Posted by HM on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 2:15pm.
View of himself : He saw him self as a man who has risen from the bottom to the top with self determination despite of his financial problems.
Describe his character : Nixon was a very insecure and paranoid president, because of his past low stature he always presumed he was not good enough to stand by the elite and he could never make it to the top. Thus he always supported the working class and knew that one day he will change things around for them. Moreover He did not like the media very much and thought that it interfered with governmental issues for instance the pentagon papers.
how did his personality help him achieve success :
It was his insecurity which drove him to numerous campaigns and political battles and finally the presidency. When Nixon reached the top in spite of being a republican he did everything in his power to form government programs such as welfare, medicare and revived many programs to help the public. Also through his determined personality he managed to separate the large communist countries China and Soviet Union and did all his best to stop the war in Vietnam.
how did it contribute to his downfall :
His extreme actions to impress the public lead to some unsuccessful welfare plans which overspend the government funding and his determined personality lead to the excessive bombings of Cambodia and Laos without congressional permission in hope that it will end the war, this not only made him seem like a madman but also caused him to lose congress's support later. Moreover what really contributed to his downfall was his insecure and paranoid personality, for instance when the Watergate scandal took place Nixon lied about the tapes so they could not be given out to the media and his staff could not be exposed of the burglary, regardless he was still blamed for the scandal. What actually started the scandal was his opposition towards the democratic party, in the past he managed to surpass election by finding a conspiracy against the incumbents but this time he was caught.
What was your assessment of Nixon’s presidency:
Most of the things Nixon did were very liberal and democratic, it was ironic to why he despised the Liberals so much. His every step let him to the next one, for instance his anti communist campaign paved a safe way for only him to form diplomatic relationships with the Communist countries. Despite the Watergate scandal Nixon was a very effective president, with a history of always being unheard and at a low status he was committed to hearing out the working class. Nixon did everything in his power to keep all the interest groups happy, for instance the Environmental protection agency, and price controlling ,energy rationing and even contributing to the growing welfare. His foreign policy still serves as an example for presidents today and is still well known for his farfetched diplomacy. However Nixon's same determinism became his enemy. Initially the Watergate scandal started with the news of the reelections. Not only did Nixon want to win the elections but he also like old times wanted to remove the democratic incumbents. Most people see his Watergate plan was to only sabotage the democrats so he could win the elections for another year to complete his tasks including the end of war. In my opinion Nixon was a good president and his only innocent mission was to avoid damage to his office from the leakage of the Pentagon papers, nevertheless neither of his intentions got him anywhere and only created worse problems. However his legacy still remains as a great lesson, his goals were carried out with unethical means, Nixon always did everything to protect America.
What were his major accomplishments:
His mere visit to china improved the US China relationship which improved many aspects of trade and so many other things. Moreover his unique anti communist image also easily lead him to soften relationships with the Soviet Union, forming “increased trade and two landmark arms control treaties called SALT (named for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks underway since 1969) froze each country's arsenal of intercontinental missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty banned the development of systems designed to intercept incoming missiles, so that neither side would be tempted to attack the other without fearing devastating retaliation.”( 0----)
Not only did he improve conditions outside of US he also formed effective programs at home, he promoted the “new federalism” created many funding for the states resulting in numerous initiates. His favoritism for equality lead to affirmative action programs to assure African Americans and Women of education and jobs. Nixon managed to cover all interest groups and also created the Environmental protection agency.
Lastly despite the war never ended Nixon's Vietnam plan saved many lives of American soldiers and preserved American dignity.
What was his major failures (aside from Watergate) :
He cut the last tie between our currency and the value of gold, in order to pay off bills from the Vietnam war with devalued dollars, devaluing every dollar each of us earned or saved since, and setting the stage for unlimited spending and printing of money, and inflationary practice by our government, ever since.
how do you think Americans view Nixon today if the Watergate never happened? Most people compare Nixon to Clinton, but I think that regardless of Watergate Nixon was an efficient president who lied and swore for the betterment of his country. If Watergate did not occur perhaps Americans would not view the government as so distrustful and the media would not be it is today. It is not what happened at Watergate that created controversy and hurt Nixon but how it was exploited.
How did anti communism help shape Nixon's career from his early campaigns to HUAC to Vietnam? Being a part of the anti communism paved his way to an easy diplomacy with China and Russia hence leading his further plans in to stopping war in Vietnam.
Despite his anticommunism, he opened the door to Russia and china, how do you think this contradiction is explained by Nixon?
The only way Nixon went into China and Russia without being blamed for being soft on communism was his HUAC support and the anti communist campaigns he entered the presidency with in the first place. His background made him a special position to bring diplomatic terms in China without being traitor to his own country. Furthermore this also aided him to fix terms and come to a treaty with the Soviet Union.
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