|“||Well, I'm not a crook.||„|
|~ One of Nixon's most famous quotes|
Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9th, 1913 – April 22nd, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 until he resigned in 1974. Nixon was a highly corrupt president and a war criminal, most well known for his role in the infamous Watergate scandal.
His Vice President, Spiro Agnew, is also considered to be one of the most corrupt politicians in the history of the United States.
Nixon was born into a poor family of Quakers in a small town in Southern California. He graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and returned to California to practice law. He and his wife Pat moved to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal government. He served on active duty in the Navy Reserve during World War II.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. His pursuit of the Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-Communist which elevated him to national prominence. In 1950, he was elected to the Senate. He was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party's presidential nominee in the 1952 election, subsequently serving for eight years as the vice president. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy. Nixon then lost a race for governor of California to Pat Brown in 1962. In 1968, he ran for the presidency again and was elected, defeating Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in a close election.
Nixon ended American involvement in the Vietnam War in 1973, ending the military draft that same year. Nixon's meeting with Mao Zedong in 1972 eventually led to diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he gained the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year.
His administration generally transferred power from federal control to state control. He imposed wage and price controls for 90 days, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, established the Environmental Protection Agency, and began the War on Cancer. He also presided over the Apollo 11 Moon landing, which signaled the end of the Space Race. He was re-elected in one of the largest electoral landslides in American history in 1972 when he defeated George McGovern.
In his second term, Nixon ordered an airlift to resupply Israeli losses in the Yom Kippur War, a war which led to the oil crisis at home. By late 1973, Watergate escalated, costing Nixon much of his political support. On August 9, 1974, facing almost certain impeachment and removal from office, he became the first American president to resign. Afterwards, he was issued a pardon by his successor, Gerald Ford.
In 20 years of retirement, Nixon wrote his memoirs and nine other books and undertook many foreign trips, rehabilitating his image into that of an elder statesman and leading expert on foreign affairs. He suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994, and died four days later at age 81. Surveys of historians and political scientists have ranked Nixon as a below-average president. However, evaluations of him have proven complex, with successes as president contrasted against the circumstances of his departure from office.
The Watergate scandal
In June 1972, five suspects were arrested in the early hours of the morning for breaking into the Democratic Party's headquarters at the Watergate Office Building (which gave its name to the scandal) in Washington, D.C. They had photographic equipment and wiretapping devices on them. In the following months, connections between several of the suspects and one part or another of the White House were revealed.
As the investigation continued, it was revealed that the scandal was primarily to cover-up his administration's illegal activities as well as to sabotage the Democratic Party, just so his opposition would be weakened.
- His administration spearheaded Operation Condor, a multi-year CIA-backed campaign of state terrorism and political oppression that established multiple right-wing military dictatorships in South America, including those of Augusto Pinochet, Hugo Banzer, and Jorge Rafael Videla. Also involved was Henry Kissinger, who served in the Nixon Administration as both National Security Adviser and Secretary of State.
- He financed the coup d’état of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
- Nixon was an avowed anti-Semite who strongly disliked Jews, and was a believer in the conspiracy theory that Jews were planning to take over the government.
- He has shown racism towards African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
- He was homophobic.
- He was responsible for the creation of the Southern Strategy - a political strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.
- He launched the War on Drugs, which has actually caused more problems than it has solved.
- He supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in their invasion of Laos.
- He extended the Vietnam War instead of ending it by talking the president of South Vietnam out of negotiating with North Vietnam, as he needed the war to continue so that he could run for president on the promise of ending it.
- Nominated two segregationists to the Supreme Court. Both men were so unashamedly racist that both Democrats and Republicans refused to vote on them.
- He had a strong dislike of the Catholic Church.
- He also showed traits of misogyny and stated that he didn't think women should work in government because they were too "erratic and emotional".
- He committed war crimes during the Vietnam War by ordering Henry Kissinger to carry out an illegal bombing campaign against Cambodia and Laos in order to eliminate North Vietnamese leadership (which would ultimately lead to the Kent State shootings, and Cambodia becoming a failed state, let alone the deaths of over 100,000 innocent Cambodian citizens).
- At Henry Kissinger's advice, he suppressed reports of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide in order to preserve the USA's alliance with Pakistan.
His second Vice President, Gerald Ford (who assumed the presidency after Nixon resigned), pardoned Nixon fully for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Nixon mostly kept a low profile until his death in April of 1994 from a stroke.
In a series of taped interviews he gave in the late 70's, Nixon expressed regret for his actions involving Watergate and his other crimes.
- Nixon In The Den (Richard Nixon Documentary) Timeline