Perspective: Nixon And Trump

Nov 21, 2019

Because of the current impeachment hearings, Richard Nixon’s name has come up a lot recently. His second term was cut short by the Watergate scandal and he became only the second president in history to be impeached. Nixon resigned in 1974 when he lost the support of Republicans in the Senate.

Nixon’s crimes involved a systematic attempt to subvert the democratic process. Determined to win a second term in 1972, he authorized a burglary at Democratic Headquarters. But that was only one of his many crimes and cover ups.

Nixon surrounded himself with toadies who did his bidding without question. He sanctioned abusive and illegal actions. He believed that if the president did something it wasn’t illegal. Sound familiar?

Trump too is determined to win, apparently at any cost. He set up a shadow corps of clowns to circumvent the real diplomats and put pressure on the Ukrainians to investigate the son of political rival Joe Biden. Claiming immunity, Trump has tried to prevent his minions from testifying and he has attempted to bully Republicans and witnesses. Nixon and Trump share a common view of virtually unlimited presidential power.

Prevailing wisdom says that Trump’s fate will be different from Nixon’s. Trump won’t resign and the Senate won’t vote him out of office. Social media and Fox News make these very different times and may keep Trump in power, at least for a few more months.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.