VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 13 POSTED ON: 9/13/2012
Antony Ni - Democrat Christian Song - Host Hannah Scholes - Modern Person Abigail Johansen - Republican Nagela Nukuna - Host The General Idea: We are time travelers in the present, and we go to the past. There will be two hosts, and they will go back and bring in one Democrat and one Republican from Nixon’s time period who will support and criticize Nixon. Then they will go back to the present and talk with an expert on history and talk about modern day connections. Structure Intro, Background info. Back to the past! Some sort of supporting of criticism and analysis between the two with hosts adding in questions Back to present Couple of questions Outro THE SCRIPT: CS: Greetings! Welcome back to the PSS, the Presidential Speech Station! I am your host today, Chris, and this is my cohost, Michelle. NN: Hi! CS:Today we’re going to take a look at Senator Richard Nixon’s famous Checker’s Speech, and see how people, especially at that time reacted to it. NN: (sort of quietly) Um, Chris, we can’t promise our listeners viewpoints on the speech from long ago. That was all the way in the 1950’s. It’s not like we can go back in time or something... CS: (quietly too) Don’t worry. I have this covered! (back to normal volume) Anyway Nixon was running for VP with presidential candidate Eisenhower in the year 1953. According to Jack Doyle, Nixon, Accused of embezzling $18000 from his supporters went on prime time television to defend himself against these accusations, and gain back the votes of Americans. NN: As given by “The Pop History Dig”, Eisenhower himself was a criticizer of the corruption of the Truman Administration, so Nixon either had to publicly appeal to voters, or risk being kicked off the ballot. His use of television was aided in his speech by being broad-casted to 60 ,million viewers. This speech gained the sympathy of voters and helped the Eisenhower-Nixon campaign win the election. CS: We’re going to have a literary professional joining us on our show. HS: Hi, my name is Hannah. Thanks for having me today. CS: Sounds good! Well, time to start up the good ‘ol time machine. NN: What time machine? CS: I told you I had this covered! NN: Wait, what’s happ- CS: Time machine starts sounding..... CS+NN: woooooooooaaaaah (Sound effect of time machine) NN: Wow. That did work. CS: Oh look, civilians of the 1950’s! Let’s just pick them up for an interview! You two! What are your names and your political affiliations? AN: Hello there! my name is Dem Oakrat! I consider myself a democrat. CS: Really, your name is Dem Oakrat? There were no other names to choose? AN: Are you insulting me? I thought you needed me on the show?!?! CS: No no, of course we need you on the show, your opinion is greatly appreciated! NN: And what about you? What’s your name and political party? AJ: The name’s Rhee Pullican! I’m a republican! What radio station is this? NN: Oh... uh... it’s called PSS, the Presidential Speech Station! CS: Yup! I bet you two have heard Nixon’s speech right? AN: Who hasn’t. It was only broadcasted everywhere. It’s been the talk of the town! I sure would like to hear THAT again. NN: Well you’re in luck! We just so happen to have an exclusive recording of the speech on tape for you two to hear! CS: Let’s dig in. Roll the tape! Speech (CS): My Fellow Americans: I come before you tonight as a candidate for the Vice Presidency and as a man whose honesty and integrity have been questioned. The usual political thing to do when charges are made against you is to either ignore them or to deny them without giving details. I believe we've had enough of that in the United States, particularly with the present Administration in Washington, D.C. To me the office of the Vice Presidency of the United States is a great office and I feel that the people have got to have confidence in the integrity of the men who run for that office and who might obtain it. I have a theory, too, that the best and only answer to a smear or to an honest misunderstanding of the facts is to tell the truth. And that's why I'm here tonight. I want to tell you my side of the case. AJ: Even from the start of his speech, Nixon is blunt and completely wants to reveal the full truth of his misinterpreted use of campaign money. AN: Yet Nixon comes off as defensive and pretentious! AJ: Well, I think it was just stern. His brief concise syntax he uses to state his point like when he says “And that’s why I’m here tonight. I want to tell you my side of the story.” emphasizes that he means business! He also states that the whole fiasco was a “smear” or an “honest misunderstanding” in order to make the whole ordeal seem minimal. AN: It feels like he’s just using pathos for his own personal gain! His speech seems so personal with the use of first person and it just feels like a shallow attempt at coming off as sincere. NN: And now let’s get back to the speech! Chris? CS:Of course Michelle. Next Nixon states.. Speech (NN): I am sure that you have read the charge and you've heard that I, Senator Nixon, took $18,000 from a group of my supporters. Now, was that wrong? And let me say that it was wrong—I'm saying, incidentally, that it was wrong and not just illegal. Because it isn't a question of whether it was legal or illegal, that isn't enough. The question is, was it morally wrong? I say that it was morally wrong if any of that $18,000 went to Senator Nixon for my personal use. I say that it was morally wrong if it was secretly given and secretly handled. And I say that it was morally wrong if any of the contributors got special favors for the contributions that they made. And now to answer those questions let me say this: Not one cent of the $18,000 or any other money of that type ever went to me for my personal use. Every penny of it was used to pay for political expenses that I did not think should be charged to the taxpayers of the United States. AJ: Look! Did you hear when he said “not one cent..” and “every penny of it..” he chooses these words to show that everything went to his campaign and not for personal use. So we all just misunderstood where the money was going! AN: Yeah..sureeee .But now as the speech progresses, Nixon is taking on a more defensive tone! Did you hear how he said “Every penny of it was used to pay for political expenses that i did not think should be charged to the taxpayers of the United State.”? He says it in a way that is overly defensive. He’s making the listeners feel guilty. Like he’s saying “i only did this b/c you people obviously shouldn’t pay.” (say sarcastically) AJ: Well, okay maybe you can see it that way...And look at his use of hypophora! Nixon says, “Now was that wrong? And let me say that it was wrong-” of course we know that fraud is wrong but he tells us anyway! It’s genius! He even has anaphora! He repeats over and over and I quote, “I say that it was morally wrong if...” He clearly draws attention to the moral incorrectness of fraud. He shows that he has strong beliefs against fraud! He is obviously trying to clear his name! AN: Ugh. Well, even though he uses some rhetorical devices, he clearly takes on a condescending tone when the speech goes on.. AJ: Okay...lets hear this.. CS: Well this seems like a perfect time to continue our reading! Hannah? Speech (HS): It was not a secret fund. As a matter of fact, when I was on "Meet the Press," some of you may have seen it last Sunday—Peter Edson came up to me after the program and he said, "Dick, what about this fund we hear about?" And I said, "Well, there's no secret about it. Go out and see Dana Smith, who was the administrator of the fund." And I gave him his address, and I said that you will find that the purpose of the fund simply was to defray political expenses that I did not feel should be charged to the Government. And third, let me point out, and I want to make this particularly clear, that no contributor to this fund, no contributor to any of my campaign, has ever received any consideration that he would not have received as an ordinary constituent. I just don't believe in that and I can say that never, while I have been in the Senate of the United States, as far as the people that contributed to this fund are concerned, have I made a telephone call for them to an agency, or have I gone down to an agency in their behalf. And the records will show that, the records which are in the hands of the Administration. AJ: Again! Nixon wants to show that he never tried to hide the fact that he received money from his supporters! In fact, he encourages people just to ask and peer into his personal financial business! It’s obvious that Nixon just wants to clear up the misunderstanding! AN: Objection! The way he says it, he obviously makes people feel guilty for questioning him, as if he’s saying “Look at how all of you are questioning and suspicious of a man who is has not tried to hide anything!” The audience will again feel guilty! AJ: Even if that may be true, that doesn’t make his statement that he didn’t use the money for personal use a fallacy! Nixon is honest and is just using some logos to clear up some misunderstanding! He continues and says that he never did anything on behalf of the supporters as if he was bribed! He used the money for the purposes that he believed in, not what his supporters believed in! NN: Very interesting points you two are making! CS: I know, they both seem so intellectual! NN: I don’t know who to agree with! CS: Same with me, Let’s continue with the speech. Speech (CS): But then some of you will say and rightly, "Well, what did you use the fund for, Senator? Why did you have to have it?" Let me tell you in just a word how a Senate office operates. First of all, a Senator gets $15,000 a year in salary. He gets enough money to pay for one trip a year, a round trip that is, for himself and his family between his home and Washington, D.C. And then he gets an allowance to handle the people that work in his office, to handle his mail. And the allowance for my State of California is enough to hire thirteen people. And let me say, incidentally, that that allowance is not paid to the Senator—it's paid directly to the individuals that the Senator puts on his payroll, but all of these people and all of these allowances are for strictly official business. Business, for example, when a constituent writes in and wants you to go down to the Veterans Administration and get some information about his GI policy.Items of that type for example. But there are other expenses which are not covered by the Government. And I think I can best discuss those expenses by asking you some questions. AJ: I really like how Nixon employs logos through his thought process and his use of numbers. By stating his salary he allows the audience to view the scene from his perspective and to think with him. AN:Hmph. I hate to admit it but his anaphora when he says “and” really does help enforce his ideas. It purposefully hones the audience in to his reasoning, and his punchline at the end about all the money going to the individuals is much stronger. AJ: And look at that Anadiplosis where he says “ but all of these people and all of these allowances are for strictly official business. Business, for example...” It really adds to the serious diction of “strictly” and “official”. He really proves his point of wanting us Americans to see his honest side! AN: But he also sounds annoyed! Like he has to explain all of his business to us! AJ: Well I guess you can hear that........ (tiny pause). (a little louder) But, really- CS: (cuts her off) Let’s just go on with the speech. Michelle? NN: Of course, Chris. Now where were we? Oh yeah. Nixon further defends himself by saying... Speech (NN): Do you think that when I or any other Senator makes a political speech, has it printed, should charge the printing of that speech` and the mailing of that speech to the taxpayers? Do you think, for example, when I or any other Senator makes a trip to his home state to make a purely political speech that the cost of that trip should be charged to the taxpayers? Do you think when a Senator makes political broadcasts or political television broadcasts, radio or television, that the expense of those broadcasts should be charged to the taxpayers? Well, I know what your answer is. It is the same answer that audiences give me whenever I discuss this particular problem. The answer is, "no." The taxpayers shouldn't be required to finance items which are not official business but which are primarily political business. AJ: Just look at his perfect use of hypophora! He emphasizes the fact with these questions that the money he is using is not being charged to the average American, but his own supporters! Would you like to spend money on some political person who you don’t even support?? AN: No.... but this use of hypophora is just a way to gain the acceptance of the audience, who are everyday normal people, by saying what they want to hear! Regardless though, this is still very powerful and persuasive ; I hate to admit that... NN: Looks like you two are starting to agree with each other! Well let’s continue! Hit it Hannah! HS: Nixon continues... Speech (HS): And so I felt that the best way to handle these necessary political expenses of getting my message to the American people and the speeches I made, the speeches that I had printed, for the most part, concerned this one message—of exposing this Administration, the communism in it, the corruption in it—the only way that I could do that was to accept the aid which people in my home state of California who contributed to my campaign and who continued to make these contributions after I was elected were glad to make. AN: Ah hah! Look at how Nixon is just sucking up to both Eisenhower AND the American people. He says that his message concerns exposing the communism, which appeals to the Americans in this time since so many of us are afraid the Commies. To prove my point, this time period is beginning to be called the Red Scare due to all the fear of the Communists! Nixon uses this fear and incorporates it into this speech to show that he is also against Communism, allowing the people to relate to him. Regarding Eisenhower, he says he wants to expose the corruption in the Truman Administration! If you had been reading about Eisenhower, you would know that he hates the corruption in that Administration and threatened to kick Nixon off his ballot if he didn’t address the issue. Therefore, killing two birds with one stone, Nixon sucks up to both the Americans and Eisenhower to win their support WHILE making them less suspicious of his supporters’ funds! AJ: Regardless though, he is just stating the things he stands for and wants to get rid of! And if by doing so, he tries to clear up any misunderstandings about the usage of the money, then so be it! He is making his message clear that he wants to kick out the Commies and make the Administration clean of corruption! You can’t blame him for that! CS: Wow, I did not see it like that! How about you Michelle? NN: Well, I can see both points of view, but I’m a truly an indecisive person, I must admit. Both of you bring up very intriguing points. CS: In that case, I say, let’s carry on! Speech (CS): And let me say I am proud of the fact that not one of them has ever asked me for a special favor. I'm proud of the fact that not one of them has ever asked me to vote on a bill other than as my own conscience would dictate. And I am proud of the fact that the taxpayers by subterfuge or otherwise have never paid one dime for expenses which I thought were political and shouldn't be charged to the taxpayers. I realize that there are still some who may say, and rightly so, and let me say that I recognize that some will continue to smear regardless of what the truth may be, but that there has been understandably some honest misunderstanding on this matter, and there's some that will say: "Well, maybe you were able, Senator, to fake this thing. How can we believe what you say? After all, is there a possibility that maybe you got some sums in cash? Is there a possibility that you may have feathered your own nest?" And so now what I am going to do-and incidentally this is unprecedented in the history of American politics-I am going at this time to give this television and radio audience a complete financial history; everything I've earned; everything I've spent; everything I owe. And I want you to know the facts. I'll have to start early. AJ: His extensive use of anaphora really makes the audience connect with Nixon and his cause. He says “I’m proud of the fact” that not one of them has asked for a special favor. “I’m proud of the fact” that not one of them has ever asked me to vote on a bill other than as my own conscience would his (referring to Nixon) dictate, and “I’m proud of the fact” that the taxpayers... it goes on and on and on and on. AN: Yeah, I guess this establishes a rhythm that appeals to the audience. Nixon has a limited ability to connect with his audience, so this probably helped him emphasize his point that he was using the money for the benefit of the American people. Anyway, it also stopped the monotony of his speech. His defensive stance was boring me..... (begins to yawn) AJ: Oh, don’t undermine his excellent use of rhetorical appeal! scoffs, You can obviously tell that the audience is fully engaged, especially in the next line, when he directly addresses the audience in a receptive tone. Nixon says that he realizes and recognizes, also an effective use of repetition, that some people will be skeptical towards his story, but that he will make it a point to prove them wrong. Then, he uses a series of rhetorical questions, that show his feelings towards those who do not support him. So you see, he is like an average American man, with feelings just like the rest of us! AN: How can you even say that, Rhee Pullican? You must be one of those people who falls into his guilty trap. And look, he does it here! This section, where he says, there's some that will say: "Well, maybe you were able, Senator, to fake this thing. How can we believe what you say? After all, is there a possibility that maybe you got some sums in cash? Is there a possibility that you may have feathered your own nest?" . He begins to lure you in with these questions. He is undoubtedly accusing those who distrust him, and rightly so. He’s using the money for personal gain! He is just twisting his words to make it seem as though he is not! AJ: Of course not! His message toward the American people is uplifting and positive, not at all- (cut off) AN: It’s clearly defensive. He is deflecting the responsibility of his unethical actions onto those against him. AKA those same American people! CS: Chuckling in the background... NN: Okay, okay, okay! Calm down please. Let’s just get on to the next part of the speech. Maybe this will clear up some disputes.... (mutters) I hope it does.. Speech (NN): I was born in 1913. Our family was one of modest circumstances and most of my early life was spent in a store out in East Whittier. It was a grocery store — one of those family enterprises. The only reason we were able to make it go was because my mother and dad had five boys and we all worked in the store. AJ: Just look at how Nixon lowers his status as he hits us with this part, he utilizes an anecdote to paint homely imagery and appeal to our pathos. AN: Sounds more like he’s just trying to earn pity points. AN: Keep listening... Speech (HS):I worked my way through college and to a great extent through law school. And then, in 1940, probably the best thing that ever happened to me happened, I married Pat—who is sitting over here. We had a rather difficult time after we were married, like so many of the young couples who may be listening to us. I practiced law; she continued to teach school. Then in 1942 I went into the service. Let me say that my service record was not a particularly unusual one. I went to the South Pacific. I guess I'm entitled to a couple of battle stars. I got a couple of letters of commendation but I was just there when the bombs were falling and then I returned. I returned to the United States and in 1946 I ran for the Congress. AJ: Ah you see? Nixon is just like the rest of us! Like so many Americans who had to grow up, go to war, and experience the hardships of life, Nixon isn’t someone rich who only cares about themselves! He is an average American trying to make a living! AN: But that’s exactly his point! Don’t you see? He knows the majority of his audience are average Americans! That’s the reason for this little anecdote into his past! He does it to connect with the Americans and make them less angry at him! This has nothing to do with him using money from his supporters! He just adds these little details to make people think that he is one of them! How do you think the Americans would react if he used difficult language and only said “the facts”? AJ: Well- (interrupted) AN: They wouldn’t listen to a single word! He has to do this to keep his audience engaged and interested. Who would support a pompous rich person who is from a wealthy background? Hardly anyone! He talks the way he talks to get the votes and make people un-suspicious! NN: Jeez guys, calm down! On to the next part... Speech (CS): When we came out of the war, Pat and I—Pat during the war ad worked as a stenographer and in a bank and as an economist for Government agency—and when we came out the total of our saving from both my law practice, her teaching and all the time that I as in the war—the total for that entire period was just a little less than $10,000. Every cent of that, incidentally, was in Government bonds. [Here, Nixon presents a detailed account of his personal assets an debts] Well, that's about it. That's what we have and that's what we owe. It isn't very much but Pat and I have the satisfaction that every dime that we've got is honestly ours. I should say this—that Pat doesn't have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat. And I always tell her that she'd look good in anything. AN: Nixon is just saying a lot of the same old things, trying to lower himself to appear like “one of the guys” and trying to earn pity points again . AJ: But he also tells everyone, the millions of people, where all of his money comes from! In order to clear up doubt, he is forced to tell people financial secrets so that the people may be appeased! Speech (NN): One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something-a gift-after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was. It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl-Tricia, the 6-year old-named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it. AJ: Right here, Nixon uses the appeal of humor because he tells a little anecdote about asking for a dog and naming it the most adorable name ever, Checkers. Obviously, he’s a regular family man, if they have a dog and children. AN: He’s only using this appeal to make other’s think he’s just like everyone else, but note that he doesn’t even have to buy the dog, a supporter buys it and send it to his family as a gift! CS: Oh, well, let’s continue. Speech (CS): It isn’t easy to come before a nation-wide audience and air your life as I’ve done. But I want to say some things before I conclude that I think most of you will agree on. Mr. Mitchell, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, made the statement that if a man couldn’t afford to be in the United States Senate he shouldn’t run for the Senate. And I just want to make my position clear. 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. I don’t believe that represents the thinking of the Democratic Party, and I know that it doesn’t represent the thinking of the Republican Party. I believe that it’s fine that a man like Governor Stevenson who inherited a fortune from his father can run for President. But I also feel that it’s essential in this country of ours that a man of modest means can also run for President. AJ: See what he says there? He tells the audience that he does not agree with Mr. Mitchell. He uses pathos to show how he thinks any person with any kind of money can govern! He states a “man of modest means” can run as well. AN: That may be true, but he uses ethos to make himself look better: He points out the defaults in others, like Mr. Mitchell. He puts down the Democratic party and that’s not exactly a helpful way to receive more votes. AJ: He’s using the patriotic appeal to inform the audience he believes, rich or not, any man can govern this beautiful country. He is staying by what he thinks is right for the American people and the United States as a whole. AN: I don’t know if I agree with that, but everyone has their own opinions, I guess.... Speech (NN): And, now, finally, I know that you wonder whether or not I am going to stay on the Republican ticket or resign. Let me say this: I don't believe that I ought to quit because I'm not a quitter. And, incidentally, Pat's not a quitter. After all, her name was Patricia Ryan and she was born on St. Patrick's Day, and you know the Irish never quit. But the decision, my friends, is not mine. I would do nothing that would harm the possibilities of Dwight Eisenhower to become President of the United States. And for that reason I am submitting to the Republican National Committee tonight through this television broadcast the decision which it is theirs to make. Let them decide whether my position on the ticket will help or hurt. And I am going to ask you to help them decide. Wire and write the Republican National Committee whether you think I should stay on or whether I should get off. And whatever their decision is, I will abide by it. But just let me say this last word. Regardless of what happens I'm going to continue this fight. I'm going to campaign up and down America until we drive the crooks and the Communists and those that defend them out of Washington. And remember, folks, Eisenhower is a great man. Believe me. He's a great man. And a vote for Eisenhower is a vote for what's good for America. AN: Did you hear that? He is stereotyping the Irish in America! AJ: Lighten up! He is just using a bit of humor to lighten up the mood! In addition, he gives power to the people by letting them decide what to do with him rather than being selfish! AN: And yet, he still says he will continue running! But regardless of that, just look at how he even in his conclusion, he is fawning Eisenhower, how he is such a great man! He only says this to stay on the ballot! He- (cut off) CS: Oops times up! Well thank you both for coming in to talk with us! AJ- Thank you- (cut off again) AN: Thank you for having us. CS: Well time to go back to the present! NN: Lets go! (time traveling noise) CS: Well that was quite an experience NN: It most definitely was! Now, let’s get back to our modern specialist (Hannah) on President Nixon’s speech to get a final opinion on everything. CS: Yes that sounds like a wonderful idea! NN: Of course, Hannah what is your take on Nixon’s Checkers speech? HS: Obviously, Nixon was trying to clear his name of the supposed fraud he had committed. This speech was extremely important to whether or not he would make it with Eisenhower to the republican ticket! To gain the sympathy of voters through the speech, and make it to the Vice Presidency. Nixon had to persuade listeners of his honesty. Now, when we look back at his speech, he tries to be honest, but instead comes off with an annoyed tone. Almost that he is tired of having to explain every little bit of his life and where his money goes. CS: We did have some opinions of people from that time period; How do you think they might have reacted to the speech? HS: Well, if you were listening then, and remember this was post depression and the voters would have lived through the depression, when Nixon describes his financial issues as a child and growing up, voters connect to him at how honest he is being about his hard times. Back then, financial issues were not always discussed publicly. So Nixon automatically relates to his listeners. His anecdotes automatically appeal to the audience. The audience expects to hear Nixon discuss the $18000 of embezzled money, and that’s exactly what they get. NN: Oh okay so that’s how the Republican from the past felt! HS: Most Republicans would have definitely negated any dislike towards Nixon. His message that he used no money for personal use, and that no citizen should have to pay for his campaign came across easily to voters. He easily convinced people that using taxpayers’ money was a terrible idea as compared to using his supporter’s money. This also connects to our modern day campaigning. CS: Oh really? How so? HS: Well, presidential candidates must be very careful about what they do in the public eye. They cannot afford to make any mistakes. They have learned from Nixon that even being accused of a crime causes automatic dislike. Cleaning up the mess they make will require a great deal of effort ,so they know that rather than make a mess, don’t make any mistakes. They must deflect any accusations made against them like Nixon once did. Campaigners must use the money of supporters (and they use a lot of it nowadays!) and always appeal to the taxpayers. Taxpayers are who vote, and the voters determine elections. NN: Well thank you for being on our show! HS: Yes well, thanks for having me QUICKLY>>>> CS: Thank you to our sponsors, the Pop History Dig and the History Place for their excellent historical information on this speech. NN: We’d also like to thank you, our dedicated viewers, for listening to yet another episode of PSS. CS: Tune in next week to hear another famous speech, this time, by Winston Churchill. And you never know, we might just go back in time! NN: Oh my...
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