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Richard Nixon's Checkers Speech: Applying Communication Method - Essay Example

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Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech: Applying Communication Method Introduction The 1952 Richard M. Nixon’s Checkers Speech had a considerable impact on the American society. As the Great Depression ended in the early 1950s, young soldiers from the World War II began entering the American workforce…
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Richard Nixons Checkers Speech: Applying Communication Method
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Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech: Applying Communication Method Introduction The 1952 Richard M. Nixon’s Checkers Speech had a considerable impact onthe American society. As the Great Depression ended in the early 1950s, young soldiers from the World War II began entering the American workforce. In other words, they began their lives afresh, that is, to start families and to assist in the realization of the American dream. Nixon was accused of soliciting funds from the wealthy businesspersons in order to fund his campaign. This prompted him to deliver the famous Checker’s Speech. From his speech, various things were clear such as his patriotism and the American dream. He strongly defended his family from the accusations leveled against him. Using social and value analysis, the speech brings outs strong argumentative techniques and powerful emotional appeals. The speech compels one to use rhetorical principles to a variety of subjects from the interpersonal to public and finally to mass communication (Martha 109). The methods that will be used to analyze the speech include value analysis (positive and negative language association), and social analysis (framing and myth). It is important to note that rhetoric gives an individual the capability to communicate effectively in various contexts (Joost and Scheuermann 3). Body Value analysis entails the association between positive and negative language in a rhetorical context. Nixon uses positive language in his speech and patriotism is one of the positive languages used in rhetorical strategies. He asserts of his patriotism to the United States in his speech. He starts his speech by indicating that he is a candidate for the vice presidency of the United States and further states that his integrity has been questioned by the accusations leveled against him. “I come before you tonight as a candidate for the Vice Presidency and as a man whose honesty and integrity have been questioned” (Loveman 1). Nixon goes on further to state how important the office of the vice presidency is for him and the people of the United States. “To me the office of the Vice Presidency of the United States is a great office, and I feel that the people have got to have confidence in the integrity of the men who run for that office and who might obtain it” (Loveman 1). Framing entails a process in which the communicators act unconsciously or consciously to create a certain point of view that promotes the facts of a particular situation to be seen in a certain manner; some of the facts are made more noticeable or less noticeable than the others (Kuypers 182). In this context, Nixon has fully employed framing in his speech. He keeps on referring to her wife Pat Nixon and asserts that she have never been on the government payroll like his opponent running on a Democratic ticket. He keeps on referring to the payroll issue to emphasize his point that is he is not corrupt and the accusations leveled against are wrong and inhuman. “The first way to be a rich man. I don’t happen to be a rich man so I couldn’t use that. Another way that is used is to put your wife on the payroll. Let me say ... my opponent ... does have his wife on the payroll” (Loveman 1). Mythic principles make significant contributions to the rhetorical theory. They make the reader to experience and understand the ways of symbolically changing the mythical principles of a particular thought into a powerful ideology (Campbell 12). Nixon uses myth as a rhetorical tool in his speech. He talks of the problems that can arise from corruption and communism and strongly criticizes his opponents. “Take the problem of corruption. You’ve read about the mess in Washington. Mr. Stevenson can’t clean it up ... And by the same token you can’t trust the man who was picked by the man that made the mess ...” (Loveman 5). In regard to communism, he states “... communism ... the danger is great to America” (Loveman 5). Conclusion Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech brings outs strong argumentative techniques and powerful emotional appeals. He strongly uses rhetorical devices and strategies to emphasize his stand on the accusations leveled against him. In value analysis, he employs positive language to display his patriotism for the nation. In social analysis, he uses both myth and framing to bring out his major points such as corruption and communism. Their use is to meant to convince the listener that whatever is being said is true to every word. Works Cited Campbell, Karlyn, K. “Criticism Ephemeral and Enduring.” The Speech Teacher (2003): 9-14. Print. Joost, Gesche & Scheuermann, Arne. Design as Rhetoric – Basic Principles for Design Research. 2006. Print. Kuypers, Jim. A. Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books, 2009. Print. Loveman, Brian. Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” Speech, 1952. 2010. Print. Martha, Cooper. Analyzing Public Discourse. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1989. Print. Read More
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