The Sources of Convincing Power of Nixon’s Speech

Vietnam War is one of the armed conflicts that left the American nation deeply divided. Many prominent politicians expressed their points of view which often would be opposing. That is why the public could not come to a single conclusion because both sides were quite convincing. In his speech, Nixon is more persuasive than Kerry because he appeals to sources, statistics, and logic, engaging emotions only slightly; however, I do not agree with Nixon’s ideas.

It would not be completely fair to compare the two speeches because they were prepared in different contexts. Thus, the Nixon’s speech relies on sources that are credible while Kerry primarily appeals to the stories of other veterans that cannot be verified. This leads to the situation when a person is more likely to believe Nixon because he can prove his point and Kerry can only refer to what he heard from other veterans.

Nixon is also much more persuasive because he uses statistics. This President is not shy about using numbers to support his point. For example, he mentions the number of American soldiers that were killed in action in order to show the actual damage that the war had done. Contrary to that, Kerry does not use any reliable statistics to support his point.

The two speakers use to appeal to emotion in a completely different manner. Kerry tried to impress the audience by the atrocities and, therefore, develop a negative attitude towards the war in question. Contrary to that, Nixon uses to appeal to emotions sparingly and he mostly asks for support. That is why he is more convincing than Kerry who shocks the audience with his words.

Furthermore, the speech of Nixon follows a very precise logic: it presents the questions and lets the President answer them in full. As a result, the audience perceives the information clearly and had not doubted about it. Speaking of the way in which Kerry addresses the audience, there is no underlying logic that he follows: he simply comments on the issues.

The primary argument that Nixon makes is that the United States “sent economic aid and military equipment to assist the people of South Vietnam in their efforts to prevent a Communist takeover”. He states that it was his responsibility to prevent Communism from spreading to other countries as it would impose a system of beliefs that would become a potential threat to the United States.

However, I disagree with President Nixon in that the spread of Communism in South-East Asia should be seen as a threat to the United States. First of all, this region is located in a completely different part of the world. Secondly, even if the Communists had wanted to attack the United States, they could not have done it from Vietnam as the only Americans that were there were the soldiers who were sent to the country.

That is why I find the words of President Nixon regarding the need to support the war in question quite dangerous and misleading. Just like Kerry said: “ there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America”. As a result, I think that President Nixon was advancing some other interest rather than those of the American citizens.

Having examined all the points that were mentioned in the paragraphs above, I can come to the conclusion that of the two speakers President Nixon was far more convincing because he engaged various tools that would contribute to the reliability of his speech. However, I disagree with the major point that he makes regarding the need to continue the war.

Works Cited

Statement of John Kerry,

“Nixon’s ‘Silent Majority’ Speech.” Watergateinfo,

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

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

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]
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