Abuse Of Presidential Power: Richard Nixon.

3075 words - 12 pages

Abuse of Presidential Power: Richard NixonThere is little doubt the Watergate scandal of the 1970's was the beginning of the American Presidency downfall. Throughout history, United States Presidents had been able to relish the unstated rule that their weaknesses and personality flaws were off-limits to the press and the American public. Since the inception of the United States, no sitting United Stated President had voluntarily resigned the Presidency. Only one had been impeached, but was later acquitted and remained in office.Many men had longed for the United States Presidency, spending their lives attempting to attain the heights of world power. Few had ever succeeded. History would show the men who attained the office were those who had never even considered politics as a profession, much less the Office of the Presidency of the United States. In the case of modern United States politics this is most true for a child who wanted to become a railroad engineer, but instead discovered a love for politics and followed his destiny to become the thirty-seventh President of the United States.In 1968 Richard Milhouse Nixon was elected the thirty-seventh President of the United States. He had served in a variety of elected positions, such as United States Congressman, United States Senator, and Vice-President of the United States. He was elected President because of his stance on foreign policy issues, such as re-opening a dialogue with China and ending United States involvement in the Vietnam conflict. While these policy issues greatly aided Nixon in his election efforts, it was perhaps his decision to target "the forgotten American - a white, middle-class hawkish, patriotic group that felt ignored during the 1960s" (Volkan, Itzkowitz, & Dod, p. 60) that led to his narrow defeat of Hubert Humphrey.Although Nixon enjoyed popularity with the American Public, he often engaged in domestic battles against the Press and the ever changing culture of American youth. Nixon was overly obsessed with the idea that the Press was attempting to discredit him and make a fool of him and his policies. Nixon freely admitted his hatred for the press and his distain for the liberal leaning of American Media. Perhaps he best illustrates his opinions on the media when he stated "The press is the enemy" (www.brainyquote.com).His conflict with the youth of America was more complicated. Many people believe Nixon regarded American youth during the 1960s and 1970s as ignorant and uninformed. However that was not the case. Nixon felt youth were too concerned with embracing the shift in cultural paradigm rather than concerning themselves with more important things such as history and philosophy. Nixon never understood why the youth had such fowl opinions of him.On May 8, 1970 Nixon gave a press conference in which he announced a new development regarding the bombing of Cambodia. Later that night when reflecting on his speech, Nixon could see a group of students between the...

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