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Nixon, Agnew, and the “silent majority”: A case study in the rhetoric of polarization

Nixon, Agnew, and the “silent majority”: A case study in the rhetoric of polarization Nixon, Agnew, and the "Silent Majority": A Case Study in the Rhetoric of Polarization ANDREW A. KING and FLOYD DOUGLAS ANDERSON* THROUGHOU T HIS presidential campaign, Richard M. Nixon was a candidate without an enthusiastic constituency. Although conceded to be the strongest Republican hopeful, for the simple reason that he was acceptable to all wings of the party, he was no one's beau ideal. H e was a compromise between the extremes.1 In November of 1968, having won the election with a mere 43 per cent of the vote, Nixon found himself still without a strongly supportive constituency. As early as October of 1967, however, he had shown an acute awareness of his lack of a popular base and had made an initial attempt to create one out of the diverse groups that compose the great center2 of American society. In a speech before the National Association of Manu- facturers, he had identified himself as a spokesman for the "broad and vital center"3 of America. Months later, in his Acceptance Speech at Miami, he carried this identification further by naming his constituency as "the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans, the nonshouters, the non- demonstrators."4 It was not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western Speech Taylor & Francis

Nixon, Agnew, and the “silent majority”: A case study in the rhetoric of polarization

Western Speech , Volume 35 (4): 13 – Dec 30, 1971

Nixon, Agnew, and the “silent majority”: A case study in the rhetoric of polarization

Western Speech , Volume 35 (4): 13 – Dec 30, 1971

Abstract

Nixon, Agnew, and the "Silent Majority": A Case Study in the Rhetoric of Polarization ANDREW A. KING and FLOYD DOUGLAS ANDERSON* THROUGHOU T HIS presidential campaign, Richard M. Nixon was a candidate without an enthusiastic constituency. Although conceded to be the strongest Republican hopeful, for the simple reason that he was acceptable to all wings of the party, he was no one's beau ideal. H e was a compromise between the extremes.1 In November of 1968, having won the election with a mere 43 per cent of the vote, Nixon found himself still without a strongly supportive constituency. As early as October of 1967, however, he had shown an acute awareness of his lack of a popular base and had made an initial attempt to create one out of the diverse groups that compose the great center2 of American society. In a speech before the National Association of Manu- facturers, he had identified himself as a spokesman for the "broad and vital center"3 of America. Months later, in his Acceptance Speech at Miami, he carried this identification further by naming his constituency as "the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans, the nonshouters, the non- demonstrators."4 It was not

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References (12)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
0043-4205
DOI
10.1080/10570317109373712
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Nixon, Agnew, and the "Silent Majority": A Case Study in the Rhetoric of Polarization ANDREW A. KING and FLOYD DOUGLAS ANDERSON* THROUGHOU T HIS presidential campaign, Richard M. Nixon was a candidate without an enthusiastic constituency. Although conceded to be the strongest Republican hopeful, for the simple reason that he was acceptable to all wings of the party, he was no one's beau ideal. H e was a compromise between the extremes.1 In November of 1968, having won the election with a mere 43 per cent of the vote, Nixon found himself still without a strongly supportive constituency. As early as October of 1967, however, he had shown an acute awareness of his lack of a popular base and had made an initial attempt to create one out of the diverse groups that compose the great center2 of American society. In a speech before the National Association of Manu- facturers, he had identified himself as a spokesman for the "broad and vital center"3 of America. Months later, in his Acceptance Speech at Miami, he carried this identification further by naming his constituency as "the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans, the nonshouters, the non- demonstrators."4 It was not

Journal

Western SpeechTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 30, 1971

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