Richard Nixon at his wife's funeral, June 26, 1993 [760x480]

Their life ended up being a fascinating one. If not for Watergate, he'd be referred to as example that is prime of United states Dream. To me, it boils down to this aspect: Nixon and JFK had been really friends before they ran ...

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Some random comments on reddit about Richard Nixon at his wife's funeral, June 26, 1993 [760x480]

  • His life was an interesting one. If not for Watergate, he'd be known as the prime example of the American Dream. To me, it boils down to this aspect: Nixon and JFK were actually friends before they ran against each other. Nixon was basically a self-made Kennedy, and JFK respected that since he himself was always conscious of his privilege. But the race destroyed their friendship, and Nixon felt betrayed on several levels. After that, he was never quite the same. But as men, their early respect and mutual admiration can't easily be forgotten. At the end of the day, Nixon was just a man. He had his faults, but he had a lot of strengths as well. And I've always gotten the feeling that if JFK were alive today, he might not agree with Nixon on the issues, but he'd be disappointed in how history has treated him.
  • Perhaps I'm a victim of post-presidential PR rehabilitation by him but when I learnt more about him at university in a class about leadership and personalities I actually thought he was an incredibly interesting person and could have been a great leader if he hadn't done the bad stuff he did. Which granted is a bit like saying "if my aunt had bollocks she'd be my uncle" but it certainly made him and other presidents much more complicated to analyse.
  • It's not wrong, he is a deeply interesting and - indeed - flawed human. All leaders are. The greats we revere all still had their own problems and made their own mistakes.
  • I think big time politicians are automatically flawed cuz it seems like they had to make quite a bit of amoral decisions to get that high.
  • I love it because it's the epitome of a Greek tragedy - he wiped McGovern, and watergate didn't help that - he'd have won anyway. And he'd be regarded much better if he'd just believed in himself.
  • Everybody was playing dirty in politics, Nixon just got caught. Losing to Kennedy taught him how to play dirty, but he was unlucky.
  • He got caught, and then he covered it up and lead the country through a year and a half of a constitutional crisis and a half-functioning national government e.g. Henry Kissinger acting as de facto President at beginning of Yom Kippur war because Nixon was under the table. This revisionism of Nixon here is worth exploring because his foreign policy achievements and domestic style of governance beyond his deep, unqualified fatal character flaws produced great outcomes in the volatility of the period he maneuvered. But it can't create these false equivalencies. Nixon was unique in the way he obstructed justice, fired special prosecutors, had his subordinates lie under oath, fired a good portion of his cabinet, and clung to office until every last sordid detail of the way he talked and what his definite role was in the cover-up that he left in utter disgrace. He left a country whose assumed trust and faith in the presidency as an institution was replaced by ingrained skepticism.
  • I do have some sympathy for his actions though. Twenty or thirty years early, his crimes would have been considered politics as usual, and I feel he wasn't psychologically capable to deal with being the first president for whom the goalposts had really moved on that sort of conduct. Because of how he lost the 1960 election, as well as the disrespect he faced from his childhood all the way to his dealings with Eisenhower, he was heavily disposed to see the attempt to clean up politics not as a general movement towards legalism, bureaucratization and away from the outright dirty tricks that had been a feature of American politics since the beginning, but rather as a personal attack against himself that would fall by the wayside once a more patrician President was elected.
  • I really think Nixon is something out of a Shakespearean tragedy.
  • However, think of what the world could have been if Nixon had won the 1960 election. Nixon went to China, he knew the reality of world politics. What did JFK do? Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis, Berlin Wall, Vietnam. JFK's total incompetency in foreign relations brought the world very close to nuclear war.
  • Three Democrats have held the position of commander-in-chief since the Richard Nixon era, but if you ask philosopher Noam Chomsky, it was the 37th president and infamous Watergate casualty who was truly the last liberal to preside in the Oval Office. Also
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