Enduring love affair
Most of us cannot help but be awestruck when we witness nature's scenic beauties- truly, they are a feast for the eyes! For this reason, the world has an "enduring love affair" with the National Parks of the United States. Thus, Todd Davidson eloquently expresses that preserving these majestic Parks is the need of the hour, and is successful in persuading his audience, too, that the US government must continue to fund National Parks. The author does this through a multitude of rhetorical devices, appealing to the readers' emotions, and using unfiltered facts and data to back his claim- herein lies his craftsmanship.
He begins the passage stating that the National Parks "connect us with our shared heritage and tell our nation's stories," evoking feelings of pride and love amongst his readers for their beautiful nation and its equally stunning heritage. He doesn't shy away from employing pathos throughout his passage, and goes on to give a highly descriptive imagery of the "deep blue caldera of Crater Lake... the special time of winter... in the Yosemite Valley... the spectacular October fall colors of red maples, oaks and hickories in the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains." This description unapologetically makes us forget everything around us for a moment, and compels us to recreate the picturesque and "incredible, almost magical grandeur" of the National Parks. Who wouldn't be stirred by these vivid sceneries, which inexorably infiltrate the readers' minds? Davidson reminds us, perhaps deliberately, that these Parks have "been preserved for us and future generations," so that me may feel something akin to guilt if we do not save the National Parks; after all, their beauty is to be cherished by posterity, and not just us! It would not do them justice if we were to rob them of such satiety, of such complacence.
At first glance, it might seem like Davidson has employed only pathos to convince us that the National Parks need more funding. However, this is far from true- the writer makes use of statistical data and unfiltered numbers just as well as he appeals to the sentiments of his audience. "Each year, nearly 300 million people visit one or more of America's 401 national parks, ranging from educational Civil War battlefields to awe-inspiring places like Yellowstone, Acadia National Park and the Grand Canyon." This implies that National Parks are an indispensable component of the American tourism economy. In addition to being stunning and educational, the author informs us that they are also "immensely affordable destinations for American families and are top U.S. tourist attractions." Here, he connects with families at a personal level, demonstrating that increasing the funds for the amelioration and conservation of National Parks will have a direct impact on them as well. National Parks are thus a "winning economic scenario," according to Todd Davidson, not just for the economies of small towns and communities- and subsequently the nation- but also for visitors.
It is indubitable, then, that National Parks affect the economy of the nation in a direct manner, by bringing national and international tourism, and also generating "$30 billion in spending and supporting a quarter-million jobs," including, but not limited to, local dining, hotels and car rent services, along with promotion of neighbouring small-scale attractions. The writer provides a strong interrelation between these various ideas, ultimately conveying that the advantages of increased funding are multifold. His tactical reasoning, accompanied with factually coherent data, as well as his competence in invoking all kinds of emotions among his readers, together result in a cohesive passage with an emphatic message. His proficiency in engaging all the senses of his audience leaves them befuddled, giving them no choice but to agree with every point of his, and nod in accordance for his cogent judgments and efficacious arguments.
Due to these reasons, Davidson finds it ironic that the federal government has further reduced funding of National Parks by $153 million. Parks now "have fewer rangers to protect and maintain historic sites and greet visitors, minimized visitor center hours, closed campgrounds, restrooms and picnic areas and reduced road and trail maintenance." It is highly unfortunate that they have become inaccessible, and also less enjoyable. The irony inherent here, as per Todd, is that the National Parks supported the "U.S. travel and tourism industry, which is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy that represents $1.8 trillion in economic output and supports 14 million American jobs." Moreover, "every dollar invested in the National Park Service generates $10 in economic activity"- a statistical fact reinforcing that increasing funding in National Parks is crucial for the US economy. The author repeatedly emphasises the influence of National Parks on employment, and focuses on job loss, not just because loss of livelihood is potentially destructive for the nation, but, perhaps more importantly, because it exacerbates the lives of the individuals too. Todd thus evokes sympathy for the helpless whose jobs are at stakes, and sympathy for the greater good of the nation. He considers National Parks "the best our nation has to offer," as they "embody the true spirit" of the country- these lines strongly appeal to the readers' nationalism and sense of belongingness. They, too, start believing that if funding for National Parks is increased, their honourable nation and its economy will flourish without constraints. Davidson even goes so far as to say that these Parks are a "national priority," and rightly so, while appreciating President Obama's call for a national travel and tourism strategy to make the United States the world's top travel and tourism destination. His confident and straightforward diction in deeming the Parks a national priority is not unjustified; it is high time we realise the "fundamental contribution (of National Parks) to our economy, national security and public diplomacy."
Incontrovertibly, Todd Davidson has succeeded in establishing that increasing funds for National Parks will benefit everyone, defending his stance with ethical reasons as well as undeniable facts. It would not be an exaggeration to say that his reasoning and inferences are irrefutable, and are further accrued by the plethora of persuasive literal and informational tools of persuasion effectually utilized by him. The outcome is a piece of writing so credible that even the most obstinate of persons will find themselves concurring with the author's arguments.
He finally concludes his work by stating that the United States needs a "robust national park centennial initiative"; only then can the country emerge as the top international travel destination.