Monday, October 4, 2010

President Nixon's "Resignation Address to the Nation" Analysis

Watergate is known as one of the country’s biggest scandals in presidential history. Early morning of June 17, 1972 several men broke into the Watergate hotel; the burglars were on the re-election committee for president Nixon and some were associated with the CIA and FBI. This was an astonishing revelation of our own President’s secrets from the nation, Nixon was found to have tampered tapes that were to be used as evidence in court. By altering the tapes, although protected by executive privilege, government officials inferred that he was enveloping information. In Nixon’s “Resignation Address to the Nation” he lightly touches on the Watergate scandal, uses challenging vocabulary words, explains his general interest for the country, and ways in which our country would benefit gravely; however, neglects the country’s need for closure and explanation and fails to deliver an apologetic speech. Nixon’s tone to the nation was insincere and gave a hard display of phlegm. As shown in Figure 1, Nixon gives an unerring sense of fault in his sincerity.
Fig. 1. President Nixon Reading his Resignation Speech. 8. Aug. 1974.

Nixon states, "I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved", in reality he did not have political support to carry out his term. The lack of comfort and support from America discomfited Nixon, in which he would not even attempt to finish his term in presidency. In the matter of Watergate Nixon simply says, “Watergate was a long and difficult period”, he goes into no further explanation or apology for the controversial scandal. Nixon fails to offer a sincere apology and lacks the voice and tone of remorse for his actions; physically still and monotone, it is apparent this speech was given for a definite purpose but not in an act of sincerity. This speech was directed towards the entire nation in which it was a bad idea to use difficult, intellectual vocabulary--precedent, abhorrent, turbulent, vindicated--considering not all people in America are highly educated.

After the brisk recollection of Watergate Nixon announces, “I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow”, he goes on to say, “Some of my judgments were wrong -- and some were wrong -- they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interests of the nation”, this is his final statement about his role in presidency and leads into what his wants are for our country, ”Peace and Tranquility”.

Nixon failed to keep his oath of office—both embarrassing and a let down to our country—failing to keep his promises to fellow Americans. It was and is a disgraceful time in our presidential history to have the president act unscrupulously. Nixon failed to apologize again later, given the perfect timing, in the Frost interviews. The resignation was a memorable period in out nations history that will never be forgotten and truly reminds us to err is human, even our own president.

Works Cited
Nixon, Richard M. "Resignation Address to the Nation." American Rhetoric.

N.p.,8 Aug. 1974. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.

Works Consulted
"The Post Investigates." The Washington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.

"The Watergate Trial." The Watergate Files. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.

Nixon's Resignation. 8 Aug. 1974. Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.