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Richard Nixon was human and therefore he suffered from faults. Since he was president, his faults were dissected down to the last inch. One of his personality traits was the deadly sin called envy. He came from a middle class family. He had sick siblings and his mother and father worked really hard. So he felt it his duty to stay near home and bring some money. Of course, he had to watch all his classmates go off to bigger colleges, get better jobs, and become rich. So he had to work his way up to the top and when he became president, it really just became worse. He knew the backgrounds, the expensive colleges, the wealthy families all his colleagues came from. All that knowledge created an unhealthy mindset, which later translated into paranoia. It doesn’t look good to the public when you’re part of the silent majority and paranoid.
But that doesn’t excuse his actions. He knew that after the Red Scare people were terrified of being spied upon anyone, especially the government. But Nixon went ahead and did just that. It may not have been him specifically, but his political party’s actions reflected on him, because he was president. He was top dog. He went and bugged the Democrat’s office like a common thug. This is the President of the United States. This was not a matter of national security. This wasn’t some terrorist threatening to harm our country. This was the man that we trusted, that we elected to lead our precious country, violating our trust, our privacy. That was a truly awful action that he and his party tried to pull.
And the Vietnam War scandal was a mess. He promised to take our troops out of Vietnam by a certain date and he did not meet that deadline. Normally this wouldn’t be the biggest deal, but this was the Vietnam War. This was the war that we could not win. How many more of our men were sacrificed because the President, our leader could not keep his promises? How many of our sons and husbands and fathers were killed because our great leader was a bail out? And people still say he was a great leader. There were 58,220 men killed in Vietnam, how many would have lived if Nixon had kept his promise?
Nixon may have reached out to China and the Soviet Union, but he destroyed the trust we had in our presidents. Before this, we would have never believed anything awful of our presidents. We would have defended them with all our might, but he took that all away. He destroyed one of the things that we held dear. Some people may ask why history portrays Nixon so badly. They don’t understand why most people think he was the worst president we’ve ever had. The reason why we do that is because trust is so very important to America. The people have a special relationship with the president. We have to put our absolute faith into basically one man and trust him to lead us correctly, to not run us into ruins, to not bankrupt our country. And when one man, that man that we put all out trust in, destroys that relationship, America becomes weaker as a unit.
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