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Political Speech Analysis

Political Speech Analysis

Political speeches are typically most eloquent when a politician's career is on the line. Learn how to analyze the speeches of politicians when the writers at Paper Masters provide you a custom written analysis of any political speech you need explicated.

When one looks at the lives of our politicians, it is impossible not to acknowledge that more of their time is spent in sustaining their roles as politicians than is spent in fighting for justice. Although death is not at stake, political suicide is not an archaic term. It is impossible for politicians to preserve themselves and also fight for the just; the two are not mutually compatible.

  1. Invariably politicians must answer the call of special interests or majority forums.
  2. There are thousands of "private" citizens, working in a capacity which does support justice. These are people who are drawn to participate in their society by their political nature, but who do not participate in the active politics which are required to offer the country daily governance.
  3. These people live private lives, but still fight, professionally or as volunteers, for justice and greater good.
  4. They are drawn to the mutually beneficial and yes even to morality and nobility by the natural instinct which Aristotle identified.
  5. They also recognize the dilemma which Socrates eludes to, an innate inability to reconcile a life of politics with a life that makes justice its ultimate objective. As they meant their words, both Aristotle and Socrates were right.

Contextual circumstances are very important in understanding a person's words and determining whether or not they are right. Simple quotations often have a greater meaning within the intended context in which they were written. Socrates and Aristotle both drew great audiences in their day and have been widely read since. Their words doubtlessly adorn many a wall and have sparked just as many controversies. In this case, there is no discrepancy in their thinking. In the minds and context which the authors intended, and in the streets and offices of our country today, their statements are both right. We are by nature social, political creatures, and yet if someone really wants to fight for the just, promote justice and preserve himself at the same time, he must live a private rather than a public life.

An example of a brilliant political speech is Richard Nixon's. Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, started his journey toward the Presidency as a US Senator from the State of California. When nominated to be President, Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Nixon to be his running mate as the candidate for the role as Vice President of the United States. Nixon went on television to plead his case when this candidacy was placed in jeopardy by an accusation that he had misappropriated money. In the course of his speech, he noted that the only gift he had ever taken was a cocker spaniel that his daughters loved named "Checkers". Nixon gained strong support as a result of this speech which came to be known by the name of the dog. The Senator used a number of propaganda techniques in this speech to make his case and regain the momentum of his candidacy.

In this speech, Nixon uses a propaganda or rhetoric technique known as "plain folks" with which he tries to convince his audience that he has much in common with them unlike his enemies. He mentions Mr. Mitchell, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who has said that a man should not be a Senator if he cannot afford the job. Nixon disagrees with Mitchell. "I don't agree with Mr. Mitchell when he says that only a rich man should serve his Government in the United States Senate or in the Congress". He then mentions that the opponent of his running mate, Adlai Stevenson, inherited a fortune, but Abraham Lincoln was a man of modest means and an effective President. Nixon makes these statements after he has detailed how he is a common man just like those in the audience. The details include the modest inheritances he and his wife got from their parents. "Pat [Nixon's wife] sold her interest in her father's estate for $3000 and I inherited $1500 from my grandfather". Other details include the modest sums that he paid for his homes, the fact that his wife had a cloth coat as opposed to a fur coat, the modest sums of his life insurance policy, and the fact that he owned no stocks or bonds.

Richard Nixon effectively uses other propaganda techniques throughout the speech. His goal was to clear his name after being accused of improperly using funds, so his candidacy for the office of Vice President of the United States would not be adversely affected. Nixon and his Presidential running mate, Dwight Eisenhower, went on to victory in the elections and he served as Vice-President for eight years. The speech served his purpose. His success in this election cleared the way for his eventual success as a candidate for President.

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