Did President Nixon Lack A "Moral Compass"?

Topics: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Watergate scandal Pages: 3 (1884 words) Published: April 26, 2015
“Richard Nixon Lacked a Moral Compass.” How Far do you Agree?

The Machiavellian approach to presidency Richard Nixon took in order to cultivate and preserve his critical policy making, of course, lends itself to the idea of a completely immoral figure. His handling of the Vietnam war in attempting to remove the US “honourably” while slaughtering thousands of civilians, along with attempting to cover up blatant political corruption in the form of the Watergate Scandal, are but two episodes which, on face value, support the conclusion of Nixon's nefarious nature. Dr. Hunter Thompson described him as the kind of man who 1“could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time”, and recalls that even President Ford, the man who acquitted Nixon told close friends that “I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon”. This seemingly damning evidence; However, is offset by the converse arguments which contest, for example, that Nixon showed only loyalty, a virtuous trait, in staying allegiant with his colleagues who had arranged the Watergate burglary and that the terror some bombing over Vietnam was necessary to end the horrors of war and achieve peace as soon as possible. It may be the case that Nixon had to be strong willed and cunning in order to combat various very difficult situations he was faced with during his presidency, and that if he followed strong moral guidelines little progress would have been achieved. To evaluate how far Nixon lacked a moral compass we must weigh up these two viewpoints and determine which perspective holds the strongest backing.

The first and most prominent point of discussion in determining Nixon's moral compass, or lack thereof, is that of the Watergate Scandal. In brief, the Watergate scandal arose from the attempted cover up of a burglary of the Democratic Campaign HQ, which was organised by Nixon's campaign team known as CREEP (the committee for the re-election of the president), arguably without the...
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