It is natural to want to trace a person s actions during his adult years to his early life. Richard M. Nixon is no different. Throughout his political career, he exhibited a fire within a fierce will to settle scores and triumph over others. A difficult upbringing scorned Nixon for life. Since he was raised in a lower-class, struggling family, Richard always felt a hatred of those who had it easy in life.
He felt that since he had to work to achieve success, all others should have to do the same. Of course, life does not work like this, and Nixon could never get over this harsh reality. These resentments and insecurities of the rich translated into professional resentment of those who opposed him Democrats, liberals, and the Eastern establishment. Nixon felt that it was these people who were always after him. For Nixon, he was never let alone, there were always those who wanted his head. It is for this reason that he clung so fiercely to any position of power.
He loved being the President of the United States more than anything, and it broke his heart to have to resign. Also, most of Nixon s early life was spent as an outsider. He was from a lower class background, and for that reason alone many of his colleagues did not fully respect him. Out of college, he was shunned by the great Eastern law firms.
In his early politics, he was neglected by his own party because of his background. Even as vice president, he was not allowed in Eisenhower s inner circle. These experiences left him bitter and determined to be president. Not only for the prestige of the position, but because as president he would be the one who was on the inside.
Everybody would be below him in rank, and he could use this advantage to be the focal point of America. Also, he would gain some revenge on those rich, debonair folks who had before eschewed him. For all of his hard work and tenacity, Nixon can not be regarded as a morally upright or outstand in president. He tested the system to its breaking point. He tried to beat the system and failed. Nixon misused executive orders, the power to impound Congressional funds, the pocket veto and war powers.
Basically, if he could use his position to gain an advantage, it was not below him. It is amazing the system withstood the pressure of Nixon s pen. Sadly for Nixon, his Presidency will not be remembered for his diplomatic foreign policy skills, or the d tente with the Soviets. The Watergate scandal sticks out as the salient point of his term. He left behind a distrusted office.
Since the days of Nixon, the Presidency has not been regarded with great esteem as it had in the years before.