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Richard Nixon Essays

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Richard Nixon


History will inevitably forgive Richard Nixon. Despite his obvious unlawful mistakes, he made a good president. Until 1968, most Americans saw Richard Nixon as a political has-been, a dour pre-McCarthy hunter of Communists. In 1968, however, Nixon won the Presidency by presenting himself as a healer of divisions. He demonstrated that he had greater ability to reinvent himself than any other modern politician. More than any other figure between the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his own resignation in 1974, Nixon was the pivotal postwar President. The architect of detente, he also was the President who ordered secret bombing raids on Laos and Cambodia and then invaded Cambodia. The architect of the conservative Republican "southern strategy," he also was the President who created the Environmental Protection Agency and signed the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Voting Rights Acts. The man who painted himself as a friend of "law and order," he broke the law and was forced to leave office in disgrace. During his presidency, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and Nixon made history by visiting China. The Viet Nam War cast a shadow over Nixon's successes, but the war finally ended in 1973 under his presidency. Nixon set milestones in foreign policy by improving relations with both China and Russia. Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger relentlessly pursued negotiations in the Mideast, with Israel, Egypt, and Syria.
Yet Nixon is still remembered as a thief and a criminal. Why isn't he best remembered for his foreign policy achievements? Yea, most Americans recognize his failure to bring a speedy, or even "honorable," end to the Vietnam War. Perhaps this notoriety is based on the fact that Nixon was one of the f...


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...ember of his Justice Department "commit suicide" and then move his body to Ft. Marcy Park, while rummaging through his office to remove incriminating paperwork. When Billy Graham went to publicly ask the nation to forgive Nixon, Nixon told him to keep his distance so he, Rev. Graham, would not be tainted by the Watergate Scandal. (a nice contrast to Clinton's "spiritual advisor" Jesse Jackson). When Nixon found out about Democrat voter fraud in the 1960 election (some late mysterious absentee ballots from Cook County, Chicago) -- he refused to go public with it because he felt it would hurt America. And finally, Nixon resigned because he didn't want to "tear America apart". I am sure that history will soon forget about Clinton as his escapades, so why doesn't history forget about Nixon? I'm sure it soon will




Bibliography:

Taking Sides Volume 4 (1999)


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