Richard Nixon questions?
Richard Nixon is usually remembered as the only president to resign office in disgrace. However, there was much more to his presidency than the Watergate scandal. Please list Nixon’s accomplishments and failures.
In your opinion, could a case be made that he was one of the better presidents in modern American history? Or do you think a mistake like the Watergate fiasco negates his considerable achievements? In short, did Nixon do the country more harm than good?
- 7 years agoFavorite Answer
The problem with Watergate is that it is impossible to separate Watergate from the other aspects of Nixon's presidency, because so much of his presidency was hallmarked by extreme violations of the constitution ie. really using the IRS to attack political opponents, harassing journalists like Jack Anderson to the point of even plotting his murder, breaking into Daniel Ellsburg's<sp> psychiatrist's office, a long list of civil rights violations regarding protests against the Vietnam War ie. trying to deport John Lennon on a phoney marijuana charge, framing Abbie Hoffman on a cocaine charge that would have sent him to prison for 20yrs.,extremely excessive illegal wiretapping , and in foreign policy he relentlessly bombed civilian populations of North Vietnam after the war had been basically settled, he greenlighted the genocide of East Timor and via Kissinger overthrew Allende and became the godfather of Pinochet and future dictators in Central and South America yet to come...
Nixon's greatest historical accomplishment will likely be his visit to China and Russia, but ironically the importance of those events have quickly faded as now Chairman Mao's China and Brezhnev's Russia are historical realities no longer relevant since the Cold War was ended basically by Russia.
Kissinger took an extreme monolithic view of the USSR and China; he believed these societies were incapable of self-reform and radical changes. Despite writings to the contrary going back deeply into the 1940's and 1950's that pointed out there was a dynamic system of self reform in Russia and China
which proved to be true, Henry Kissinger adopted a narrow monolithic view opposed to change, and he became a kind of vain, narcissistic advisor who actually saw himself as a Metternich genius of foreign policy. His head was in the clouds and he wrote prolifically about foreign policy and the great challenges facing the war, showing off his intricate knowledge. He was widely respected and held up as a kind of brilliant icon who took credit for ending the Vietnam War.
There was a problem with Kissinger; he was dead wrong and history proved him dead wrong on just about any and every issue he touched. He took credit for the sun rise and the sun setting like an arrogant rooster. He also unfortunately defined the Nixon foreign policy. Incidentally neither the Carter or Reagan administrations had much use for Kissinger's foreign policy ideas.
People have forgotten that Nixon favored a system of Universal Healthcare and a somewhat liberal welfare system. So Nixon is in an awkward historical position. His crimes are now more openly known and thEY ran throughout his time in office. It's hard to remove the stains of those crimes. His accomplishments are bookended by presidents who accomplished greater tasks with more finesse.
Nixon stands out like a sore thumb. If Watergate had not happened he would be remembered as a bridge, but the bridge he built fell into ruin and disaster at the apex of his arrogance and criminality,
and Watergate was just a straw that broke its back.Source(s): The Pentagon Papers<a banal read but necessary to understand to see Nixon's hateful reaction> Nixon had deep character flaws going back to his childhood. There is one photograph of his wife having cocktails with Batista that is absolutely devilish.