Rhetorical Criticism Richard Nixon's Resignation

3825 words - 15 pages

I'm planning to do a Rhetorical criticism essay using the traditional method on Richard Milhous Nixon's famous resignation speech that was gave on August 8, 1974, from the office of the President of the United States of America due to the events of the Watergate. This essay will look at the social settings, historical facts, and biographical factors. I will also be looking at the speech itself and how the symbols in this message function to affect and influence meaning for an audience.The first aspect that I am going to investigate is the Rhetor, who exactly is Richard Milhous Nixon, who was he, where did he come from, and how did he get to where he did. Richard Milhous Nixon according to infoplease.com was born in Yorba Linda, California on January 9, 1913 and was raised a Quaker. Nixon, as a young man, was a high school debater; and then went on to college at Whittier College in California and graduated in 1934. After Nixon graduated third in his class from Duke University's Law School in 1937, he practiced law for five years before joining the Navy in August 1942. While in the Navy, Nixon served as an air transport officer in the South Pacific and as a legal officer. Nixon left the Navy in 1946 as a lieutenant commander (infoplease.com) Nixon then went on to run for Congress in California as a Republican in 1946 where he defeated Jerry Voorhis. While in office, Nixon served as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Then in1950 Nixon ran for senate and won, beating Helen Douglas, a Democrat. He was criticized for portraying her as a Communist dupe. Then in 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower selected Nixon to run with him on his ticket as a Vice President, they won in 1952 and again in 1956. However, during the 1956 election there where demands for Nixon's withdrawal because it came out that a California businessman had paid some of his Senate office expenses. These allegations where quickly forgotten after Nixon's televised rebuttal, known as "The Checkers Speech" (infoplease.com) In 1960 Nixon lost the race for President to John F. Kennedy, and then in 1962 he lost an election for governorship of California and seemed to be finished as a national candidate. With his political career seaming over Nixon returned to his career as a Lawyer. In 1968 Nixon won the Republican Presidential Nomination and went on to defeat Hubert H. Humphrey for President of the United States of America (infoplease.com) In his first term as President Nixon was committed to winding down the U.S. role in the Vietnamese war during this time Nixon also improved relations with Moscow where he visited to sign agreements on arms limitations and trade expansion and reopened the long-closed door to mainland China with a good will trip (infoplease.com). At this point in Richard Milhous Nixon's career he was seen as a typical career politician, very good at speaking and very good at turning people from thinking that he was crooked to thinking that he was a great person,...

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