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Richard Nixon, "The Great Silent Majority"

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by

Jade Fachin

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of Richard Nixon, "The Great Silent Majority"

Richard Nixon, "The Great Silent Majority"
Historical Context
This speech was given on November 3rd, 1969. It was about the war in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam was a war Americans did not prefer. They believed we were wasting our soldiers' time and lives out there. America was on South Vietnam's side, and we were fighting against North Vietnam. The cause of the war were differences between communism and a republic. This speech was given to try and persuade the Americans this was a war that will end all future wars.
Audience and Reaction
The audience included everyone in America. This speech was a televised broadcast that could be viewed in the comfort of your own home. The reaction to the speech didn't change much from the reaction it began with. Americans still believed this war was unnecessary, and would rather use up our energy and army power elsewhere, and stay out of Vietnam's business. However, he was well known for this speech, and people believed it was written very nicely, although not on a nice topic.
Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical Appeals
Definition: Using contrasting ideas, often in parallel structure

Example: "I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to
end the war
in a way that we could
win the peace
."

Explanation: War and peace are two contrasting ideas that are used in a similar pattern in this statement.
Antithesis
Anaphora
Epist
rophe
Polysyndeton
Definition: Repetition of the same word or groups of words at the beginnings of successive phrases.

Example: "
It is
not the easy way.
It is
the right way.
It is
a plan which will end the war..."

Explanation: By repeating the phrase, it tells the people how much they have done and emphasizes it.
Climax
Definition: Arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance

Example: "I pledge to you tonight that I shall meet this responsibility with all of the strength and wisdom I can command, in accordance with your
hopes
, mindful of your
concerns
, sustained by your
prayers
."

Explanation: It is climax because it starts off with light information then ends with prayers which really reaches out to people.
Parenthesis
Definition:

Example: "I have initiated a plan which will end this war in a way that will bring us closer to that great goal to which -
to which Woodrow Wilson and every American president in our history has been dedicated
- the goal of a just and lasting peace"

Explanation: There is a break in between a clause and a different clause, a separate thought was added in the middle. If it were removed than the sentence would still make sense. This appeals to the audience by adding a thought that will further persuade them.
Definition: Repetition of the same word or groups of words at the end of successive phrases

Example: "I believe it will
succeed
. If it does not
succeed
, what the critics say now won't
matter
. Or if it does
succeed
, what critics say now won't
matter
. If it does not
succeed
, anything I say then won't
matter
."

Explanation: The highlighted words are used at the ends of clauses which make "succeed" and "matter" stand out of the sentences.
Logos
Definition: Appealing to the audience by using logical and factual information
Example: "For almost
200 years
, the policy of this nation has been made

under our Constitution
by those leaders in Congress and the White House elected by all the people."
Explanation: This statement includes facts about the war and provides accurate statistics making it logos.
Ethos
Definition: Persuading the audience by using credentials and ethical appeal
Example: "This is a statement of policy which as
Commander-in-Chief
of our armed forces I am making and meeting my responsibly for the protection of American fighting men wherever they may be."
Explanation: By using the credentials of previous president, Nixon tells the audience that those presidents agreed with what he was saying. He was trying to appeal by using other people's credentials.
Pathos
Definition: Appealing to a listeners feelings and emotionally connecting with them
Example: "But as we saw the consequences of what we had done, inevitable
remorse
and divisive
recrimination
would
scar our spirit
as a people."
Explanation: This statement really gets people, emotionally. He puts images in their minds that they do not want to imagine, causing sympathy and rethink what they have done.
Definition: Deliberate use of many conjunctions

Example: "Today we have become the strongest
and
richest nation in the world,
and
the wheel of destiny has turned so that any hope the world has for the survival of peace
and
freedom will be determined by whether the American people have the moral stamina
and
the courage to meet the challenge of free-world leadership."

Explanation: This is polysyndeton because the conjunction, "and", is purposely overused in this sentence causing a long of how America was.
Asyndeton
Definition: Deliberately omitting conjunction between words, phrases, or clauses
Example: "I want to end it so that the energy and dedication of you, our young people, now too often directed into bitter hatred against those responsible for the war, can be turned to the great challenges of peace, a better life for all Americans, a better life for all people on this earth."
Explanation: The statement has no conjunction words, except one "and" in the beginning, and the point of this is to gradually increase the speed of your tone so others start to tune in more.
Alliteration
Definition: Repetition of initial or medial consonants in two or more adjacent words.

Example: "President Woodrow Wilson spoke the words which caught the imagination of a
w
ar-
w
eary
w
orld."

Explanation: The "w" sounds is emphasized three times in a row in "war" "weary" and "world". By doing this, this brings out the two words better.
Full transcript