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  • The presidency of the United States of America

  • is often said to be one of the most powerful positions in the world.

  • But of all the U.S. presidents accused of misusing that power,

  • only one has left office as a result.

  • Does Richard Nixon deserve to be remembered

  • for more than the scandal that ended his presidency?

  • Find out as we put this disgraced president's legacy on trial

  • in History vs. Richard Nixon.

  • "Order, order.

  • Now, who's the defendant today, some kind of crook?"

  • "Cough. No, your Honor.

  • This is Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States,

  • who served from 1969 to 1974."

  • "Hold on.

  • That's a weird number of years for a president to serve."

  • "Well, you see, President Nixon resigned for the good of the nation

  • and was pardoned by President Ford, who took over after him."

  • "He resigned because he was about to be impeached,

  • and he didn't want the full extent of his crimes exposed."

  • "And what were these crimes?"

  • "Your Honor, the Watergate scandal was one of the grossest abuses

  • of presidential power in history.

  • Nixon's men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters

  • to wiretap the offices and dig up dirt on opponents

  • for the reelection campaign."

  • "Cough

  • It was established that the President did not order this burglary."

  • "But as soon as he learned of it, he did everything to cover it up,

  • while lying about it for months."

  • "Uh, yes, but it was for the good of the country.

  • He did so much during his time in office and could have done so much more

  • without a scandal jeopardizing his accomplishments."

  • "Uh, accomplishments?"

  • "Yes, your Honor.

  • Did you know it was President Nixon

  • who proposed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency,

  • and signed the National Environmental Policy Act into law?

  • Not to mention the Endangered Species Act,

  • Marine Mammal Protection Act,

  • expansion of the Clean Air Act."

  • "Sounds pretty progressive of him."

  • "Progressive? Hardly.

  • Nixon's presidential campaign courted Southern voters

  • through fear and resentment of the civil rights movement."

  • "Speaking of civil rights,

  • the prosecution may be surprised to learn that he signed the Title IX amendment,

  • banning gender-based discrimination in education,

  • and ensured that desegregation of schools occurred peacefully,

  • and he lowered the voting age to 18, so that students could vote."

  • "He didn't have much concern for students

  • after four were shot by the National Guard at Kent State.

  • Instead, he called them bums for protesting the Vietnam War,

  • a war he had campaigned on ending."

  • "But he did end it."

  • "He ended it two years after taking office.

  • Meanwhile, his campaign had sabotaged the previous president's peace talks,

  • urging the South Vietnamese government to hold out for supposedly better terms,

  • which, I might add, didn't materialize.

  • So, he protracted the war for four years,

  • in which 20,000 more U.S. troops, and over a million more Vietnamese,

  • died for nothing."

  • "Hmm, a presidential candidate interfering in foreign negotiations --

  • isn't that treason?"

  • "It is, your Honor, a clear violation of the Logan Act of 1799."

  • "Uh, I think we're forgetting President Nixon's many

  • foreign policy achievements.

  • It was he who normalized ties with China, forging economic ties that continue today."

  • "Are we so sure that's a good thing?

  • And don't forget his support of the coup in Chile

  • that replaced the democratically-elected President Allende

  • with a brutal military dictator."

  • "It was part of the fight against communism."

  • "Weren't tyranny and violence the reasons we opposed communism to begin with?

  • Or was it just fear of the lower class rising up against the rich?"

  • "President Nixon couldn't have predicted the violence of Pinochet's regime,

  • and being anti-communist didn't mean neglecting the poor.

  • He proposed a guaranteed basic income for all American families,

  • still a radical concept today.

  • And he even pushed for comprehensive healthcare reform,

  • just the kind that passed 40 years later."

  • "I'm still confused about this burglary business.

  • Was he a crook or not?"

  • "Your Honor, President Nixon may have violated a law or two,

  • but what was the real harm compared to all he accomplished while in office?"

  • "The harm was to democracy itself.

  • The whole point of the ideals Nixon claimed to promote abroad

  • is that leaders are accountable to the people,

  • and when they hold themselves above the law for whatever reason,

  • those ideals are undermined."

  • "And if you don't hold people accountable to the law, I'll be out of a job."

  • Many politicians have compromised some principles to achieve results,

  • but law-breaking and cover-ups threaten the very fabric the nation is built on.

  • Those who do so may find their entire legacy tainted

  • when history is put on trial.

The presidency of the United States of America

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B1 中級 美國腔

【TED-Ed】歷史VS理查德-尼克松--亞歷克斯-根德勒。 (【TED-Ed】History vs. Richard Nixon - Alex Gendler)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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