The Day Nixon Resigned – 8/8/1974

US History |

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Richard M. Nixon is arguably one of the most nefarious characters in all of American History. His Watergate scandal and incredibly ruthless political tactics have cemented him as a nightmare of modern politics. He was skewered by journalists like Hunter S. Thompson for being evil incarnate, and many Americans agreed. 

Nobody wants someone evil in power. Look at all of the terrible people who have run countries in the past. Hitler, Mussolini and most recently Kim Jong Un. These people submit to a fascist regime that discriminates against others and creates a system of oppression unlike anything we’re used to in a democratic nation. Richard M. Nixon wasn’t clearly a racist or a bigot, but in many ways he was an evil man.

People loved John F. Kennedy and after his tragic assassination the country was in turmoil. Much like Donald Trump today, Richard Nixon prayed on people’s fears. His incredible lack of empathy and remorse made him look like a strong candidate. The whole idea of “making America great again” is not a new concept.

On this day in history, Richard Nixon resigned from the office of President of the United States, and much to the surprise of his constituents it wasn’t because of anything he did in office. One of the most infamous wiretapping scandals of all time occurred at the Watergate hotel. Just before noon on August 8th of 1974, Nixon gave a televised address. He officially ended his term as the 37th President of the United States in order to avoid the infamous articles of impeachment.

Nixon’s intentions were to get inside the DNC and discover information about their upcoming campaign against him. He bowed before congress and left the White House. He departed from the White House lawn with his family by helicopter and did the infamous “peace out’ salute he was famously known for. Overseas to this day, people associate this gesture with America. How sick right?

President Ford succeeded him and later pardoned him for any crimes in a controversial effort to heal the nation. He stated, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

But it wasn’t over, the reputation of America was shattered. Nixon’s long legacy of cheating, scandals and abuse of power gave everyone in the USA the shakes. People didn’t trust politicians and the system as much as they once did. This resignation serves as one of the many black marks on our sorted history as a country.

This year, we have a couple of Nixon-esque candidates: the completely unhinged Donald Trump and the ruthlessly pragmatic Hillary Clinton. It’ll be tough to choose between the lesser of two evils, but at least they aren’t in the realm of Nixon who lied, stole and begged his way to a Presidency. It makes you wonder what would have happened had he never become President, if JFK had survived. There certainly wouldn’t have been a Vietnam War, and trust for our politicians may have lasted a little bit longer.

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Meg Wong

Editor

One of the hardest working individuals, Meg sets the bar high when it comes to work ethic and being a great teammate. She learned these values at a young age while she was the captain of her high school volleyball team. Leading her team to 3 state championships and coming away victorious twice. You can still see the leader in her through everything she does for us here.