President Richard Nixon 's Resignation Speech Essay

1724 Words Nov 15th, 2016 7 Pages
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon became the first President to resign from his position. He was facing impeachment and criminal trial for the Watergate Scandal. With no where to turn and his options run out, Nixon gave his last speech as President, where he resigned and apologized to the nation.
Nixon’s resignation speech does not meet the expectations of a fitting response, as defined by Lloyd Bitzer, for the rhetorical situation he was in following the Watergate scandal. Nixon attempts to shape himself as a victim of national interest through his rhetoric in his apology, but the context of the situation were so severe that his apology was a failure, proving that Bitzer’s definition of a fitting response is correct, while Richard Vatz’s definition is incorrect.
Bitzer argues that “rhetoric is situational”. He believes that people produce rhetoric for a specific time and audience in response to a particular issue. Bitzer defines a rhetorical situation as “a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or particularly removed if discourse, introduced to the situation, can so constrain human decision or action as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence” and says that a fitting response is “a response that meets the expectations of the rhetorical situation. Bitzer also identifies that the elements of exigence, audience, and constraints together make up the rhetorical…

Related Documents