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Richard Nixon

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Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon ran for president in 1960 but lost to the charismatic senator John F. Kennedy. Nixon return to the race eight years later and won the White House by a solid margin; most people say he didn't win, but Democrats lost because citizens were tired of them so Republicans got back in.

He was the fifth president to deal with the situation in Vietnam, actually owed his position to people's disgust with former president Lyndon Johnson and his policies.


Unlike some of his cabinet officers such as his secretary of defense Melvin Laird and his security adviser Henry Kissinger; Nixon believed he could still win the war, and being competitive and self insecure he wanted to prove he could overcome obstacles that neither Kennedy nor Johnson couldn’t.

Nixon was a real Republican. He believed in family values and small government. He was the first president to visit communist China, opening relations between the two countries for the first time in 25 years. Also, he managed to overcome one of the hottest periods of the Cold War.

Economically, Nixon was more liberal than conservative. The Vietnam War had great impact in the U.S. economy, causing high rates of inflation. Following European countries lead, Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard, giving the U.S. Federal Reserve greater power. It managed to temporarily boost the U.S. economy in 1971, just before reelection period.

He established a new idea of approach, “Vietnamization” in which Americans would re-arm and train South Vietnamese army, allowing gradual withdrawal of American troops. On the contrary, Ho Chi Minh Trail was re-established and heavy bombing took place in North Vietnam, to which Nixon responded: “The bastards have never been bombed like they’re going to be bombed this time.”.


Nixon’s “Silent Majority” Speech

Find in: Nixon, R. (1969, November 03). Nixon’s ‘Silent Majority’ Speech. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from

Excerpt of President Nixon’s Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam. November 03,1969:

“Good evening, my fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to talk to you on a subject of deep concern to all Americans and to many people in all parts of the world–the war in Vietnam.

I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division about Vietnam is that many Americans have lost confidence in what their Government has told them about our policy. The American people cannot and should not be asked to support a policy which involves the overriding issues of war and peace unless they know the truth about that policy...

...I pledge to you tonight that I shall meet this responsibility with all of the strength and wisdom I can command in accordance with your hopes, mindful of your concerns, sustained by your prayers.

Thank you and goodnight.”


This speech was given in November 3, 1969 during the last period of the Vietnam war addressed to the citizens who were concerned about the situation of America related to the conflict, and the appliance of the vietnamization, a policy that intended to reduce the US troops through training the south vietnamese army.

The purpose of the showcased speech was to cease the people’s complaints and concerns, since they were tired of the war and sincerely thought that the energy US was investing in the conflict could be used in matters for the society’s benefit.

He is recognized by this speech because he popularized the term “silent minority” in where he said, "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support." Referring to Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, join in the counterculture, nor participate in public discourse. His purpose was to reach even those that did not take part in any side and get their support. In a sense, he tried to promote a nationalistic feeling, a feeling of defending their country and saving the world from the evil that communism represented.

If you analyze closely Nixon’s argumentation you can realize that he constantly tries to deny the guilt of the country’s condition indirectly blaming the former presidents for the conflicts, and how he was assumed a responsibility of redeeming his predecessor's mistakes.

The highlight of the speech is the way the president promises to restore US glory, and how he plans to do it. The Nixon Doctrine was a way of doing so, it seeked peace through



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