Rhetoric & Composition I Rotating Header Image

Douthat & Stasis


“The disappointment and impatience that people feel in a decadent era is legitimate, even admirable. But the envy of more heroic moments, the desire to just do something to prove your society’s vitality — Invade Iraq to remake the Middle East! Open Germany’s borders! Elect Trump or Sanders president! — can be a very dangerous sensibility.”

“There are pathways up from decadence. But there are more roads leading down.”

Sunday Review: Trump, Sanders and the Revolt Against Decadence

We’ll try to apply stasis to this one:

Questions of fact and conjecture

  • Did/does something happen?
  • What is its origin?
  • Is there an act to be considered?
  • What produced it?
  • What changes can be made?

Questions of definition

  • What is its nature?
  • How can the issue be defined? 
  • And once you’ve defined it, can you imagine any common ground on the issue between people who might want to take different persuasive positions on it?