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by chazzz @, USA, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 13:19

As recently as a weeks or so ago, I recall a survey that showed that Trump had the worst approval ratings of any modern president at the 100 day mark. But at the same time, he was still ahead relative to Hillary Clinton if the election were held again. It's still a real puzzler to me just how two such unpopular people wound up as the candidates at the last general election. But the election played out and Trump is our president. Personally, I do not want Trump to fail as president because such a failure negatively impacts all of us in the USA - Not just those who voted for or against him.

If you are as old as me or a student of modern US political history, there are some uncomfortable parallels with Trump and Richard Nixon. If you are not familiar with the whole Nixon/Watergate I urge you to familiarize yourself with it at the link below:

Watergate Scandal - Wikipedia

I am not going to re-live the whole Nixon/Watergate scandal that ultimately brought the first and only US president to be forced to resign or be impeached.

There are some interesting non-Watergate parallels between Nixon and Trump as well as some important differences.

First of all - I believe that each was quite right in certain aspects of policy

Nixon was at his best at his Cold War dealings with China to take advantage of frictions between the two Communist powerhouses of their day - The Soviet Union, and Mao's China. He began the process of normalization with China that ultimately affected the balance between the West and the Soviet Union.

Trump was right in identifying with the people who elected him that jobs for America's working class was their most important concern. And he vowed to take meaningful specific steps to reduce the hemorrhaging of US manufacturing from the USA. Additionally, he identified the hypocrisy of the prevailing Democratic and Republican approaches to illegal aliens and every modern attempt at "immigration reform" that only seemed to make permanent illegal immigration and second class lives for those those immigrants.

Unfortunately, each also had a tendency to put laws and sometimes public morals second to achieving results. Nixon's campaign hired people to break into the headquarters of the Democratic Party to search for "dirt" on his Democratic Party opponent. Later he did every thing in his power to cover this up. Nixon also conducted extensive bombing campaigns against areas of Laos and Cambodia that we were not at war with, and publicly denied this, as part of his effort to get North Vietnam to negotiate a peace treaty to end the Vietnam War.

On a more personal level I voted for Nixon in 1968 in my first ever election I could vote in at the age of 18. I also voted for Nixon's reelection in 1972. As the long running American political tragedy of Watergate began to play out, like most of the country I began to realize that Nixon was a threat to our tradition of laws and democracy. It started slowly as a history of corruption began to be exposed for Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was eventually forced to step down and was replaced by Gerald Ford who was originally Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was not just what Nixon had originally done in hiring the men who conducted the Watergate break-in. It was how Nixon reacted to cover up this illegal activity, which reached its peak when he fired the special prosecutor he had been maneuvered into appointing to investigate the Watergate Break-in. This was followed by resignations of some of his staff who felt they were in a morally indefensible place. After this the scandal quickly grew until Nixon resigned rather than risk impeachment.

If the Trump presidency fails either from some yet to be played out scandal or simply because he is not able to effectively govern and make good on his campaign promises, then those who earnestly supported candidate and then President Trump are going to have to reevaluate their support.

In the case of Nixon, some die-hard supporters rationalized his failings as no worse than other politicians had done, seemingly implicitly approving political corruption. Some earlier supporters of Nixon like myself came to see him as a failed President brought down by a strange lack of political morals, but still having achieved a measure of greatness in the foreign policy field. And some initial followers of Nixon simply concluded he was just a big liar from the start and that they had been duped into ever voting for the man.

In US politics, the whole Nixon Watergate era followed by President Ford's pardon of Nixon left a desire for an honest and moral President. Jimmy Carter was elected as the opposite of Nixon/Ford. He was an honest and moral man who was a genuine Christian. Carter had his own failings, but inconsistent morals were not among those failings.

Whenever a major politician or political party in the USA fails like in the case of Nixon, the following election tends to swing oppositely. Jimmy Carter was in most ways the opposite of Nixon/Ford. If Trump fails the next election will go to his opposite. If the Republicans in congress cannot work with Trump and effectively govern in ways that help all Americans and not just their wealthiest donors, then they will ultimately be replaced by their opposite. It's just how American politics works.

One more thing I can say, regardless of his Trump's presidency plays out - Hillary is out. She's out of power, and might as well accept retirement.


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