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Richard Nixon

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Title: Richard Nixon


1
Richard Nixon
2
Richard Nixon
  • Since 1960, Nixon had been burning over his
    incompetent use of the media. But he was ready to
    run a strong media campaign by 1968.
  • His appearances were now carefully staged and
    scripted.
  • His platform slogan on Vietnam was peace with
    honor.
  • Nixon exploited Americas resentment against the
    counterculture, portraying himself as the
    spokesperson for the Silent Majority.
  • Nixon vowed a law and order presidency to clean
    the streets of these protesters. This vow would
    be problematic as it later became clear that
    Nixon himself was a law violator.

3
Nixon
  • Nixon barely won the 1968 election - by just over
    500,000 votes.
  • By 1968, a rising percentage of American whites
    asserted that blacks wanted too much too fast and
    that the federal government had caved in to black
    demands.
  • By 1969, student busing epitomized their fears.
    Here, the federal government had intruded into
    the local school districts to enforce the
    integration of schools.
  • Ironically, Nixon unexpectedly embraced
    affirmative action.
  • Nixon, the military hawk, was generally a
    political moderate on economic issues, and a
    conservative on social issues, but he could be
    surprising. His racial justice views were largely
    inconsistent.

4
Nixons Social Platform
  • Nixon exploited rising concerns about
  • Violence and crime
  • Drug use
  • Sexual permissiveness
  • Racial tensions
  • The countercultures rejection of authority
  • In order to solidify the support of what he
    called the Silent Majority, Nixon adopted a
    social conservative platform that included
  • anti-abortion
  • pro-censorship
  • government aid to parochial schools
  • This platform appealed to the following social
    conservative constituencies
  • Urban Catholic (ethnic) voters
  • Blue collar workers
  • White Southerners and some suburbanites

Americans were polarized in the late 1960s. Many
were fed up with what they perceived to be the
extremism of the counterculture, as well as a
rise in violent crime, including urban riots.
These moderates and conservatives were ready for
a law and order platform.
5
Nixons domestic strategy
  • At home, Nixon exploited the polarized themes
    that differentiated liberals from conservatives
    and further divided the nation.
  • Nixon, the law and order President, came down
    hard on the counterculture.
  • Nixon began a war on drugs that continues to
    this day.

6
Nixon
  • While he was generally a social conservative,
    Nixon did endorse the Philadelphia Plan (1969),
    the first major Affirmative Action program. This
    plan required Philadelphia contractors to hire at
    least some African American workers. By 1970,
    affirmative action plans began to disturb white
    male workers, and by the mid-70s affirmative
    action was the most polarizing racial issue in
    America.
  • However, race was not Nixons main focus in 1968.
    It was the Vietnam War, and this would be the
    central issue for Nixon from 1968 through 1971.
    The war was tearing Americans apart.
  • Nixon called his war plan peace with honor
    suggesting a plan to bring the war to an end
    something the majority of Americans wanted but
    on terms that saved Americas face.

This photo captures polarized positions on the
Vietnam War. It was taken in New Zealand. The
Vietnam War was a polarizing issue throughout the
globe.
7
Nixons 1968 Vietnam Platform
  • By 1968, Nixon was on the campaign trail and was
    asserting that the goal of his administration
    would be to end the war and win the peace in
    Vietnam under the slogan peace with honor.
  • While Nixon never directly claimed to have a
    secret plan to end the war, he did allow the
    rumor mill to spin this message of hope to
    benefit his campaign.
  • In fact, President-elect Nixon did not have any
    secret plans to end the war, but he privately
    believed he could pound the North Vietnamese to
    the bargaining table with heavy use of airpower.

Nixon is seen here accepting the Republican
nomination from House Representative Gerald Ford.
When Vice President Agnew was forced from office
for corruption, Ford was appointed Vice
President, and when Nixon was forced from office
in 1974, Ford became the first President who was
never elected to the Presidency or the Vice
Presidency.
8
1968 Election Results
George Wallace, the Southern populist
segregationist, carried most of the Deep South,
while Nixon carried the West, the Rim-South, and
breadbasket America. Hubert Humphrey carried the
North, particularly the New England states.
9
The Nixon Doctrine
  • By the summer of 1969, he outlined the foreign
    policy known as the Nixon Doctrine.
  • The Nixon Doctrine declared that the U.S. would
    honor its commitment to southeast Asia by
    supplying arms and aid, but not troops, against
    direct or indirect communist aggression in the
    region.
  • Nixons policy of turning the war over to the
    South Vietnamese was called Vietnamization.
    However, it was probably doomed from the start
    for reasons that were apparent as far back as the
    Kennedy administration.
  • The ARVN (South Vietnamese troops) were not the
    motivated army needed to fight for the
    sovereignty of this new nation-state the
    Americans were trying to create. Furthermore,
    most Vietnamese people were not behind the
    Americans in this endeavor.

10
Nixon and the Antiwar Movement
  • In October,1969, the first major moratorium on
    Vietnam occurred it was a national teach-in
    against the war involving between two and ten
    million Americans in public protest across the
    country.
  • This protest enraged Nixon, who vowed to ignore
    the peace movement and accused protesters of
    being traitors.
  • Nixon tried to scapegoat his failed Vietnam
    policy on these protesters, claiming the
    protesters kept the U.S. military from victory.

The Moratorium on Vietnam march involved millions
of people across the country. The march in the
photo above occurred in Wisconsin. President
Nixons reaction to the march further polarized
the country and set the stage for the events of
Kent State the next year.
11
Events of 1971
  • Feb 8, 1971. ARVN troops, with Nixons approval,
    crossed into Laos but were driven back due to
    poor leadership within the ARVN and other
    factors. This defeat revealed the failure of the
    Vietnamization policy.
  • Nixon and Henry Kissinger work on an
    anti-ballistic missile treaty (ABM) with the
    Soviet Union. The treaty would be signed in 1972.
  • Nixons détente policy was very popular around
    the world. The Cold War was winding down.
  • July 15, 1971. Nixon announced that he had been
    having secret negotiations with the Peoples
    Republic of China (Red China) and that he would
    be visiting China soon.

12
1972
  • Nixon made his famous trip to China in February
    of 1972. There, he officially recognized the PRC
    (Peoples Republic of China).
  • Three months later Nixon traveled to the Soviet
    Union and signed the SALT I treaty. The basic
    principle was to maintain a equality in U.S.
    Soviet arsenals.
  • By election day, Nixon was well situated. His
    ratings had improved since his trips to China and
    the Soviet Union, and the monthly Vietnam
    casualty rate had fallen to only a few dozen
    people.
  • In November, 1972 there were only about 27,000
    troops stationed in Vietnam.
  • Nixon authorized bombing raids on strategic
    targets in North Vietnam, including parts of
    Hanoi.

Nixon visits with Premier Chou En-Lai in China,
1972.
13
The Election of 1972
  • Nixon went into the election with overall
    approval ratings above 50 and going up.
  • His opponent was Senator George McGovern, a
    liberal antiwar candidate from South Dakota who
    never got off on a good footing.
  • Nixon won 61 of the popular vote, compared to
    37 for McGovern.
  • Nixon carried all but one state (Massachusetts)
    in a landslide victory.

George McGovern
14
The End Game for Nixon
  • Nixons response to the resurgent antiwar
    demonstrations in 1970 was to order the CIA, the
    FBI and his own secret dirty tricksters to
    infiltrate and sabotage the antiwar movement.
  • The FBI was experienced in this illegal
    subterfuge because of their involvement with
    COINTELPRO, the illegal program used to destroy
    the Black Panthers.
  • In 1971, Nixon created the Plumbers, a secret
    white house operation intended to sabotage his
    enemies often by illegal means.
  • Increasingly, Nixon felt himself under siege by
    the protesters, a Democratic Congress, and a
    increasingly hostile press
  • Nixon had built his career by lashing out at his
    enemies, and by the early 1970s he began to cross
    the line between legal and illegal power.

E. Howard Hunt, above, and G. Gordon Liddy (below
in a recent photo), were White House burglars.
Liddy, a small-time crook who saw himself as a
mastermind, concocted burglary, kidnapping,
firebombing, and other schemes against Nixons
enemies. Hes now a favorite on FOX News and
right wing radio.
15
The Pentagon Papers, the Plumbers, Watergate
  • When the NY Times published the Pentagon Papers
    in 1971 exposing Presidential lies regarding
    Vietnam from the early period through 1967,
    Nixon created the Plumbers to discredit Daniel
    Ellsberg, the man who had provided them.
  • The Plumbers were charged with
  • Stopping government leaks, and
  • Discrediting Nixons enemies by any means
    necessary. They targeted Nixons political
    enemies, as well as members of the counterculture
    like Daniel Ellsberg.
  • In June, 1972, the Plumbers were caught breaking
    into and bugging the Democratic National
    Headquarters at its Watergate complex.
  • When Nixon learned of their bungled operation he
    immediately sought to cover it up and began to
    obstruct the legal investigation into the break
    in.
  • For this cover up, Nixon would be tried for
    impeachment and would resign in 1974 to avoid a
    guilty verdict.
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?v6aZ8vNagvks

Daniel Ellsberg exposed the top secret Pentagon
Papers.
Watergate in Washington, DC.
16
Nixons Personality
  • Nixon had a dual personality.
  • On the one hand he was smart, poised, and
    reflective, while on the other hand he was
    insecure, mean-spirited and frightened.
  • When the first personality reigned, Nixon was at
    his best (ie China, triangulation and détente),
    but when the second personality reigned Nixon was
    at his paranoid worst.
  • Nixon was a drinker who allowed Mr. Hyde to
    come out to torment his enemies.
  • Tragically, it was mainly the second Nixon who
    controlled the White House for the five year
    period after 1968. Perhaps Nixon even enjoyed the
    politics of polarization and repression. The
    secret tape recordings now publicly available -
    seem to suggest this.

President Nixon with an audio tape. The Watergate
investigation exposed the existence of recorded
audio conversations from the Oval Office. These
tapes implicated Nixon in illegal activities
particularly obstruction of justice - and helped
lead to his resignation.
17
Nixons Personality
  • Nixon often privately spoke of niggers, jigs,
    and jigaboos, and he constantly used 4-letter
    words about his enemies.
  • It appears that Nixon was indeed somewhat
    unstable. He was prone to getting drunk, and
    while drunk he spoke of nuking the commies.
  • His aides feared that he was literally becoming a
    madman so James Schlesinger, his Defense
    Secretary, insisted that the Pentagon contact him
    for approval if Nixon ever ordered nuclear
    weapons to be used.
  • Nixon came very close to subverting the
    democratic process. Only the persistence of two
    Washington Post reporters exposed the corruption
    of this imperial Presidency.

18
Nixons Vietnam Controversy
  • While Nixon did reduce U.S. troops in Vietnam, he
    also escalated the war in several ways.
  • He escalated the air war
  • He widened the war into Cambodia and Laos.
  • Nixons policies can be evaluated by their
    success in achieving specific goals for Vietnam
    policy
  • Goal 1 Nation building? Nixons policies
    created the impression that South Vietnam could
    stand on its own under Vietnamization. This goal
    was not met. Vietnamization was essentially a
    means for Nixon to buy time while he pursued a
    treaty. He did not realize it would take so long
    to get one.
  • Goal 2 An honorable extraction, even if it takes
    longer than a simple unilateral withdrawal.
    Peace with honor.

In this photo a South Vietnamese farmer holds his
dead son while asking the ARVN soldiers, Why?
19
Nixons Exit
  • Ironically, Nixon contributed to the burn out
    that most Americans felt by 1974, when he stepped
    down.
  • This burn out ultimately helped the
    conservatives, because most people were just too
    tired to continue pushing for reforms.

Nixon bids the nation farewell as he boards a
Presidential helicopter after resigning from
office on August 9, 1974.
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