Looking back half a century, it is reasonable to suggest that America’s involvement in the war in Vietnam proved unsuccessful and unnecessary and that the failures of the attempt to thwart the spread of Communism have now left a noticeable bruise on our nation’s history. However, during the 1960s, before outright involvement in militarized support (both forced and voluntary) of South Vietnam, there grew a large split between those in favor of the war and those who opposed it. Two of the country’s most influential figures, President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., used their persuasive power of speech to gain support for battle (LBJ) or suggest an alternative method of peace (MLK) in Vietnam.
After reading/listening to LBJ’s “Speech on Vietnam” and MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam,” determine which speech is more persuasive in arguing FOR or AGAINST America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Keep in mind the context of which you are writing; do not immediately determine your position based on historical knowledge alone. You are writing from the position of knowledge from 1967; therefore, your position should be the THIRD PERSON, as well as from that time period (after these speeches).
No outside sources can be used.
Consider the following questions as you develop your position:
What sorts of rhetorical strategies did Johnson and King use to make their argument (logos, pathos, ethos)?
How does Johnson explain the necessity of America’s involvement in Vietnam?
What is Johnson’s position on Vietnam as a country and why is it necessary for America to “fix” it?
How does King view the problems at home (in America) versus the problems in Vietnam?
Does King believe the Vietnamese have the right to follow communism? Why?
This essay must be typed in MLA format, 1200-words MINIMUM, and turned in online to Canvas. You will submit rough drafts to Canvas by the above-listed date, then complete the peer-review workshop by the above-listed date. You will need to provide a word count at the end of your final draft, as well as a Works Cited page.
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