Richard Nixon's The Watergate Scandal

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Despite his questionable Southern Strategy, Nixon was still responsible for social justice for multiple groups. In 1983, he signed Title IX, which would prevent gender bias at colleges and universities. He also supported the 26th amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. Furthermore, he was the “first President to give Native Americans the right to tribal self-determination by ending the policy of forced assimilation and returning their sacred lands” (“Richard Nixon’s Top”). Nixon was able to recognize the environmental crisis the U.S. was in during the ‘70s. His policies helped fight the dumping of toxic waste and amount of air pollution as well as restricting the lead content in gasoline. The main environmental policy of Nixon’s…show more content…
Nevertheless, Nixon managed to return to politics even after such a major scandal and establish himself as an author, analyst and commentator. President Clinton even acknowledged Nixon’s “wise counsel” on foreign policy. Nixon remained as a politician who would use any methods he could to be competitive and advance his career (Wicker). Surprisingly, it has been noted by many scholars that the public has become desensitized to Watergate. In a report released by a Democratic and Republican pollster, “only 18 percent of Americans surveyed believed that Watergate was worse than other scandals of the last quarter-century” (Polman). It is also noted that America moves very quickly as a society, and people tend to forget the seriousness of past events. Recently, as well, young people have learned to associate American culture with scandal, so Watergate no longer shocks…show more content…
Nixon is widely recognized for his successful détente foreign policy that improved U.S. relations with Russia and China. Despite his achievements, his true motives and methods of achieving success were questionable and harmful. His agenda for Vietnam was hidden from the public, as was his Southern Strategy. He was not truly invested in environmental reform, and proved to be a truly contradictory president. Scholars agree that his public actions and private ideas often opposed each other (“Impact and Legacy”). Nixon is the only president other than FDR that was nominated on five national tickets for candidacy (Wicker), but his corrupt actions and scandal overshadow his achievements and distinguish him negatively. Though Nixon’s successes in foreign policy and environmental affairs are brought up as an afterthought, it is definitely his greatest scandal that will characterize his presidency with a lasting
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