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AMERICAN POLITICS: REALISTIC IDEALISM OR POLITICAL IDEALISM? THE WATERGATE CRISIS Discuss the principles of realistic idealism and political idealism and.

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Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN POLITICS: REALISTIC IDEALISM OR POLITICAL IDEALISM? THE WATERGATE CRISIS Discuss the principles of realistic idealism and political idealism and."— Presentation transcript:

1 AMERICAN POLITICS: REALISTIC IDEALISM OR POLITICAL IDEALISM? THE WATERGATE CRISIS Discuss the principles of realistic idealism and political idealism and the concerns of the Framers. How did the concerns of the Framers apply to the Watergate crisis? In your discussion address the following: 1. The historical context in which Watergate occurred 2. The background that led to the "Watergate Crisis". 3. How specifically was President Nixon involved in this crisis 4. What crime was he specifically charged with? 5. Provide at least three examples of how Nixon further complicated the investigation. 6. What ultimately led to Nixon's resignation?.

2 Discuss the concerns of our Framers about political parties and the human condition. The Founding Fathers and the Intension of the Constitution of 1787 Factions Human Folly Loyalties It was acknowledgement "wealth tends to corrupt the mind," and the rich.men, as well as. poor, would use power to their own advantage if given the opportunity.

3 Need for Centralized Power v. the Concerns of its Power James Madison "...ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable t e government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself...."

4 Important Question Does a republican form of government depend on the virtue of its people or on the formal political institutions that control the people and their rulers? In other words, is it the character of the people who are in office that will determine whether a representative form of government will continue in this country, or is it the nature of the political institutions (with the checks and balances and shared powers) themselves that protects us from our own human nature? The Founding Fathers placed their faith in the institutions they created; where do you place your faith?

5 Discuss and explain the difference between REALISTIC IDEALISM and POLITICAL IDEALISM and use the personality and political philosophy of Richard Nixon to illustrate the differences. Realistic Idealism A term used to define political morality or explains political action. It is a term that describes both domestic and foreign politics. Political Idealism A term used to define personal morality in politics, and is the bases for establishing domestic and foreign policy. However, there is also a tendency for some to use political idealism as there guiding principle in domestic and foreign politics. As will be discussed, when political idealism is used as the guiding principle in foreign or domestic politics, it is usually ineffective.

6 There are a number of characteristics about Richard Nixon that must be taken into account in order to understand him and his politics. ( 1) his deep personal pride and his tremendously competitive nature, (2) his struggle between the politics of realistic idealism and idealistic realism, (3) his belief in blind loyalty, to family, country and the institution, of the presidency. "There are times when unpleasant means are justified in the service of a great goal. But despite the protests of the process-lovers, a proper means NEVER justifies an unsatisfactory end. No matter how democratic. And meticulously correct it may be, a political process that.cannot produce progress for a nation has gone seriously awry... "There is no magic in democracy. The Constitution, extraordinary document that it is, cannot by itself produce a moment of peace or an instant of prosperity. Only the will and the vision of leaders, exercised through the democratic system, sometimes restrained by it, occasionally even exceeding it, can bring about these goals.“ “Idealism without pragmatism is impotent. Pragmatism without idealism is meaningless. The key to effective leadership is pragmatic idealism.”

7 In 1861, Abraham Lincoln, responding to the secession of the southern states from the Union ordered southern ports to be blockaded seized several newspapers, increased the size of the army, and spent unappropriated funds, all on his own authority. "My oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my ability imposed on me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government --that nation, of which the Constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the Constitution? By general law, life and limb must be protected, yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to protect a limb. I felt that measures otherwise unconstitutional might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the preserving of the nation. Right or wrong, I assume this ground, and now avow it."

8 Realistic Idealism Examples Wilson’s League of Nations Carter FDR Nixon’s Vietnam Idealism Cambodia

9 Discuss the events surrounding the Watergate break-in and cover-up as an example of realistic idealism presidential victory Tom Huston Henry Kissinger best summarized all these activities when he jokingly said, "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.“ Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) The Watergate building in Washington, D. C., was the headquarters for the Democratic Party in The break-in occurred on June 17, Archibald Cox War Powers Act 1073 Gerald R. Ford, VP

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