The ancient definition of the orator was, “The good man speaking well.” The “good” man is ethical, known by his character, reputation. A contemporary update would begin with “the good person”.
“Character” reposes in a record of the person’s behavior over past-time, constituting a reputation for ethical behavior and speech. A person earns trust or distrust. The simple basis of ethical communication by the good person is this: there is an exact match between words and deeds. The ethical communicator does what he says he will do, no hint of hypocrisy. Preach and do, do and preach. Practice what you preach and preach what you practice. When the good person is speaking, the listeners must constantly monitor for consonance between the word and the practice.
In another manifestation of ethical communication, [A]’s communication is ethical to the extent that it accepts [B]’s responses, providing degrees of acceptance. It is unethical to the extent that [A] is hostile to [B]’s responses, providing degrees of hostility, or in some way tries to demean or subjugate [B]. [A] is ethically required to accept [B]’s responses, but that does not mean that [A] cannot make attempts to reason with [B].The ethic can best be put to a test when [A] discovers that [B] rejects the message that [A] is sending, and [A] must then demonstrate that he has actively listened to [B]’s statement by accurately paraphrasing it to the satisfaction of [B], and then deal respectfully and reasonably with the differences.
Demagoguery is unethical because the demagogue says only what the audience wants to hear. Give the speaker credit for knowing the audience, but fault the speaker for omitting two elements, what the speaker knows and believes, and what the audience needs and ought to hear. The unethical speaker appeals to the passions, habits and prejudices of the auditors without a complete analysis of all sides of the issue, that is, without reason, or, balancing all the alternatives.