For the subject of this study, two speeches by the presidential candidates were selected from the 1952 campaign. Although they are not on the same subject, they were given only ten days apart and were selected for that reason.
In Chapters II and III the speeches are recorded. An effort was made to divide the speeches up into thought units with comments and criticisms following each unit.
Basically this is a study of the motivational elements in the speeches in spite of the fact that no specific pattern of motivations was followed. Because the motivational factors are so interwoven and overlap to such a large degree, any effort to establish specific criteria for such a study leads one to the conclusion expressed by Otis Walter when he said:
"The most basic tendencies in human motivation resolves into a question thift has not yielded enough knowledge about the process of motivation." *
These speeches are not necessarily typical speeches of either candidate and for that reason no effort was made to come to any conclusions regarding the ability of either man as a speechmaker.
In order to avoid, as much as possible, a personal bias, a negative approach was taken. It is accepted that both speeches have considerable merit and are recognized for that merit. However, for the sake of this study the negative elements were looked for and emphasized.
The criteria used then was the basic impression which these thought units produced. When the criteria is based on the impression of an individual, the possibility and probability of error is recognized. It is felt, however, that these errors of omission and commission should not interfere with the main purpose of t. is study.
This address was given by Governor Adlai E. Stevenson on October 14, 1952, before an overflow crowd in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.
I cannot speak tonight in this tabernacle without an aware-ness of the links between its history and that of the state from which I come.
In this opening paragraph, Mr. Stevenson makes three definite appeals to his audience. First, he attempts to identify himself with his audience geographically by citing Illinois' part in the history of the Mormon church. This is an illustration of a basic relation. He then takes an unpleasant episode but deals with it in such a way that he attributes to himself, and to others of his state, the trait of humility. Because humility is an honorable trait, this should make him appear honorable in their eyes. The third appeal is the identification which he makes with his audience and himself regarding their religion. It can be assumed that he is in agreement with their basic feelings and beliefs and is therefore again on common ground with his audience.
"It was 106 years ago now that there were those "burnings," the persecution, the mob violence and the murders which finally drove the men and women of the Mormon faith on westward."
The interesting observation here is that Mr. Stevenson uses several loaded words in condemnation of en act which he can safely assume his audience will also condemn, and thereby reassure them that they stand together in thought.
Now today this tabernacle, rising above this city and these fertile lands where men said nothing could ever grow, stands as a living monument to the inevitable triumph of faith. And when the caravans of those who today seek public office in this nation stop here with you, to meet with you in this, your tabernacle, they stop their clamor ane haruhguihg. They seek the response of your hearts and your minds rather than that of your hands or your voicce.
In this section of the speech the audience is praised for their past accomplishments and are in that way told what they want to hear and believe. This is intended to establish the habit of belief so that it will apply to future statements. It further establishes the rapport between the audience and the speaker.
The statement is made that this speech is going to be on a high level, appealing to their "hearts" and "minds." We like to believe that what we think is logical. It also compliments the audience that they are capable of comprehending a speech of this type.
It is implied that the opposition does not campaign on this high level because they do not have faith. True, the words do not denote this, but the connotation is there.
"And tonight I want to talk in this temple to the great con-fident majority of Americans -- the generous and the unfrigh-tened, those who are proud of our strength and sure of our good ness and who want to work with each other inirust, to advance the honor of our country."
Because the speaker appeals to these virtues of confidence, generosity, bravery, strength, goodness, trust, and honor, the audience assume he has them and also attributes these virtues to themselves. They have again met on a common ground, this time of virtue.
Needless to say this includes many millions of Republicans. If all virtue were in one party the nation would be in a sad way. But t' is confident majority, I am sorry to say, does not include the Republican speechmakers of this campaign. How do they picture our magnificent America?
It is interesting to note that here the Republican members of the audience are given a face-saving technieue so that they can say they are virtuous and still can be Republican. Also, they can maintain their strong admiration for General Eisenhower and still agree by merely not including him as a "Republican speechmaker". A disagreement with those who admire General Eisenhower is therefore avoided.
Sometimes they whine about our troubles -- describing us as choosing to live alone, friendless, on a remote island, indif-ferent to the fate of man, a huge hermit crab lacking a soul.
The use of pronouns has an intersting association in this section. "They" refers to the Republican speechmakers and is portrayed as an evil influence. "Us", on the other hand, implies that the audience is a part of the "majority of Americans" which gives them the feeling that they belong to the larger group, and that group is indowed with the virtue previously mentioned.
The audience is given the choice of associating themselves with the "they" group which is betraying their country, or the "us" group which is the virtuous majority.
There was a day when my opponent for the office of the presidency of these United States symbolized this grand nation of vast horizons and dazzling success. But now, for the sake of power, what has he not permitted himself? Far worse than his surrender to Taft, far worse than his acceptance of all the bad senators of his party, is what he said about American prosperity. He dared to tell us that our surge forward since 1945 has been based on war and on rearmament. And he implied that the whole growth of social justice during the past twenty years is also based on war.
Rather than meet the Eisenhower supporters head-on, Mr. Stevenson here gives the impression that his opponent is a good man gone bad. This would make it possible for those who had been for him to change their minds and justify the change.
The next statements are good illustrations of how statements can be effective because we tend to believe what we are told, and the effec-tiveness of hasty generalizations. The answer to these questions was ignored: Did Eisenhower really surrender to Taft, and if he did was this bad? Did he accept all the bad senators of his party? Will the opposition admit that the country has surged forward since 1945? Has there been a growth of "social justice" based on war? This is a good illustration of indirect suggestion.
This is the most unkind untruth of all, for this is the Kremlin story, this is the theme song of ev,ry Co:munist paper in France and Italy, and across the Iron Curtain. The prediction that this must be true, that our so-called "corrupt American capitalism" cannot survive, cannot prevent mass unemployment without war or the threat of war -- this is written into every narxian textbook. But why shou1,1 the General suddenly accept it?
The association made here between the stand of the opposition and communism is particularly effective because communism is generally accepted as bad and so naturally the opposition's stand would be bad. It is interesting to notice the reference to "the General". The connotation of this title is particularly bad when the discussion is aimed at opposing war
We all know it is nonsense, that in fact the reverse is true. To the dismay of the enemies of America, we proved after 1945 that we have learned in the last twenty years not only to produce majestically, but to distribute among all our people an increasingly fair share of that production. We have evolved a stronger and a better form of economy, which makes nonsense of the Russian textbooks.
The first sentence illustrates the presumption suggestion that the speaker is merely echoing the ideas of the audience. The loaded word "majestically" is used when describing our production. The "distribution among all our people an increasingly fair share of that production" is an appeal to the financial well-being of everyone, as is the general reference to a better form of economy.
It is interesting to notice that the opposition has now become the Russian textbooks. This is a further cementing of the association established between the Republican party and the communists.
The friends of freedom everywhere have rejoiced. They have noted our rising and widespread wealth and well-being. They have noted that we had no depression and no unemployment at the end of the war -- in spite of headlong demobilization and disarmament. And remember that all this happened before the Marshall Plan, before the revival of our armed might, before Korea. Every liberty-loving European save thanks that we had showed ourselves not only strong but stable.
A statement of the wellbeing of America is easily accepted because we want to believe it. The use of the personal pronoun "we" makes it easier for us to be proud of something we, perhaps, had nothing to do with. Notice, however, the statement of the effect with the assumption that the democratic control of our government was the cause.
Must this inspiring record now be ridiculed for campaign purposes? Must our credit for using cur capitalist system wisely and humanely be undermined in Europe -- and by General Eisenhower of all men? Must our proud all-American achievement be pictured as a Democratic party plot?
This must be somewhere near the low-water mark in the great American business of vote-getting, which has too often yielded more noise than light.
The technique of the leading question is used here to appeal to the audience. It is interesting to note that these questions can only be answered in agreement with the speaker. This process places the audience in a position where they find themselves assuming that General Eisenhower has taken a stand against the capitalistic system. The audience may even be tempted to go one step further and then assume that General Eisenhower has taken a stand for communism even though this has not been said.
In the second paragraph such statements as "the low-water mark in the great American business of vote-getting", and "yielded more noise than light" add prestige to a statement that if it were stated simply would have little or no effect.
My friends, we dare not underplay our national greatness for these mean motives. During the war, you remember, when we all knew America was in danger, we only wanted the best, the most un-selfish. We had not time for building political mantraps or for inventing derogatory tales. It was a heart-lifting moment, a noble experience to be one of the American people, at the top of our power, bound together in determination and mutual respect. There was a moral excitement to life in those days, in spite of the bitter loss and pain of war, which we shall never forget.
After the careful conditioning that Mr. Stevenson has subjected his audience to, he now attempts to make a direct identification with their fundamental love of country. This "flag waving" technique can have a negative appeal, but here it is woven into a well-constructed speech so well that the audience is emotionally conditioned to accept it.
But a "cold war" leads the timid and the discontented into frustration. And out of frustration comes pettiness -- the niggling pitiful picture of a confused, divided country which these Republican speechmakers are now painting. And this, of course, was the very purpose for which the Russians invented "cold war" and imposed it upon us.
Such negative words as timid, discontented, frustrated, pettiness, niggling, pitiful, confused, shackled, quarreling, betray, and divided are used to describe the traits which the Russians have been able to instill in the opposition. This is a rather marked example of the combination of loaded words and the association of the opposition with a generally accepted evil.
It is interesting to notice the implication that is made that Eisenhower is not able to cope with a "cold war". His personal popularity makes it necessary to attack him in this subtle manner of association. Obviously any attempts to prove that he could not cope with a "hot" war, or that his ethics were questionable would not be so readily acceptable.
But the American giant will not be shackled. We have only to examine these temptations, to which the "cold war" exposes us, to feel refreshed in our faith -- and to feel sorry for the few among us who do not rise to this exacting test.
Here the speaker attempts to make his audience "feel refreshed" after the negative approach used in the preceding paragraphs. He again attempts to give them a feeling of well-being so that they will be receptive to his ideas.
The expression of sympathy for the opposition is a most effective way to ridicule them and make them appear to be not worthy of confidence.
The first temptation is to be half regretful, half ashamed of our strength-- or frightened of it, which is worse. Regretful (God help us) in the face of the stirring truth that Lincoln's vision has come true, that now we are indeed the 'last, best hope of earth' -- so recognized by all the free world, which implores us to be great, to lead with magnanimity, and above all with patience. The very powerful, if they are good, must always be patient.
The quotation from Lincoln which is cited here actually has little persuasive value except that it tends to identify Lincoln with the speaker. This is an excellent device, because few people in America today will not admit that they admire Lincoln. His party affiliation has become unimportant.
And still some of us regret it. Some of us say: 'Why can't life leave us alone? We don't want to lead. We want to be undisturbed.'
In these paragraphs the speaker has shown that the isolationist viewpoint violates a basic concept of religion. This argument is clearly stated and is quite effective, particularly if we associate isolationism with the entire Republican party.
In 1787 George Washington said: 'The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican form of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.'
This general statement made by George Washington is another at-tempt to establish an identification with another American hero. Either of these quotes could have been used in any political speech by either political party, but they are perhaps unusually effective here because of the techniques used by 1r. Stevenson to gradually associate himself with his audience before he started to use these more obvious appeals to his audience.
In 1858 Abraham Lincoln said: 'Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere.'
This quote can have two reasons for being used here. First, it expresses a fundamental belief which no true American will disagree with, but the implication is that the opposition does agree with it. The second reason could be its suggestive value, because we tend to believe something if it is repeated to us. This is the second quote from Lincoln, therefore it is suggested more strongly that Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Lincoln have the same ideas.
In 1915 Woodrow Wilson said; 'The interesting and inspiring thought about America is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself.' By that time we were a world power, about to enter into a world war. But there was no doubt, no fear, in Woodrow Wilson's mind. He knew, as in truth we have always known, that we were destined to be an example and to assume the burden of greatness.
Woodrow Wilson is now added to the list of American heroes who stand with Mr. Stevenson, by identification. The statement that we "have always known" appeals to the fact that we tend to believe something that has existed in the past. The repetition of the similar ideas expressed by these men is repeated each time to make a greater impression on the audience.
So we are marked men, we Americans at the midcentury point. We have been tapped by fate -- for which we should ever give thanks, not laments. What a day to live in. What a flowering of the work and the faith of our fathers. Who in heaven's name would want America less strong, less responsible for the future? Isn't this what we have always dreamed? To whom else would we choose to hand the torch of the free world?
An appeal to 'the faith of our fathers' is strong in itself, but when it is associated with our "dreams' and the fact that we hold the 'torch of the free world", it has touched a common ground with everyone in the audience. The thoughts expressed here are too general and idealistic to convince in themselves, but they make excellent material for identification.
And precisely because we are tapped by fate, we must be wise and patient as well as rich and strong. This means that we must live, intensely live, the faith which has made us free and thereby invincible. 'Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.'
The appeal in this paragraph is based on the assumption that by now the audience recognizes that the Democratic party is composed of those people who have faith.
The motivating force used is that we tend to believe what we are told, substantiated by the quoted phrases which we have a tendency to believe. This uses the concrete method of attention getting.
American power is not just coal and iron and oil, cotton and wheat and corn. It is not just our forests and our mountain ranges, and the huge meandering rivers of our central plains, and the high, dry cattle country, and this lucky land of yours between the mountain and the ocean. It is not even all these things plus 160 million people. It is these things plus the people, plus the idea. For again, 'despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.'
The general description of America is broad enough to touch on some fundamental belief of every member of the audience. The acceptance of the idea, however, is based on the suggestion made stronger by repetition.
So the second temptation of the cold, frustrating war -- which we also proudly reject -- is to become so distracted by our trouble that we take this faith too much for granted, that we salute it (as some of salute our religion), and then go our way unchanged. If we do not make it part of us-- keep it forever before us, intense and demanding and clear -- the faith might die and we should then die with it.
The significant identification here is how the concept should be trusted in the same way we treat our religion, which is a fundamental belief we all share. This tends to make this temptation a vital thing which must not be ignored.
What is this 'American Idea' which we so justly venerate? I suggest that the heart of it is the simple but challenging statement that no government may interfere with our conscience, may tell us what to think. All our freedoms, all our dynamic un-leashed energies, stem from this.
Mr. Stevenson here "suggests" rather than tells us what the "American Idea" is. The suggestion is so basic to our way of life that no one in the audience can disagree with him. The Ideometer principle is applied to advantage here. As long as there are no objections, this idea will be accepted. There is, then, an association between this acceptance and other things he has said or might say.
In the second paragraph, Mr. Stevenson states some things which we "just naturally" might say. His statement, "No government can tell me what to do, et." is interesting because although we may talk that way, it is not the way it actually is. There are several things that government requires I do that they have not proven to me to be for the common good. There is the tendency, however, to accept this as Mr. Stevenson's stand and we like it because it implies that we know what is best for us, and that idea we like to hear.
But government, keeping its hand most carefully away from that forbidden field, may and indeed must play its part in our steady national effort to promote welfare and to diminish hardship. Our government, we Democrats have always insisted, is a friendly, helpful force, to serve and to keep order, never to dominate, never to usurp our private lives.
It should be borne in mind that the "forbidden field" which Mr. Stevenson is referring to here is that government cannot interfere with our conscience, and that no government may tell us what to think. The presentation of the previous paragraph, however, may give the audience the impression that it also means that government cannot tell us what to do. The ambiguous use of words here tends to plant an idea into our minds which the speaker would want us to have, but that he would not want to say, or rather could not say.
Yet the same Republicans (the dinosaur-wing of that party) who object to service from our government -- who call everything "creeping socialism", who talk darkly of "dictatorship" -- these same men begin to hint that we are "subversive", or at best the tools of our country's enemies, when we boast of the great strides toward social justice and security we have already made, and of the still greater strides we plan. They laugh at us, superciliously, when we say we are the political party with a heart.
If at this point a member of the audience finds himself in agreement with the speaker and also a Republican, he can save himself from condemnation by merely not including himself in the category of the "dinosaur-wing" of the party. In this way he is permitted to agree with the speaker and still save face.
The opposition is made to appear ridiculous by an over-generalization by stating that they call "everything" creeping socialism. This, of course, is not true, but it is effective.
It should strengthen us in our freedom by fostering as much widespread ownership and economic independence as possible. In the towns and counties, in the state capitals and in Washington, that great work goes forward today.
The "sweeping generalities" used here are so all-inclusive that they mean nothing. We can assume that the opposition would agree basically, but the point that is vital is just exactly where is that "line which separates the promotion of justice and prosperity from the interference with thought, with conscience, with the sacred private life of the mind". The next paragraph of the speech seems to explain this difference, but actually does not.
If you like, this is the distinction between the things that are God's and the things that are Caesar's. The mind is the expression of the soul, which belongs to God and must be let alone by government. But farm prices, minimum wages, old-age pensions, the regulation of monopoly, the physical safety of society -- these things are Caesar's province, therein the government should do all that is humanly possible.
The over-generalization in the preceding paragraph is explained here by over simplification. For example, the entire concept of thought in the field of farm products was changed with the government control of farm prices. Governmental control of wages has revolutionized thought in this field also. When the concept of supply and demand was placed in a subordinate position to the need of a living wage, it had to influence the mind and the mental processes. Regardless of one's views of the merit of governmental control in these fields, it semes that the clear lines drawn by the speaker cannot be justified. Cn the other hand, the over-simplification would appeal to the audience, because it is so easy to understand.
But those among us who would bar us from attempting our economic and social duty are quick with accusations, with defamatory hints and whispering campaigns, when they see a chance to scare or silence those with whom they disagree. Rudely, carelessly they invade the field of conscience, of thought-- the field which belongs to God and not to senators -- and not to protect the republic, but to discredit the individual.
Actually this paragraph says nothing specific, and yet it sounds as if someone (presumably the Republicans) is doing something evil. They are apparently taking powers unto themselves that belong to God and using them to satisfy their own foul motives. Actually, however, this crime is stated as "invading the field of conscience", whatever that is.
Let us remember also that the first of the seven deadly sins is spiritual pride: the sin which assures me that I know and you don't, so that I give myself permission to use any dubious or dishonest means to discredit your opinion. Because we have always thought of government as friendly, not as brutal, character assassins and slanderers in the Congress of the United States have a free hand in the methods they use. We never foresaw that the cult of thought-control and of the big lie would come to America. So if their conscience permits, they can say almost anything. And if my opponent's conscience permits, he can try to help all of them get reelected. But will he have strengthened or weakened the American idea?
This paragraph appeals to the emotion of fear. We are given the picture of Congressmen who hide behind their immunity to use the same tactics for which Hitler was noted.
Again the attack on General Eisenhower was not direct, but rather aimed at those for whom he is working. The audience is then left in a position where they can now condemn a man who not so long ago was one of their heroes. Also, by not naming the Congressman specifically against whom this attack is aimed, the audience is put in the position where they can select any one they like the least and assume that was the man referred to. The suggestions are particularly strong because of their indirectness.
For this is no small thing, this remorseless attack upon freedom of conscience, freedom of thought. A few peddlers of hate and fear would be of little consequence if they had not been welcomed as satellites by Senator Taft and included in the leadership of this strange crusade. And none of them would be significant if the General -- who was implored to come home by Republican leaders so that they might be quit of Senator Taft -- had not yielded to the demands of his beaten foe. But because of that surrender, because of those strange allies in his queer crusade, our role in world history, our faithfulness to the men who made the United States, is challenged in this election.
This paragraph indicates another face-saving technique. The objectionable element in the Republican party is associated with Senator Taft. This was perhaps true because of his isolationistic tendencies, but also because here is one man who, chances are, would be disliked by the borderline Republicans, the ones whom the speaker felt he had a chance of bringing over to his side. Again a direct attack against "the General" was avoided.
Finally, then, let us recall that our basic faith in liberty of conscience has an ancient ancestry. We can trace it back through Christian Europe, and through pagan Rome, back to the Old Testament prophets. It is by no means exclusive with us. It is in fact our bond of unity with all free men. But we are its ordained guardians today.
An appeal to the past is made here because of our tendencies to believe something from the past. Also personal pride is appealed to because the speaker reminds the audience that they are the "ordained guardians" of "our basic faith in liberty of conscience".
Let us lift up our hearts, therefore -- glad of our strength, proud of the task it imposes. So far from being half-defeated, half-divided, half-bankrupt -- while we are true to ourselves we can never be defeated; while we accent the honorable burden of leadership, we can aver be divided. And in the name of that burden we shall find the means and the determination to spend in money and in labor and in hard thought whatever is needed to save ourselves and our world.
This final appeal is general but directed at self pride and a feeling of well-being in the audience. The general concepts of the speech are expressed here in summary. The use of loaded words here is again perhaps more evident than usual.
CRUSADE FOR PEACE
This speech was given by General Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Republican rally on October 24, 1952, at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit.
In this anxious autumn for America, one fact looms above all others in our people's mind. One tragedy challenges all men dedicated to the work of peace. One word shouts denial to those who foolishly pretend that ours is rot a nation at war.
In an effort to set attention, the speaker has attempted to make the problem appear vital to everyone. He has also appealed to his auditors' attention by inviting them to a combat. The forceful presentation also contributed to the bid for attention.
A small country, Korea has been, for more than two years, the battleground for the costliest foreign war our nation has fought, excepting the two world wars. It has been the burial ground for twenty thousand American dead. It has been another historic field of honor for the valor and skill and tenacity of American soldiers.
The concern for cost makes Korea a vital issue for everyone. The strong appeal to the concern for the American soldier is always effective and produces a strong emotional reaction. When General Eisenhower makes this reference it is particularly effective because of his prestige in this field.
All these things it has been -- and yet one thing more. It has been a symbol -- a telling symbol -- of the foreign policy of our nation.
The statements here are not facts, but rather ideas which the speaker is suggesting. The technique of repetition is used to make the suggestion more readily acceptable. The strong statement of these suggestions also gives them the impression of being facts in spite of the fact that they are not backed up with any proof.
Tonight I am going to talk about our foreign policy and of its supreme symbol -- the Korean war. I am not going to give you elaborate generalizations -- but hard, tough facts. I am going to state the unvarnished truth.
We like to think that we think logically and so this statement should appeal strongly to the audience. An interesting observation can be made here. Mr. Eisenhower implies that generalizations are the opposite of facts. The paragraph sounds very impressive, but even to expect "unvarnished truth" in a political speech is almost too much for any analytical parson to expect.
What, then, are the plain facts? The biggest fact about the Korean war is this: It was never inevitable, it was never inescapable, no fantastic fiat of history decreed that little Korea -- in the summer of 1950 -- would fatally tempt Communist aggressors as their easiest victim. No demonic destiny decreed that America had to be bled this way in order to keep South Korea free and to keep freedom itself self-respecting.
The Ideometer principle applies here and allows us to accept these statements as true because we have no other ideas to block their acceptance. The big danger in these statements, however, is that, although we agree that history did not decree that the Korean War was to happen, this still does not in any way prove that it could have been prevented. There are other causes besides a "demonic destiny" which could have made war inevitable as far as the United States is concerned. Or even if we assume that the war was not inevitable, we have not established that the other alternatives would have been more to our advantage.
We are not mute prisoners of history. That is a doctrine for totalitarians, it is no creed for free mon.
The conclusions which the speaker arrives at here may or may not be true. Because the major premise on which he based his reasoning was not established as fact, his conclusions also cannot be accepted as fact. The speaker's first "unvarnished truth" turns out to be merely a statement of his opinion.
I know something of this totalitarian mind. Through the years of World War II, I carried a heavy burden of decision in the free world's crusade against the tyranny then threatening us all. Month after month, year after year, I had to search out and to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of an enemy driven by the lust to rule the great globe itself.
These efforts to establish more strongly the speaker's prestige on this topic is good technique and very effective. Whether the ability of a General in war can be transferred to a diplomatic situation to the degree implied, however, is open to question.
World War II should have taught us all a lesson. The lesson is this: To vacillate, to hesitate -- to appease even by merely betraying unsteady purpose -- is to feed a dictator's appetite for conquest and to invite war itself.
When negatively loaded words such as "vacillate, hesitate, appease, and betray; unsteady purposes" are used, the conclusion in the first paragraph is readily acceptable. That this is what the Administration was actually doing, however, is assumed not established.
The second paragraph is a good example of taking two assumed situations and concluding that one is the cause of the other without establishing the cause and effect relation between them.
Using arguments of this sort demand that the speaker have a high degree of prestige such as is the case here. In spite of the degree of accuracy of these statements, it can hardly be called "unvarnished truth'.
The record of failure dates back -- with red-letter folly-- at least to September of 1947. It was then that General Albert Wedemeyer -- returned from a presidential mission to the Far East -- submitted to the President this warning: 'The withdrawal of American military forces from Korea would result in the occupation of South Korea by either Soviet troops or, as seems more likely, by the Korean military units trained under Soviet auspices in North Korea.
The factual value of the statements made can be accepted on the assumption that the speaker is ethical, but the conclusion arrived at or implied cannot be. Would the policy of leaving troops in Korea have solved the problem? Would a Republican administration have acted differently? Was not the Republican party asking for the return of the troops at this time? These unanswered questions throw serious doubt on the assumption that these conclusions are "unvarnished truths".
The terrible record of these years reaches its dramatic climax in a series of unforgettable scenes on Capitol Hill in June of 1949. By then the decision to complete withdrawal of American forces from Korea-- despite menacing signs from the North-- had been drawn up by the Department of State. The decision included the intention to ask Congress for aid to Korea to compensate for the withdrawal of American forces.
This "factual" report includes such loaded words as "menacing and terrible" which almost demand a general condemnation of the whole proposal and make the audience feel "skeptical and fearful" along with the Republican congressmen to whom these feelings were attributed. These same unanswered questions mentioned previously will cost doubts on the conclusions drawn.
What followed was historic and decisive.
The direct bid for attention is effectively used here. Although the usual problems regarding quotes exist here, the important thing to consider is that the whole value of proving this specific point is based on the assumption that if the American forces had not been withdrawn from Korea the war would have been prevented. The other side ray also argue that if the American forces had not been withdrawn we would have been involved in a war with Russia and Red China on a world-wide basis. We see then that this is merely proving that some people thought the American forces should of be removed. By now, however, the association between withdrawing the forces and causing the war has been so closely establish by presumption that the audience is prone to consider them the same.
Second: A very different estimate of the risk involved same from Republican Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota. He warned: 'I think the thing necessary to give security to Korea at this stage of the game is the presence of a small American force and the knowledge (on the Soviet side) that attack upon it would bring trouble with us.'
This appeal to authority is particularly strong because time proved Representative Judd correct. Whether or not he was right in saying that they would not attack if the forces were not withdrawn, However, we do not know. The correctness of one part of the statement leads to the assumption of the rest of it. We still must accept it as an assumption, however, and not an "unvarnished truth".
Third: The Secretary of State was asked if he agreed that the South Koreans alone -- and I quote -- 'will be able to defend themselves against any attack from the northern half of the country.' To this the Secretary answered briskly: 'We share the same view. Yes, sir.'
The new consideration in this example is that these quotes may mean one thing now and another thing when they were made. For example, was the question asked and answered with the assumption that Red China and Russia would be backing the North Koreans against South Korea alone? This question may change the whole connotation of the answer. Other doubt may arise also, because this quote was taken out of its context.
Fourth: Republican Congressman Lodge had an incisive comment on all this. 'That,' he said, 'is wishful thinking. . . I am afraid it confesses a kind of fundamental isolationism that exists in certain branches of the Government, which I think is a very dangerous pattern. I think the presence of our troops there is a tremendous deterrent to the Russians.'
This quotation is another example of proof by association. It has not been proved that "the presence of our troops there is a tremendous deterrent to the Russians", and yet this is assumed to be true. Actually all this quote proves is what Congressman Lodge thinks.
The splitting of Congressman Lodge's quotes in two so that they can be included both as point one and point four is a good technique to establish more firmly the strength of the evidence.
Finally: This remarkable scene of the summer of 1949 ends with a memorable document. The minority retort of five Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 26, 1949, submitted this solemn warning.
This quote is particularly effective because it is so comprehensive in scope. Parts are left out, however, and also it must be subjected to the considerations mentioned previously.
Another thought which should be interjected here, is that the part[y] in power is constantly being subjected to criticism for whatever they do. This disagreement comes not so much from a concern for the welfare of the country, but because it is politically expedient. Political quotations con be found for or against almost any political act.
Behind these words was a fervent, desperate appeal. That appeal was addressed to the Administration. It begged at least some firm statement of American intention that might deter the foreseen attack.
The introduction of the loaded words "stubborn" and "sullen" when describing silence as interesting.
The cause and effect fallacy was introduced here again when the Administration policy in Asia was listed as the cause of the Korean war.
It could or could not have been, but the fact that it preceded the Korean War does not make it the cause of that war.
On that day, the record of political and diplomatic failure of this Administration was completed and sealed.
At this stage in a speech of this type it is difficult to evaluate any specific logical fallacy because so many false assumptions have bean previously made. Although this paragraph states that it is the obligation of the Administration to make a decision, the implication is that they are obligated to make the right decision. The implication is also that the decisions they have made were wrong. The correction of the previous premises would change the effectiveness of these statements considerably.
When the enemy struck, on that June day of 1950, what did America do? It did what it always has done in all its times of peril. It appealed to the heroism of its youth.
There is a rapid switch here from the logical approach formerly used to a strong emotional appeal. Love of country and the American soldier are appealed to as the "heroism of youth" in giving credit for saving America through much sacrifice. The implication, of course, is that all this is necessary only because of the "stumbling" of the Administration.
Now -- in this anxious autumn -- from these heroic men there comes back an answering appeal. It is no whine, no whimpering plea. It is a question that addresses itself to simple reason. It asks: Where do we go from here? When comes the end? Is there an end? These questions touch all of us. They demand truthful answers. Neither glib promises nor glib excuses will serve. They would be no better than the glib prophecies that brought us to this pass.
The first part of this section paints a picture with strong emotion anneal as these "heroic" men ask for answers.
The two "false" answers are not attributed to any particular person or party, but they are obviously not the right answers. There is obviously an attempt here to associate these answers with the Administration.
The Either-Or fallacy is subtly used here to imply that these false answers can be used or else the speaker's answer is the only other choice. Actually, I suppose, there are many answers to these questions.
My answer -- candid and complete -- is this:
This statement is perhaps too candid to say anything. To bring the war to an early and honorable end seems to be a basic desire of anyone engaged in a war. Wasn't this the aim of the Democrats, or is this to imply that they did not want the war to come to an early and honorable end? Before the war comes to an honorable end will not the soldiers still have to "wait -- and wait'?
For this task a wholly new Administration is necessary. The reason for this is simple. The old Administration cannot be expected to repair what it failed to prevent.
Besides being based on the assumption that this war was preventable, but the Administration made the wrong choices, this statement goes on to assume that then they are not capable of repairing the situation. This may be true, but the speaker has said nothing to prove it.
Where will a new Administration begin?
Any political speculation on the future requires generalities and these are well-handled here without too much commitment. The word "honorably" again gives a lot of lea-way for future actions.
The last statement is, however, specific, and for that reason has strong appeal. The truth of the statement can be questioned, but that is not apt to happen when the speaker has the high degree of prestige that General Eisenhower has.
I shall make that trip. Only in that way could I learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace.
Here General Eisenhower repeats the statement that he is going to Korea. He makes no attempt to prove that this trip is necessary, but merely states that it is. This technique is used frequently on the assumption that it will be accepted if he says so because of his personal prestige. Usually he is correct.
Carefully, then, this new Administration, unfettered by past decisions and inherited mistakes, can review every factor -- military, political and psychological -- to be mobilized in speeding a just peace.
These specific suggestions of action are made and supplemented with a prediction of success. Actually, however, they are basically the same course of action which was earlier condemned as a failure when attempted by the opposition. General words and ambiguous statements make this possible.
We can -- secondly -- shape our psychological warfare program into a weapon capable of cracking the Communist front.
The techniques of psychological warfare and international cooperation are too complex to be understood and evaluated by the average auditor. The condemnation of past efforts or the prediction of success by a new effort will almost always be accepted if the speaker's personal prestige is high enough.
As the next Administration goes to work for peace, we must be guided at every instant by that lesson I spoke of earlier. The vital lesson is this: To vacillate, to appease, to placate is only to invite war -- vaster war -- bloodier war. In the words of the late Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, appeasement is not the road to peace; it is only surrender on the installment plan.
These statements depend for their effectiveness upon the degree in which appeasement has been identified with the opposition party. Eisenhower apparently assumes that this identification has been mite strong. It is interesting to notice, that the Democrats are accused of appeasement in international affairs, and yet they are at other times accused of depending on war to maintain a high level of internal prosperity.
A nation's foreign policy is a much graver matter than rustling papers and bustling conferences. It is much more than diplomatic decisions and trade treaties and military arrangements.
The preceding statements are politically very effective. First an analogy which can be understood and appreciated by everyone is used to explain the situation. Then the accusations are directed against the "simplest gesture" and "the merest inflection of voice". Obviously it is impossible to defend one's self against such accusations.
For a democracy, a great election, such as this, signifies a most solemn trial. It is the time when -- to the bewilderment of all tyrants -- the people sit in judgment upon the leaders. It is the time when these leaders are summoned before the bar of public decision. There they must give evidence both to justify their actions and explain their intentions.
A paragraph of this sort, expressing the strength of the people in an election, will be universally accepted because it is what the auditors want to hear. The speaker has alternated these statements of universal appeal with statements of his opinion so that the audience never stray too far from complete agreement. If they disagree with his opinions, they are soon back in agreement again, and soon the tendency to agree carries over to the statements of opinion.
In the great trial of this election, the judges -- the people -- must not be deceived into believing that the choice is between isolationism and internationalism. That is a debate of the dead past. The vast majority of Americans of both parties know that to keep their own nation free, they bear a majestic responsibility for freedom through all the world. As practical people, Americans also know the critical necessity of unimpaired access to raw materials on other continents for our own economic and military strength.
Apparently this section of the speech has been used to fortify the auditors against future political influences from the opposition. The reference to isolationism then becomes very interesting because earlier in this speech the accusation of isolationism was directed against the Administration. No doubt the Republicans will also be accused of the same thing, and so now it is not to be considered a political issue.
Today the choice -- the real choice -- lies between policies that assume that responsibility awkwardly and fearfully -- and policies that accept that responsibility with sure purpose and firm will. The choice is between foresight and blindness, between doing and apologizing, between planning and improvising.
Now that the speech is near its close, the technique of over-simplification is used, combined with the fallacy of "either-or". The choice is far more complex than the way it is stated, but the audience instinctively wants it to be simplified for them so that the choice requires the minimum of effort. Therefore, this is a good concluding technique.
In this trial, my testimony, of a personal kind, is quite simple. A soldier all my life, I have enlisted in the greatest cause of my life -- the cause of peace.
Here the speaker turns to the neat final impression which he wants to leave with his audience. This impression is that he is a simple, humble soldier. It would not be advantageous for the audience to think of him as a general because that would not identify him with his auditors, but as a soldier, they are inclined to feel that he is one of them.
I use that word only to signify two facts. First: We are united and devoted to a just cause of the purest meaning to all humankind. Second: We know that -- for all the might of our effort -- victory can come only with the gift of God's help.
The final association the speaker attempts to make is that of his cause and a religious crusade. Words such as "devoted", "purest", and "God's help" are influential in establishing this identification.
After the specific comments which supplemented the parts of these speeches, some general observations are in order. Again let it be stressed that no efforts are being made to judge the speeches, but rather to evaluate the impressions these speeches made on the writer. Also, these impressions are those of the writer and are not intended to be set up as absolute standards of evaluation. In addition, the quotations are not intended to determine the proof of the opinions expressed, but are intended to introduce a new thought to aid in the evaluation. These quotations are frequently rather extensive because the subjectivity of the material does not lend itself to condensed statements of fact.
Stevenson had the tendency to direct this speech toward the acceptance of concepts and ideals rather than specific facts. Whether or not this actually helped Mr. Stevenson's cause is questionable. The speech did not have high appeal to the average auditor, but at the same time this "high level" approach set a new high standard in political oratory. A. Craig Baird seemed to indicate that perhaps Mr. Stevenson had carefully evaluated his audience when he had this to say in the introduction to the speech:
The address was formal -- more thoughtful, philosophical, than most of his other speeches. It was leagues removed from the informal whistle-stop utterances and was pretty much devoid of the witticisms and levity of many of his speeches. This address, by contrast, had the solemnity suggested by the surroundings, maturity of thinking and appeal hardly consonant with rough-and-tumble campaign debating. It was superior in concept and composition but hardly designed to move the average, more unsophisticated listeners.
According to Russel Windes, Jr. and James A. Robinson, this "high level" approach to the speech situation was effective in the long run, because four years later they said this:
In those speeches, which have been described by one standard historical reference as 'eloquent and forthright . . . among the most distinguished oratorical efforts in United States political history', Stevenson was able to raise himself from the comparative obscurity of the Governorship of Illinois to great national popularity.
The speech of General Eisenhower, on the other hands, deals more with evidence, assertions, and reasoning. These methods of appeal are particularly appealing to an audience, and were in this case according to A. Craig Baird, who said:The Detroit speech had the merit of concreteness and inclusion of damning evidence. The responsibility of the Democratic administration for creating conditions that invited the Communist attack of June, 1950, was presented with great conviction and persuasion. Stevenson and other Democrats immediately replied to this Eisenhower argument. The subsequent development of this phase of the debate up to the eve of the election was held to be in favor of the Republicans. Most voters, according to the polls, endorsed the analysis and solution as delineated in the Detroit address rather than these of the defenders of the Truman-Acheson Far East policies.'
Along with the value of evidence and assertions is the danger that they can be misleading. Brembeck and Howell point up this danger when they say:
We are told that price control will result in a police state, that raising taxes will destroy free enterprise, and that grass will grow in the streets if the other party is elected to office. The speaker who uses such strong positive assertions is benefiting from the resemblance of those statements to the maxims which we tend to accept. He probably hopes to sound so definite and sure of the truth of his absolute statement that we will accept it without question.
These observations by Brembeck and Howell were not written to apply in this specific instance, although the application can be made in some cases in this speech as it can be made in most political speeches.
The appeals to reasoning were commented on before. Again Brembeck and Howell have some interesting observations to make when considering the worth of reason in a political speech. They said:
The deception of pseudo-logic in persuasion, while not a part of the cult of reason, has prospered because of the prestige won by reasoned discourse. The speaker says, 'Now let's be logical and look at the record,' then presents a complicated pattern that confuses his audience. He later draws a conclusion with appropriate 'therefores' and 'because of's' which he asserts to be logically inevitable. This intentional trickery is only a small step from the persuasion of a person attempting to reason about nonlogical matters with too little inform to satisfy the requirements of reason. He has his conclusion to begin with and the temptation is great to claim for it a purely logical development. Intentional and unintentional pseudo-logic grow out of extreme reliance upon evidence and its logically patterned manipulation. Increasing the reasoned discourse content of a communication has some bearing upon its ethical qualities, but the relationship is not close. Other factors that we can term nonlogical are of at least equal importance.
Aristotle said there are three kinds of persuasion supplied by the speech itself. They are the character of the speaker, producing a certain attitude in the hearer, and the argument proper. Each division of the speech, as previously made, was analyzed in order to determine to which of these three kinds it directed its major appeal. Stevenson did not appeal to the character of the speaker at all. Ten of the parts of his speech attempted to produce the right attitude in the hearers, and twenty-three parts were primarily concerned with the argument proper. The reason for this was perhaps, because Mr. Stevenson did not care to compete with General Eisenhower on the basis of personal popularity. In order to overcome this handicap, he attempted to make a stronger appeal to the attitude of the audience.
General Eisenhower appealed to the character of the speaker four times. This is an unusually large number of times, but it was also one of his strongest weapons and so he was naturally capitalizing on it. He appealed to the attitude of the hearers four times, and the argument proper twenty-four times. Because of his personal appeal he could afford to appeal to the audience less. In both speeches, it is interesting to notice, the argument proper constituted only two-thirds of the speech, with appeals to the speaker and the audience constituting the other one-third.
The philosophy behind these appeals was expressed by Aristotle when he said:
(We like) those with whom we wish to be friends, if they show the same inclination; such are the morally good, and those who are held in esteem either by all men, or by the best, or by those whom we admire, or by those who admire us . . . . Further, we like those who praise our good qualities (such 'goods' as we possess), and especially if we are afraid we do not possess them.'
Mr. Steveson's "high level" speech technique does not dismiss him from being susceptible to unethical techniques. Brembeck and Howell quotes Gray and Braden who say:
It should be pointed out that there is in this distinction, or in the labels that have been attached to the two general types, no implication that the 'lower' or 'selfish' goals are in themselves always reprehensible, or that the 'higher' or 'altruistic' motives are necessarily always justifiable.
It appeared that frequently the appeals used in this speech were to a degree unethical.
The frequent use of quotations by General Eisenhower helped to give the impression of proof to his statements. In face he used three times as many quotations as did Stevenson. General Eisenhower nine 'notations and Hr. Stevenson used three. Again, however, the skeptic can find reasons to doubt their value from the writings of Aristotle.
Now the testimony of witnesses will concern either our man or his adversary; and, again, it will bear either upon the (alleged) fact or upon the character (of an individual). And hence it is clear that (the speaker) will never be wholly without resources in the way of serviceable testimony; for if you have no testimony regarding the fact from witnesses whose evidence will support your man or tell against his adversary, still you can always find witnesses in regard to character whose evidence will tend to establish the respectability of your man or the worthlessness of his adversary.
In a political campaign the issues and the characters of the individuals involved are so closely identified with one another that this observation is particularly applicable.
Apparently Mr. Stevenson had a high regard for the intellect of his auditors when delivering this speech. In many respects this speech is not typical of Mr. Stevenson, but in respect to the intellectual approach it is an extreme example. In fact Baird observed:
In other speeches Stevenson became concrete, concerning corruption, labor, Korea, inflation, and other problems. Here he relied on the intelligence of his group to appraise properly his statement of our fundamental political principles.
General Eisenhower's speech lacked the smoothness and polish of Mr. Stevenson's, but it was more dynamically written and was delivered with more vigor. A dash in a written speech frequently indicates a dramatic pause, for example, and Eisenhower's speech contained sixty-five such dashes as compared to twenty-eight for Stevenson. He also used the technique of repetition frequently. Quite often he would use a word or a phrase three times, which is the best number of times for maximum efficiency. Baird wrote in his introduction to this speech:
Eisenhower was -- and is -- a highly effective extempore speaker. He obviously lacked Stevenson's originality and smoothness of phrase that would make good reading, but, the General, on the other hand, reacted with unusual physical and emotional vigor to his convictions. Thus delivered with considerable intensity and with a personality aglow with his stand, his campaign speeches often evoked strong audience response.
Stuart Chase, in spite of his admitted Democratic leanings, gives an interesting account of the campaign in question. He spoke some of the slogans used and then went on to say:
These slogans, both Republican and Democratic, were blown up till they resembled the swaying monsters in Macy's Thanksgiving parade in New York City. Like Macy's monsters, too, they were filled with gas. Only candidate Stevenson made an attempt to 'talk sense,' and actually did so a good deal of the time. He tried to replace propaganda with information, reflection, and honest doubt. This was unique in all my long observation of the American political scene. The point is not whether Stevenson was right, but that, in the middle of a political campaign, he tried to gather facts, use logic upon them, and consider the issue under discussion in a grown-up way. Time and again he said he did not know the answer. Citizens accustomed to candidates who knew all the answers were stunned by the admission. In the main, the real questions before America in the fall of 1952, were either ignored, or distorted in the hope of wringing votes out of them. Such looming issues as atomic energy and the H-bomb, proposals to break the deadlock of the cold war, the pressure of population on the food supply around the world, Japan's economic future, steps to halt a depression if the arms race should slacken, an intelligent program for agriculture, the definition of 'loyalty' and 'security', the crisis in the public schools -- were almost never honestly examined, if they were mentioned at all. Do citizens prefer the swaying verbal monsters, as professional politicians firmly believe? It would take an expensive project in public opinion research to find out, but here is an interesting sidelight. A fundamental rule of the professionals is that citizens demand, and deserve, lower taxes. Yet Elmo Roper in 1953 found a substantial majority of Americans against lower taxes at the expense of adequate defense. Perhaps the sovereign voter is not so bemused by logical fallacies as the politicians believe. Perhaps if not an orator had opened his ample mouth from June to November of 1952, General Eisenhower would have been elected by the same comfortable margin.
And so this negative study has led to the conclusion that there are many motivating devices in these two speeches, but under close analysis, little of value. It should be remembered, however, that these are campaign speeches, and as Stuart Chase said: "Few sophisticated voters expect the logic of a political campaign to have much connection with reality."
Baird, A. Craig (ed.). Representative American Speeches: 1952-1953. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1953.
Brembeck, Winston. Lamont and William Smiley Howell. Persuasion: A Means of Social Control. New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1952.
Chase, Stuart. Guides to Straight Think. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956.
Cooper, Lane (trans.). The Rhetoric of Aristotle. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1932.
Pence, Orville L. "Emotionally Loaded Argument: Its Effectiveness in Stimulating Recall," Quarterly Journal of Speech, XL (October, 1954), pp. 272-276.
Walter, Otis M. "Toward an Analysis of Motivation," Quarterly Journal of Speech, XLI (October, 1955), pp. 271-278.
Windes, Russel, Jr. and James A. Robinson. "Public Address in the Career of Adlai Stevenson," Quarterly Journal of Speech, XLII (October, 1956) pp. 225-235.