“The Great Silent Majority” by Richard Milhous Nixon

The Great Silent Majority is the speech delivered by Richard Milhous Nixon in support of his policy in Vietnam.  The goal of his speech was to gain more public support to his policy and to refute the criticism of the policy by the anti-war movement which has started to grow in power before the speech. The President pleaded for support and attempted to back up and explain his policies and the failure to complete the war briefly.

He addresses his speech to the nation but he focuses more on his supporters and people, who have not taken the position on the war in Vietnam. He refers to them as the great silent majority because they did not stand on the active ground. They do not participate in protests, marches or other social events that manifest their active position in regard to the war in Vietnam. In such a way, the President attempted to reach his audience which included not his opponents but those, who supported him or did not shape their opinion on the war. The speech oriented on non-active people and excluded civil activists which Nixon excluded by emphasizing that he is talking to the majority but not the nation or specific group in the US society.

The reference to the majority is one of the key elements of the speech which enhances its power and gives implicit message that the majority of Americans does support the President, whereas his critics are in minority. In such a way, Nixon attempts to create the impression that critic of his policies in Vietnam were quite few, while the majority of the US society support his policy and stand for his vision of the war in Vietnam and its ending.

At the same time, Nixon makes himself the herald of the silent majority and attempts to show that he represents that majority in face of a few critics, who are dissatisfied with his policy and want the war to come to the end immediately as it is. He is very clear in his boldness to carry on the war in Vietnam till he reaches goals of his policy in that country. Nixon pledges that the US was “going to keep our commitment in Vietnam” (Nixon). This means that he refers to the great silent majority to support his policy until the end of the war, which he attempts to reach and he implies that he will not change the course or his policy until the US reaches those goals in Vietnam.

At the same time, he also clearly states the ultimate goal of the US to reach “peace with honor”. He shapes the concept of the victorious end of the war to make its ending honorable for the US whatever price Americans have to pay for it. In such a way, he emphasizes the honor as the key driver of the war and the key element which determines the policy of the US in Vietnam. On the other hand, by attempting to exit the war with honor, Nixon presents his critics as people, who disregard the honor of the US because, if the US exits the war in any other way but the one, which he suggests, this would be the dishonor for the nation. Therefore, he refers to emotions of the audience and their sense of the national dignity.

Thus, the speech delivered by Nixon, The Great Silent Majority, is a powerful speech built up on the emotional appeal that marginalizes opponents and critics of the President’s policy in Vietnam and enhances his support by the majority which is just silent.

Works Cited:

Jansinski, J. Sourcebook on Rhetoric. Sage Publications, Inc. 2001.

Nixon, R. M. Great Silent Majority. 1970. Web. Accessed April 24, 2018.

Russell, G. Introduction to Philosophy. New York: Random House, 2003.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]
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