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The Watergate Scandal The Rise of Cynicism. The Nixon Years Richard Nixons Political Career Anticommunist in 1950s VP to Eisenhower Lost to JFK in 1960.

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Presentation on theme: "The Watergate Scandal The Rise of Cynicism. The Nixon Years Richard Nixons Political Career Anticommunist in 1950s VP to Eisenhower Lost to JFK in 1960."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Watergate Scandal The Rise of Cynicism

2 The Nixon Years Richard Nixons Political Career Anticommunist in 1950s VP to Eisenhower Lost to JFK in 1960 Elected President in 1968

3 The Many Faces of Nixon Part One, The Harmonizer Part One, The Harmonizer Nixon Appeals to the Silent Majority Nixon Appeals to the Silent Majority Fear of rising crime rates Fear of rising crime rates Fear of social violence Fear of social violence Fear of widespread drug abuse Fear of widespread drug abuse Concerns about sexual permissiveness Concerns about sexual permissiveness Concerns about disdain for patriotism Concerns about disdain for patriotism Fear of racial tensions Fear of racial tensions Desire for law and order Desire for law and order

4 Nixon as Harmonizer Election of 1968 Election of 1968 Nixon Defeats Herbert Humphrey Nixon Defeats Herbert Humphrey Nixon Defeats George Wallace Nixon Defeats George Wallace

5 Context for 1968 Turmoil of the year: Tet, MLK, RFK Turmoil of the year: Tet, MLK, RFK Growing anti-war protests Growing anti-war protests Convergence of Vietnam w/ Civil Rights Movement Convergence of Vietnam w/ Civil Rights Movement MLK: The bombs in Vietnam explode at home MLK: The bombs in Vietnam explode at home Anti-war violence dovetails w/ racial violence Anti-war violence dovetails w/ racial violence White backlash White backlash

6 The Election of 1968

7 Election of 1968 Nixon and Republicans win Nixon and Republicans win See how to build new winning coalition See how to build new winning coalition Wallaces success leads to new electoral strategy Wallaces success leads to new electoral strategy

8 The Republican Southern Strategy Appeal to the fears of blue collar workers Appeal to the fears of blue collar workers Appeal to Southern and suburban whites Appeal to Southern and suburban whites Demonstrate opposition to the forced integration of schools Demonstrate opposition to the forced integration of schools Moratorium on busing to achieve integration Moratorium on busing to achieve integration Exploit social issues that mattered to Roman Catholic voters Exploit social issues that mattered to Roman Catholic voters Aid to parochial schools Aid to parochial schools Strong anti-abortion stance Strong anti-abortion stance Opposition to pornography and obscenity Opposition to pornography and obscenity

9 Election of 1972

10 Why Such a Landslide? Why Such a Landslide? Press was tougher on Dems than Reps (curious but true) Press was tougher on Dems than Reps (curious but true) Democratic convention rules guaranteed a liberal candidate: 1968 indicated a new conservative surge Democratic convention rules guaranteed a liberal candidate: 1968 indicated a new conservative surge Democrats had to drop the VP candidate, Thomas Eagleton (mental health record) Democrats had to drop the VP candidate, Thomas Eagleton (mental health record) Democrats supported immediate end to Vietnam; Nixons Peace with Honor sounded better Democrats supported immediate end to Vietnam; Nixons Peace with Honor sounded better

11 The Watergate Scandal What was Watergate? What was Watergate?

12 The Watergate Scandal Why did Nixon Do It? Why did Nixon Do It? Desire for a legacy: assure victory in 1972 and undermine critics Desire for a legacy: assure victory in 1972 and undermine critics Paranoia Paranoia Fears of radical forces on the left Fears of radical forces on the left Hatred of the press Hatred of the press

13 Watergate Chronology 1. June 17, 1972: Burglars caught in DNC HQ 2. Feb. 7, 1973: Senate Select Cmte on Presidential Campaign Activities 3. April 23, 1973: White House denies Nixon knew anything 4. May 25, 1973: Special Prosecutor Appointed 5. July 16, 1973: Butterfield testifies that tapes exist

14 Watergate Chronology 6. July 25, 1973: Nixon refuses to comply w/ subponea for tapes 7. October 20, 1973: Saturday Night Massacre 8. July 24, 1974: Supreme Court orders Nixon to turn over tapes 9. July 27, 1974: Impeachment article adopted by House Judiciary Cmte 10. August 9, 1974: Nixon Resigns

15 Carter and Reagan Introduction Introduction Legacy of Watergate Legacy of Watergate Nixon forced to resign or face impeachment Nixon forced to resign or face impeachment Gerald Ford becomes VP: only president never elected Gerald Ford becomes VP: only president never elected Credibility Gap very real; cynicism about government and service to country at a high Credibility Gap very real; cynicism about government and service to country at a high

16 Carter and Reagan Ford Presidency Ford Presidency Short-lived: August 1974-Jan Short-lived: August 1974-Jan Heavy political burden: The Nixon pardon Heavy political burden: The Nixon pardon Claims of a deal were rampant Claims of a deal were rampant Party had no choice but to nominate and support, but… Party had no choice but to nominate and support, but…

17 Carter and Reagan Policies (like most Presidents after 1968, had to deal w/ hostile Congress Policies (like most Presidents after 1968, had to deal w/ hostile Congress Signed the 1974 Campaign Finance Reform Act that created the FEC AND set limits on corporate, individual and PAC contributions (later declared unconsitiutional in Buckley v. Valeo 1976) Signed the 1974 Campaign Finance Reform Act that created the FEC AND set limits on corporate, individual and PAC contributions (later declared unconsitiutional in Buckley v. Valeo 1976) South Vietnam fell on Fords watch further weakening his presidency South Vietnam fell on Fords watch further weakening his presidency

18 The Carter Presidency Background Background Born in Plains, GA in 1924 Born in Plains, GA in 1924 U.S. Naval Academy (59 out of 820) U.S. Naval Academy (59 out of 820) Nuclear engineer and peanut Farmer Nuclear engineer and peanut Farmer Elected Governor of GA, 1966 and 1970 Elected Governor of GA, 1966 and 1970

19 The Carter Presidency Capitalized on his status as a Washington outsider Capitalized on his status as a Washington outsider Began all his campaign speeches and appearances with Hi, my name is Jimmy Carter and Im running for president. Began all his campaign speeches and appearances with Hi, my name is Jimmy Carter and Im running for president. Campaigned as honest man; homey, southern style, and born-again religion helped reinforce Campaigned as honest man; homey, southern style, and born-again religion helped reinforce Attacked wasteful, inefficient federal bureaucracy Attacked wasteful, inefficient federal bureaucracy Debates w/ Ford sealed the deal (Ford: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe Debates w/ Ford sealed the deal (Ford: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe

20 The Carter Presidency Economic difficulties Economic difficulties Stagflation still plagued the nation: inflation (13.5% by 1980) and high unemployment (9% in 1977); Keynesnian spending no good Stagflation still plagued the nation: inflation (13.5% by 1980) and high unemployment (9% in 1977); Keynesnian spending no good Encouraged Americans to conserve energy and water; Another energy crisis furthers inflation: 1979 OPEC hikes oil prices by 50% Encouraged Americans to conserve energy and water; Another energy crisis furthers inflation: 1979 OPEC hikes oil prices by 50% a and b led to his unfortunate malaise speech (July 1979) a crisis of confidence a and b led to his unfortunate malaise speech (July 1979) a crisis of confidence

21 The Carter Presidency Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Stressed human rights in all U.S. foreign policy Stressed human rights in all U.S. foreign policy Biggest achievement of his presidency was the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel Biggest achievement of his presidency was the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel Negotiated a treaty returning sovereignty of the Panama Canal (plus $1 billion) Negotiated a treaty returning sovereignty of the Panama Canal (plus $1 billion) Responded to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by halting grain shipments and boycotting the 1980 Summer Olympics Responded to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by halting grain shipments and boycotting the 1980 Summer Olympics

22 The Carter Presidency Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis were final blows to Carter Presidency; Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis were final blows to Carter Presidency;

23 The Carter Presidency Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis aborted rescue attempt seemed to confirm the crisis of confidence and military decline since Vietnam aborted rescue attempt seemed to confirm the crisis of confidence and military decline since Vietnam Carters inability to negotiate their release (444 days in captivity) seemed to confirm his weakness as a leader Carters inability to negotiate their release (444 days in captivity) seemed to confirm his weakness as a leader

24 The Reagan Revolution Background Background The Vietnam/Watergate hangover seemed perpetual The Vietnam/Watergate hangover seemed perpetual Politics and political leadership had practically become dirty words Politics and political leadership had practically become dirty words President Carter had alienated traditional Democratic voters (esp. labor and African Americans) with his spending cuts and tight money policies President Carter had alienated traditional Democratic voters (esp. labor and African Americans) with his spending cuts and tight money policies Time was ripe for new, innovative and dynamic leadership Time was ripe for new, innovative and dynamic leadership

25 The Reagan Revolution Had all the right qualities to appeal to Republicans Had all the right qualities to appeal to Republicans Reputation as strong anticommunist from movie days Reputation as strong anticommunist from movie days Supported the war in Vietnam Supported the war in Vietnam Fiscal and social conservative Fiscal and social conservative Cold Warrior Cold Warrior

26 The Reagan Revolution Campaign focused on two themes Campaign focused on two themes Are you better of today than you were four years ago? Are you better of today than you were four years ago? Redeem America from moral pessimism and permissiveness of : join me in my crusade to recapture our destiny. God bless America! Redeem America from moral pessimism and permissiveness of : join me in my crusade to recapture our destiny. God bless America! Defeated Carter (only GA, MD,MN and D.C. to Carter) Defeated Carter (only GA, MD,MN and D.C. to Carter)

27 The Reagan Revolution Election of 1980 Election of 1980

28 The Reagan Revolution Reaganonmics Reaganonmics The unlikely combination: cut taxes, increase defense spending, deregulation and reduction in social expenditures The unlikely combination: cut taxes, increase defense spending, deregulation and reduction in social expenditures Economic Recovery Act of 1981 Economic Recovery Act of % tax cut over three years 25% tax cut over three years Incentives for IRAs Incentives for IRAs Cut maximum tax rates and capital gains taxes (taxes on profit made in stocks or other speculative operations Cut maximum tax rates and capital gains taxes (taxes on profit made in stocks or other speculative operations Cut corporate taxes and windfall profit tax on oil Cut corporate taxes and windfall profit tax on oil

29 The Reagan Revolution Reaganonmics Reaganonmics Deregulation/Smaller Gov Deregulation/Smaller Gov Relaxed regulations on banking (interest-bearing checking accounts and money markets) Relaxed regulations on banking (interest-bearing checking accounts and money markets) Deregulated the airlines: lower fares and more competition Deregulated the airlines: lower fares and more competition Tried to open new land to development; Sec. of Interior James Watt was a lightening rod: leased off-shore drilling rights and proposed opening national parks to timber cutting Tried to open new land to development; Sec. of Interior James Watt was a lightening rod: leased off-shore drilling rights and proposed opening national parks to timber cutting Broke the air traffic controllers union when they struck Broke the air traffic controllers union when they struck Cut welfare by $35 billion, removed 400,000 families from AFDC and took 1 million off food stamps Cut welfare by $35 billion, removed 400,000 families from AFDC and took 1 million off food stamps Wanted to dissolve the Depts of Education and Energy but Congress refused (House solidly Democratic) Wanted to dissolve the Depts of Education and Energy but Congress refused (House solidly Democratic)

30 The Reagan Revolution Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Reinvigorated the nation with aggressive foreign policy Reinvigorated the nation with aggressive foreign policy Nationalistic rhetoric helped enhance public spirit: Its morning in America Nationalistic rhetoric helped enhance public spirit: Its morning in America Invaded the tiny island of Grenada when pro- Castro group killed leading government officials: first military victory after Vietnam. Invaded the tiny island of Grenada when pro- Castro group killed leading government officials: first military victory after Vietnam. Launched several air attacks against Libya for support of terrorism and bogus claims of airspace in the Med Launched several air attacks against Libya for support of terrorism and bogus claims of airspace in the Med Used a Navy task force to escort oil tankers thru the Strait of Hormuz in defiance of Iran Used a Navy task force to escort oil tankers thru the Strait of Hormuz in defiance of Iran

31 The Reagan Revolution Reinvigorated the Cold War Reinvigorated the Cold War Hostages release after election Soviet Union is Evil Empire Hostages release after election Soviet Union is Evil Empire Rejected Carters human rights philosophy and supported anti-communist dictators regardless of record Rejected Carters human rights philosophy and supported anti-communist dictators regardless of record Expanded activity of the CIA (eventually causing his most damaging scandal) Expanded activity of the CIA (eventually causing his most damaging scandal) Gave aid to anticommunist rebels all over the globe (Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua) Gave aid to anticommunist rebels all over the globe (Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua)

32 The Reagan Revolution Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Supported right-wing governments in El Salvador despite atrocities and aided Nicaraguan contra rebels despite congressional protest (and later law); See Iran-Contra Scandal Supported right-wing governments in El Salvador despite atrocities and aided Nicaraguan contra rebels despite congressional protest (and later law); See Iran-Contra Scandal Angered African Americans by constructive engagement policy on South Africa (Congress overrode his veto of trade sanctions bill) Angered African Americans by constructive engagement policy on South Africa (Congress overrode his veto of trade sanctions bill)

33 The Reagan Revolution Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Lebanon disaster highlighted his ineffective Middle East policies (241 Marines killed in truck bomb attack); Lebanon disaster highlighted his ineffective Middle East policies (241 Marines killed in truck bomb attack); Embargoed arms sales to Iran, then secretly made an arms for hostages deal with Tehran Embargoed arms sales to Iran, then secretly made an arms for hostages deal with Tehran

34 The Reagan Revolution Election of 1984 Election of 1984

35 The Reagan Revolution Increased defense spending coincided with Mikhail Gorbechevs rise in the U.S.S.R. and led to the winning of the Cold War Increased defense spending coincided with Mikhail Gorbechevs rise in the U.S.S.R. and led to the winning of the Cold War Increased spending from $134 billion in 1980 to $290 billion in 1988 Increased spending from $134 billion in 1980 to $290 billion in 1988 Used SDI to intimidate U.S.S.R. into arms reduction talks: INF Treaty in 1986 Used SDI to intimidate U.S.S.R. into arms reduction talks: INF Treaty in 1986 Restored grain shipments to U.S.S.R. as Gorbachev liberalized the Soviet Union with glasnost and perestroika Restored grain shipments to U.S.S.R. as Gorbachev liberalized the Soviet Union with glasnost and perestroika GHW Bush reaped the Cold War harvest when the Berlin Wall came down (1989) and Gorbachev renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine; eastern Europe liberated itself and later the U.S.S.R. collapsed (1991) GHW Bush reaped the Cold War harvest when the Berlin Wall came down (1989) and Gorbachev renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine; eastern Europe liberated itself and later the U.S.S.R. collapsed (1991)Berlin Wall came down (1989) Berlin Wall came down (1989)


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