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Richard Nixon: Tragic Hero
Transcript of Richard Nixon: Tragic Hero
by Jeff Frenkel-Popell
Aristotle gave a five-part definition of a tragic hero, four of which we will see currently. We will analyze former President Richard Nixon to demonstrate how he matches up to these definitions.
Nixon’s error was the Watergate Scandal. During the morning of 1972, 5 burglars were caught in the Democratic National Committee office wiretapping phones, stealing secret documents, and were part of the Nixon reelection campaign. It is unknown whether Nixon knew about this at the time of the break-in, but he tried to cover it up by offering “hush money”, trying to stop the FBI from investigating, firing uncooperative employees, and destroying evidence. The scandal changed American politics forever.
Richard Nixon was responsible for the Watergate scandal on all levels. Members of his administration were the ones that robbed and bugged the hotel. He then tried to keep everything quiet and attempted to erase all evidence of his involvement.
Richard Nixon recognized that because of his error, he couldn’t serve well as president. He said in his famous resignation speech that with such little political support, he couldn’t serve well as president; and he accepted the consequences by resigning in a speech given on August 8, 1974.
"Someone who is highly regarded and successful and therefore his fall from good fortune is from a tremendous height."
"The hero's fall from grace is result of a single error in judgement or a fundamental character flaw."
"On some level, the hero is responsible for his downfall."
Elected as president twice
Vice President to Eisenhower
House of Representatives
Launched initiatives to fight cancer and illegal drugs
Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Air Act
Diplomatic relations with China
Supported Israel in Yom Kippur War
Supported military coup d’etat against Chilean Salvador Allende
Ended the draft
Negotiated disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt and Syria
Signed into law Title IX
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
"The hero recognizes the error and accepts the tragic consequences."