Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority" on November Term Paper

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Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority"

On November 3, 1969, then President Richard Nixon gave one of his most infamous speeches as a response to the growing uproar about America's involvement in Vietnam. Much to the dismay of voters and soldiers everywhere, Nixon had not made good on his promises to end the war which he had made during his campaign (Center for History and New Media, 2008). Therefore, his speech bon that night became both a rallying point for his own agenda within the scope of the Vietnam War, as well as a defensive speech against the idea that his promise to end the war was simply a ploy to win the election.

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So on November 3, 1969, Nixon addressed the entire nation through a television broadcast. This automatically lost some of the personal nature seen in Reagan's D-Day speech. The audience who had watched Nixon's speech was sure to have mixed feelings about Nixon and whatever he was about to say to them, based on his false promises and changing stance on America's position in the Vietnam War. Within this speech, Nixon officially changed is own personal views on the war. This was the time where he announced his plan of "Vietnamization," rather than solidify his intentions to pull out of Vietnam. Therefore, to many within the audience he had a very shaky ethos, (Rowland, p. 237). He diminished his credibility, and during the remainder of the speech attempted to rebuild that credibility on a completely different platform. Therefore Nixon spoke to his audience in a manner in which he both flattered them in order to win them over again, but also in a way to attempt to convince them that his plan was the best plan for the nation in that current situation.


Term Paper on Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority" on November Assignment

Nixon began his speech with the acknowledgement that the war was of great concern to many Americans. He then agreed with that concern in a way to establish a more solid pathos, or emotional connection with the audience, (Terada, 2000). He continued this connection with the raising of several questions which many in the audience would have naturally raised themselves. This sets up a balance early in the speech which he would later continue on with by examining and answering those questions in great detail. This technique also was meant to capture the audience's attention because he at first admitted there were problems. This was what many already knew regarding the war; therefore he continued to establish a stronger and stronger pathos with those who may have been unsure about him in the first place.


After he acknowledged these problems and outlined the questions millions of Americans were already asking themselves and each other, Nixon continued to answer them in a way which promoted his plan of continuing American efforts within the Vietnam War. Because he was speaking to the mass public over a television broadcast, Nixon played down his usual complicated speech mannerisms, not completely, but enough to make it clear and understandable for the majority of Americans who would have been watching the broadcast.

After he addressed the major concerns, he explained his reasoning for his change of heart on the matter. He explained that when he was allowed full access to all the information regarding the war in it's current situation at the time, that he could not logically pull out right away as he had planned earlier. He gives specific details about the negative state, in which the South Vietnamese were as a way to prove that the American presence needed to remain there to keep order,

Thirty-one thousand Americans had been killed in action. The training program for the South Vietnamese was beyond [behind] schedule. Five hundred and forty-thousand Americans were in Vietnam with no plans to reduce the number. No progress had been made at the negotiations in Paris and the United States… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority" on November.  (2008, April 12).  Retrieved July 12, 2020, from

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"Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority" on November."  12 April 2008.  Web.  12 July 2020. <>.

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"Nixon's "The Great Silent Majority" on November."  April 12, 2008.  Accessed July 12, 2020.