, that specific changes need to be made.

Secondly, the dialogue makes efficient use of one the three main rhetorical techniques, i.e., ethos, thereby making the dialogue more impactful. Ethos primarily refers to one's appeal towards the ethics by taking into account the speaker's credibility and sound character, which can be explained by the starting of the dialogue where Hannah makes good use of ignoring her frustrations to keep the conversation civil. She tries not to partake in the conversation and sacrifices her wants for the greater good by letting Jennifer speak freely. Hannah seems to be reluctant to bring up her concerns, initially, out of respect for their friendship. However, Jennifer's rants continue to such an extent, especially after the scene with the waiter, that Hannah feels it is imperative that she address the matter before it gets even more out of hand. Even then, her frustration stems from her concerns about the worrying path that her friend seems to be taking in life. Despite not wanting to aggravate the matter for her reasons, she decides to intervene to aggressively persuade her friend and make her see that this is not what life is all about. If it was not clear before, it most definitely becomes evident towards the end of the dialogue that Hannah genuinely is acting out of concern for Jennifer's behavior, rather than for her peace of mind.

Based on her self- righteous stance, Hannah somewhat utilizes the act of showing disinterest for her selfish reasons. She makes use of reluctant conclusion, a rhetorical device in which a person already assumes a position where their conclusion is the right one due to an overwhelming feeling of it being entirely logical, before even reaching an end to the conversation. There is no doubt that Hannah genuinely does care for her friend. However, there is an underlying tone of being right, as if delivering a sermon, where Hannah is not even willing to acknowledge Jennifer's perspective because she strongly feels she is right. She is so adamant about getting her seemingly rightful point across that she loses sight of trying not to her friend. Once she starts, she is unable to stop and lets out all her frustration, all the while believing that she is in the right and Jennifer is in the wrong.

Thirdly, Hannah makes use of logos, another rhetorical device, which centers on appealing to logic and making the other person see reason. The use of logos is, perhaps, Hannah’s most powerful ally as she sets off trying to make Jennifer see why she is in the wrong. The technique of logos is emphasized in the dialogue by going from general to specific, i.e., the method of deduction. The deduction is exhibited in the dialogue, for example, when Hannah readily assumed that since everyone who claims to be an elitist person is materialistic and judgmental, then Jennifer must also be conforming to the societal pressure of being elitist and thereby becoming materialistic and judgmental to fit in with that particular crowd.

Despite being right in the end and successfully convincing her friend of the truth, Hannah did make use of certain fallacies to get to that point in the conversation. She makes use of the technique reductio ad absurdum, whereby she argues that Jennifer's logic is absurd at best and is entirely against the fact that Jennifer is so readily accepting to the conformity of a ridiculous position. She harshly claims that she thought Jennifer was better than that, to get her point across that Jennifer is foolish and unreasonable in her choice of lifestyle. However, in the end, she does manage to make Jennifer see reason, while also proving to the audience that her point of view was more logical than that of Jennifer’s.

Both friends make good use of their arguments. However, one's claims manage to stand out from the others. Jennifer, however, shows a side of the argument that makes one think about their course of actions. Despite claiming otherwise, she did not make herself change to adapt to her new surroundings. Instead, she helps the audience realize that you conform to certain things in life as a way to survive, but more importantly, because you are exposed to that particular environment every day and unconsciously end up adopting specific characteristics, thereby giving rise to conformity. The dialogue is an accurate representation of a Socratic dialogue in that one person, Jennifer in tje case, eventually concedes to other's point of view, while the other, Hannah, aggressively pushes her point until the other person accepts it. Hannah emerged as the victor in the dialogue.

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