Richard Nixon Vietnam Speech Analysis

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Research Question: In Richard Nixon’s speech “Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam”, which myths, fantasy themes, and values of the American people does Nixon use and how does he utilize those to persuade the people to support his plan for peace in the war in Vietnam?
Thesis: Richard Nixon uses the deep-rooted moral and emotional appeals of Americans that encompass their true role as a country and their ideologies as a people in his speech “Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam”. He utilizes these appeals in such a way to persuade Americans to support his plan for peace.

1. Nixon draws on the fantasy theme that America is a defender of the weak and of moral goodness. These appeals support his plan of finishing the war because Americans feel they must uphold these roles as a people because of their value of commitment. Nixon states, “We
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Throughout his speech, Nixon repeatedly states his plan is the “peace plan” which relates to America’s fantasy theme that they are the peacekeepers of the world and their duty is to maintain tranquility among all nations. Nixon states his plan is “a plan which will end the war and serve the cause of peace” (11). Nixon is using the fantasy theme of being the peacekeepers to make Americans feel a sense of responsibility to finish the war. Since Americans value keeping the world a peaceful place, he reiterates his point of trying to make peace to get the audience to agree with his words which ultimately ends in them following his plan as a unified nation. He again states, “I have chosen a plan for peace” (12) and “I share your concern for peace” (11) to drive home the point that, although his plan is to continue the war, he also believes America is the peacekeeper of the world. Because America values tranquility and an orderly world Nixon carefully constructs his speech to appeal to those values through the word “peace”. America will pay whatever the price may be to keep the world a peaceful environment for all

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