Abuse of Presidential Power: Richard Nixon
There is little doubt the Watergate scandal of the 1970's was the beginning of the American Presidency downfall. Throughout history, United States Presidents had been able to relish the unstated rule that their weaknesses and personality flaws were off-limits to the press and the American public. Since the inception of the United States, no sitting United Stated President had voluntarily resigned the Presidency. Only one had been impeached, but was later acquitted and remained in office.
Many men had longed for the United States Presidency, spending their lives attempting to attain the heights of world power. Few had ever succeeded. History would show the men who attained the office were those who had never even considered politics as a profession, much less the Office of the Presidency of the United States. In the case of modern United States politics this is most true for a child who wanted to become a railroad engineer, but instead discovered a love for politics and followed his destiny to become the thirty-seventh President of the United States.
In 1968 Richard Milhouse Nixon was elected the thirty-seventh President of the United States. He had served in a variety of elected positions, such as United States Congressman, United States Senator, and Vice-President of the United States. He was elected President because of his stance on foreign policy issues, such as re-opening a dialogue with China and ending United States involvement in the Vietnam conflict. While these policy issues greatly aided Nixon in his election efforts, it was perhaps his decision to target "the forgotten American - a white, middle-class hawkish, patriotic group that felt ignored during the 1960s" (Volkan, Itzkowitz, & Dod, p. 60) that led to his narrow defeat of Hubert Humphrey.
Although Nixon enjoyed popularity with the...