LINDA TRIPP: "I’m you. . . I’m just like you." Really Linda? I don’t think so!

Satisfactory Essays
LINDA TRIPP: "I’m you. . . I’m just like you." Really Linda? I don’t think so!

Linda Tripp, due to her key role in the Impeachment Scandal has become one of the most controversial figures in current politics. Is she a villain or is she a hero? Looking at Tripp’s actions before, during, and after the Impeachment Scandal the question arises; were these actions legitimate or were they improper? An important factor in answering this question is the audience’s reaction to Tripp’s behavior along with an analyzation and critique of her actions.

"Psychological criticism" is the method that will be used to evaluate Linda Tripp. This "attempts to analyze the effects of the rhetorician’s character, intelligence, and sincerity as perceived by the audience." (Campbell, Critiques of Contemporary Rhetoric. 1972, pg. 29) One must look at how Tripp portrays her image to the audience, how Tripp attempts to put herself in a favorable light, how Tripp blames her opponents, how Tripp creates an impression of sincerity, how Tripp identifies herself with the "experiences, values and attitudes of his [her] audience" (Campbell, Critiques of Contemporary Rhetoric. 1972, pg. 30) and the way in which Tripp discounts personal biases and interests. Based on these questions and the opinions of the audience one can judge Tripp’s role in the Impeachment Scandal.

Tripp portrays her image to the public by identifying herself as the normal, average, American citizen. When speaking with the press on July 29, 1998 Tripp repeats the statement, "I am you" in four slightly different forms. Tripp speaks about how she ended up in her current predicament and her response is, "I’m you." This is immediately followed by, "I’m just like you. . . I never asked to be placed in this position. Because I am just like you." At the end of her statement she says, "I am no different than you" (Text of Linda Tripp’s Remarks, July 29, 1998, Washington Post, pg. 1&3)

This technique removes Tripp for the spotlight for a moment. It asks the audience to relate her to the "girl next door" or in her case just your, "everyday single mom trying to do the right thing." The taping of the phone conversations amongst her Lewinsky can easily be explained by Tripp. "I [even] thought of it as my patriotic duty." (NBC, Today Show, "Linda Tripp Speaks About her Motives in Recording Monica Lewinsky’s Phone Conversations" February 12, 1999)
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