Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Comparing Watergate scandal to current investigation 'actually an insult to Nixon'

President Richard M. Nixon’s Watergate scandal has been often mention in the wake of the many investigations of President Donald Trump, wrote Suzanne Garment at She contends the  comparisons are actually an insult to Nixon.
For all the comparisons made between the scandals, much separates them. Nixon’s fall was a classic tragedy. He was a man of substance, with immense political experience and a record of presidential achievement in both domestic politics and foreign policy. His own resentments and paranoia about his perceived enemies propelled him into Watergate.
There’s no such substance with Trump. His presidency has been one piece of tawdriness after another. To see the Trump tragedy, look to the Americans who are so estranged from the country’s institutions that they seem willing to risk blowing them up in order to be heard.
True, Nixon’s enemies would protest violently at the idea of Nixon as a tragic figure, a man of virtue marred by a fatal flaw. They should reconsider.
Prior to its ignominious end, Nixon’s presidency was one of consequential domestic and foreign policy. The former included initiatives — like peaceful school desegregation across the South, broadening civil rights protections to include gender discrimination, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exponentially expanding the National Endowment for the Arts — that would later lead The New York Times’ Tom Wicker, once targeted on Nixon’s “enemies list,” to call him the “last liberal president.” The foreign policy achievements included not just the historic opening of China but nuclear arms limitations treaties with the Soviet Union and major action in the Middle East.
As with Watergate, the Trump investigation is now approaching the immediate neighborhood of the president. But with Trump, unlike Nixon, there will be little to place in the balance against the investigation’s verdict.
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