Monday, May 20, 2013
Statement Analysis: President Obama On Manhood
to "transform" is to change. One would need to know the way "we think" about manhood(the subject's reference point) in order to know what it is being changed. Note that it is not what the subject thinks, but what "we" think. This indicates the subject includes his thinking with that of the audience at Morehouse College.
Delivering a commencement address at the all-male private liberal arts college in Atlanta, Obama spoke in deeply personal terms about the “special obligation” he feels as a black man to help those left behind.
“There but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes,” Obama said. “I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family — and that motivates me.”
Note the order:
3. Unable to support a family
Note that these three things motivate the President of the United States.
The president also reflected on the absence of his father growing up, noting that he was raised by a “heroic single mother,” and urged the young graduates not to shrink from their family responsibilities.
“My whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle — where a father’s not at home, where a father’s not helping to raise that son and daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.”
"My whole life" does not include any dating of time prior to marriage. This skips over a great deal of time, from childhood until marriage. This period of life skipped over is the formative years and have been controversial in the debates over the subject's biography. He does not consider the two + decades preceding marriage as part of his "whole life."
Please note the use of the pronoun "I" as strong.
Note also that the word "tried" in the past tense is an indication of attempt and failure. Does the context of this statement support this?
Note the verb, "want" is in the present tense, indicating that he has not been for Michelle and his girls what he intends to be.
He "wants" to break the cycle, which he has not.
Note "that" is distancing language. He wants to break, present tense, "that" (distance) cycle. This is for the future.
He wants to be a better:
Order indicates priority.