Masaryk university faculty of education


Well, one of the strengths of our free society



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Well, one of the strengths of our free society is that any American has a right to reach that conclusion and to advocate that point of view. But as President of the United States, I would be untrue to my oath of office if I allowed the policy of this Nation to be dictated by the minority who hold that point of view and who try to impose it on the Nation by mounting demonstrations in the street.

He starts with a friendly well, and instead of saying the positive all Americans, he chooses any (a negation) since it is intended for Americans that would want to reach that (unwanted) conclusion and that point of view (deictic distancing). He immediately opposes with a concessive conjunct but, while hiding behind his title of the President, stating diplomatically he would be untrue (instead of false) to the policies of this nation to listen to a minority, deictically pointing here.



Chart 8.27

Indeed, chart 8.27 on Nixon’s deictic pointers is convincingly depicts Nixon bringing the conflict in Vietnam into American homes, in almost 80% of the cases, emphasizing the need to stay involved, as in the following sentence.



But the question facing us today is: Now that we are in the war, what is the best way to end it?

Though the speech is not sophisticated in terms of vocabulary or syntax, it is very effective in navigating the audience’s perception of reality and planned actions. As his speech is televised, he skillfully employs various techniques suitable for such an occasion, such as repetition, short sentences or 3 part statements as in the following example.



... the United States furnished most of the money, most of the arms, and most of the men to help the people of ...

His language is simple, and therefore suitable for all audiences, using many references to great American presidents, such as Wilson, Kennedy, Eisenhower and Johnson to support his arguments. Finally, he makes his famous appeal to the silent majority, using historical, political, moral and ethical reasoning to successfully promote his plans. The following day, Nixon’s approval ratings were the highest since his election in office.




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