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On August 8th 1974 Richard Nixon became the first American president ever to resign from office. His last action was the imminent outcome of more than 2 years of personal controversy, of public displays of discontent towards the press, and in the end of clear attempts to reduce and hide a scandal that, eventually, proved to be fatal for the results of his presidential requirement. He would afterwards recall, “This was the nightmarish end of the long dream (Associated Press, 1999).

His last address for the nation like a standing leader must be found through this perspective and through the contact lens of the famous circumstances of times. The overall belief of the specific purpose of the speech is still debatable, a few of his critics accusing him of not giving a resignation speech, but rather a powerful one. Irrespective of these variations in ideas, anybody can reach a common ground plus the conclusion that Nixon, when making his final standard speech, also tried to preserve a dignifying image pertaining to posterity, down the road implicitly underlining the importance the judgment of the past had to get him: “The jury has recently come in, and there’s nothing which would change it. There isn’t a appeal. Historians will evaluate it harshly. “(Stacks, 1994).

In order to fully grasp the intricate message at the rear of the talk delivered by Nixon, particular elements are necessary for creating a proper image of the famous background of times. Cristina Schaffner, in citing Christoph Sauer, points out the need for studying the larger context in the political talk in order to appreciate and get its general meaning. The girl considers that “the examination of personal speeches particularly and politics discourses on the whole should relate linguistic buildings to greater contexts of communicative settings and political functions. Any kind of public conversation is element of a larger, even more extensive expansive process and it is characterized as being a strategic move in an overarching communicative program. It can for that reason be examined properly only if the larger context is considered into account( Schaffner, 1993, 203).

Richard Nixon was your 37th chosen president of the US together the up hill endeavor of leading his nation through some of the most trying times of their history. Holly Kissinger, his Secretary of State would later on admit the fact that “Nixon was your first chief executive, after Theodore Roosevelt, to acquire his country’s foreign insurance plan largely in the name of the national interest(Kissinger, 1995, 636). This individual admits, just like numerous other experts in external coverage, that “the Nixon Administration was given the task of withdrawing the American troops from the first connection with a shed war, and from the 1st external determination in which the American moral vérité collided using what was possible to achieve(Kissinger, 1995, 586).

Therefore , the Vietnam Warfare was the serious problem of Nixon’s presidency. An additional critical issue was that of the US-USSR relationships that were within a tight level at the beginning of his term in office in 1969. Thoroughly connected was the situation with China which usually proved to be sensitive and in demand of a diplomatic resolution. Piles points out these elements: “By sheer endurance, he was the most important number of the postwar era. Nixon put the nation through a few of its most severe times, leading the red-scare politics in the 1950s, increasing the battle in Vietnam in order to end it, trying with all his enormous energy and guile to wipe out the legal processes that closed in upon him throughout the Watergate scandal(Stacks, 1994). Hence, it not the conduct from the foreign coverage that brought his resignation, but rather his continuous disputes with the Our elected representatives, that is the argument between the Exec and the Legal. All these areas of the political reality will be dealt with, some more than other folks, in his last speech.

Depending on his determination, Nixon targeted more than one market in his talk. Smith states that “understanding the American audience in terms of the issues it holds dear, the positions it takes on those issues plus the way that measures personality is crucial to crafting speeches and toasts that resonate with the open public. Furthermore, due to the modern media, the president often addresses multiple audience for a time (Smith, 2006).

It was anticipated of him to start with one of the most pressing development of internal national politics, which was the Watergate scandal. His politics career was stained by the possibility of getting accused of obstructing proper rights procedures and abuse of power, yet his concerns on the subject were somewhat reluctant and until the final end, arranged for refusal of all proof shown to him in this respect (Impeachment, 2006). It absolutely was only following the irrefutable evidence of taped conversations demonstrating his implication inside the scandal that he tacitly admitted his guilt and acted on his resignation (Legacy: Richard M. Nixon, thirty seventh president, 2006).

Stacks possibly comments within the idea, contacting the attention to the fact that “no different President in American background had been showed be therefore cynically, so selfishly breaking the law to preserve his own electricity. Other Presidents may have got acted since ignobly, nevertheless not one was caught so nakedly (Stacks, 1994). Nixon’s mentioning of the scandal in the speech was quite lapidary, the term “Watergate only getting used twice throughout the text. Therefore, it is clear to state that this individual attempted to underplay its importance and to replace the focus of the attention towards additional aspects of his political actions.

Within this line of argumentation, Nixon tried to charm to the public. He made utilization of personal references, by simply mentioning that “my friends and family unanimously told me to do this (to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it will have involved)( Scholing, 2003) structuring his address on the need to get in touch with the American people and therefore offer them some justification of his actions, which this individual even tensions were carried out as “to do that which was best for the nation. Therefore , one of the aspires of the presentation was to appeal to the feeling of acceptance by the general public and in addition to this, a closure of the phase.

Throughout his speech although, he created for himself a variety of occasions to cope with the general public, the electorate and subsequently individuals who decide in a democratic program. One such event was the affiliate to the likelihood of the American people “to have not only the blessings of liberty although also the means to live full and good, through the world’s standards possibly abundant lives( Scholing, 2003). Such personal rhetoric could only have pointed to the important achievements his administration experienced registered, though he would mention the inflation concerns facing the society.

Nevertheless, he were able to draw the interest on the wellness of the land by comparable comparisons with the rest of the world. In justifying the wide media and public interest that the Watergate scandal had received, and, at the same time, in supporting Nixon’s confidence inside the internal and external US position, Walter McDougall, a historian at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that “the American people could afford to obsess consistently over this affair and paralyze the nation¦the American people didn’t have put up with that if they happen to have thought the was in danger”(Anderson, 2004).

Nixon pointed out the successes of his administration in relation to the primary international stars such as the USSR, China as well as the players at the center East. Despite the fact that, in general, the American general public is less thinking about foreign affairs and more in domestic concerns, the Vietnam War as well as the broader circumstance that decided its end result had provoked great unrest among standard Americans, and had created a rift in the culture. Therefore , once invoking the simple fact that “we have concluded America’s greatest war (Scholing, 2003) this individual also attempted to offer a feeling of peace of mind that would, over time, help recover the injuries of the country.

A well delimited part of the conversation was directed at underlining the distinctiveness among “I and “Congressional and other leaders. While addressing people, he attempted to make a definite delimitation between what the open public might consider “good such as himself, and “evil such as those looking for his indictment. He strongly stressed the possible lack of Congressional help in his make an effort to uphold what he thought to be “the constitutional purpose. There was even opinions that regarded as Nixon to have “acknowledged his lonely isolation in his televised resignation speech (Anderson, 2004).

Therefore this individual subtly enables himself to be portrayed because the much less eager to continue the fight with the Our elected representatives, fact that had an opposite effect on the elective body. Simply by mentioning his lack of further action with regards to revenge, when he would not “continue to deal with through the a few months ahead to get my personal vindication (Scholing, 2003), he skillfully managed to your seeds the seed of hesitation in the public’s mind within the real reasons behind the Congress’ actions. Furthermore, he would come in the eye of the community as one that appealed into a common and acceptable answer on behalf of both parties. Therefore , it might be said that, in the public view, he were able to partially conserve a certain personal dignity.

The presentation with the new chief executive was, via a firmly political point of view, an electoral maneuver. Their placement following your subtle “attack of the Congress insured the transfer with the political support he liked among his own traditional electorate. His reaffirmed trust in Ford’s capacities was likewise meant to lie to rest virtually any uncertainties in the foreseeable future course of plan. It is rather evident that, following that verse, the constant and energetic call for mobilization to take additional the actions started by his administration, Nixon attempted to give yet another level of trustworthiness to all that was previously said. His perseverance and direct support for his heir was designed as being a display of confidence and conviction in his arguments that, among others, motivated his innocence in the Watergate scandal.

With the concurring elements that at some point led to the resignation of President Nixon, it can be figured his final speech dealt with exactly the selection of these issues. Summing up the heartbeat of the age, McDougall thinks that “even Watergate can some day be put in a greater context and you will be seen as one of the most dramatic instance in a rebellion by Congress and the tennis courts against executive power (Anderson, 2004). In addressing the American persons, he tried out both to justify his actions also to subtly point out the difference of opinion while using Congress.


Anderson, Slope. “Analysis: Nixon’s watershed presidency. The Washington Times. 2004. 14 Scar. 2006. &lt,

Associated Press. “Nixon’s resignation altered American politics forever. August. 1999. 14 Mar. 06\ &lt,

“Impeachment. American Experience. 2006. 14 Scar. 2006. &lt,

Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy. London: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

“Legacy: Richard M. Nixon, thirty seventh president. 06\. 14 Scar. 2006.


Schaffner, Cristina. “Political speeches and discourse analysis. Current issues in vocabulary and society. 1996: 203. 14 Marly. 2006.


Scholing, Peter. “Richard Milhous Nixon. Resignation Talk, August almost eight, 1974.

From Innovation to Renovation. 2003. 18 Mar. 06\.


Smith, Craig R. “Speechwriting in the Nixon and Ford White Houses. California Condition University. 16 Mar. 2006&lt,

Stacks, John Farrenheit. “Victory In Defeat. Time. 2 Might, 1994.

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Published: 03.10.20

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