The Failure Of President Richard Nixon In The 1970's

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America was at the top of it game. The U.S. had just won two world wars, had a steadily growing economy, and had just elected Richard Nixon as their new president for the year 1969. Government distrust had never been a main focus in American culture until the 1970’s, where government scandals, weak leaders, and a suffering economy created a sense of malaise on American society. President Nixon was elected into office in 1969. He was previously a Senator for California, a U.S. representative, and vice president for President Eisenhower. With this experience under his belt, the public was confident that he would keep them strong and elected him in 1969. As President, Nixon created peace between the USSR and China, being the first American president…show more content…
Nixon had an enemy list, filled with people who had criticized him, such as politicians, reporters, journalists, and others that he felt were a threat to him (Foner). To make sure no one leaked any of his campaign strategies and to know what the democrats were planning, Nixon assigned spies, called The Plumbers, to go into the Watergate Hotel. The Watergate Hotel was where the democrats were having their meetings and the Plumbers broke in to wiretap their rooms and steal top secrets documents. The spies were caught on their second attempt to break in to fix the faulty microphones. After the scandal, Nixon gave a national speech saying that the White House staff had nothing to do with the scandal (Watergate scandal). The public believed him and he won the 1972 election by the largest margin on record (White House). Soon, the cover up began to unravel and it became apparent that Nixon had been a part of the Watergate scandal when he was forced to release his tapes from the Oval office. He resigned August 8th to avoid being impeached. When the scandal came out, the public was angered, shocked, and began to openly distrust the government for the first…show more content…
President Carter was initially trusted by the public because he was considered an outsider in a political sense. He was a peanut farmer instead a crook, businessman on Wall Street. The American public tended to disagree with Carter’s foreign politics, such as handing over control of the Panama Canal to a dictator, and ending the Russian wheat deal to establish trade with the U.S.S.R. But the foreign event that made Carter look the weakest was his handling of the Iran Hostage Crisis where 52 American embassy officials were held hostage and tortured for 444 days in Tehran ( Carter had first allowed a shah to seek medical attention in the U.S. after previously being banned from coming, after the shah was in America, Iranian students attacked the embassy and took hostages. Carter launched a military rescue mission called Operation Eagle Claw to try and get the hostages but, in the end its efforts failed. All he could do was wait and see what happened next. At this time, the American public was frustrated with Carter’s lack action. The Los Angeles Times reported that 60% of the public felt that Carter was too soft in dealing with the crisis (Nelson). Carter had made Americans feel weak and ashamed again from the lack of response to the crisis. The Iran Hostage Crisis occurred during campaign season for the 1981 presidential elections, in which Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan

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