9onnix Essay Research Paper Richard Millhouse NixonRichard — страница 3

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tour during which he familiarized himself with foreign affairs, the dogged Nixon was back in the electoral arena again, running for president a second time in 1968. Nixon avoided the tricky issue of the Vietnam War, stating only that he would find an “honorable end” to the war. He let the Democrats, badly split over the war, tear themselves apart, further setting himself apart by running on a “Law and Order” campaign that blamed America’s most visible, divisive problems on the liberal Democrats. Nixon’s appeal to the “forgotten Americans,” who felt themselves ignored in the upheavals of the sixties, brought him a close victory over Hubert Humphrey. Presidency Upon election, Nixon pledged that he would bring America together, but his margin of victory had been slim

and based mostly on white, middle-class, hawkish, and patriotic voters. As president, he concentrated mostly on foreign affairs, hoping to bring about a generation of peace and a New World Order. Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and John Erhlichman, a top campaign official and one of Nixon’s closest advisors, handled much of domestic policy and shielded Nixon from many of the irksome daily details of the administration, leaving Nixon free to concentrate on foreign policy. Nixon often by-passed the Defense and State Departments, instead working closely with National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, a former Harvard professor and newcomer to official foreign policy circles. The Vietnam War, which had destroyed Nixon’s predecessor, was the major obstacle to the new president’s

designs. Even before his inauguration, Nixon had Kissinger engage in secret peace talks with North Vietnam, hoping to speed American withdrawal from Vietnam. Early in his term, Nixon announced a gradual replacement of American fighting forces with South Vietnamese, planning to have All-American troops out of Vietnam by the end of 1970. However, Nixon did not want to be the first president to lose a war, and he could not be satisfied with a simple withdrawal from Vietnam, being convinced, as were many Americans, that abandoning South Vietnam to the communists would invite further communist aggression in the region. Nixon had to face a vigorous anti-war movement, and he appealed to the “silent majority,” another version of his “forgotten Americans,” who he felt supported

his foreign policy. He pledged not to back down, and in early 1970 escalated the war, authorizing bombings on North Vietnam and attacks on Cambodia. After his reelection, Nixon again ordered escalation in the bombings, which Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s deputy, described as “brutalizing” the north. Two weeks after the bombings began, Nixon announced that peace negotiations were soon to resume, and by January 28, 1973, a cease fire was established that allowed the US to remove its reaming 23,700 troops and end its twelve-year military involvement in Vietnam. Domestically, Nixon adhered to a standard Republican spending-cut program, cutting back and opposing federal welfare services and proposing anti-busing legislation. He also implemented the New Economic Policy, which

called for a 10 percent tax on many imports, repeal of certain excise taxes, tax breaks for industries undertaking new investment, and a ninety-day freeze on wages, prices, and dividends designed to halt inflation. These policies were initially successful, causing American exports to become cheaper and improving the balance of trade, but when the wage and price commissions began to give way to pressures from both labor and business interests, inflation accelerated again, inaugurating a decade-long rise in the cost of living that negatively impacted many segments of American society. But Nixon is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, despite his failure to bring a speedy, or even “honorable,” end to the Vietnam War, and Kissinger’s inability to end the Middle

East tensions that were brought on by Israel’s victory over Arab countries in the Six-Day War of 1967. Perhaps this notoriety is based on the fact that Nixon was one of the few presidents in American history who practiced foreign policy by design, setting certain goals and moving steadily, if sometimes secretly and ruthlessly, toward them, instead of merely reacting to the conditions of world affairs as had many chief executives in the past. He repudiated his anti-Communist past and became the first US president to visit the Soviet Union when he traveled to Moscow in May of 1972. He sought peace with the opposing super-power and initiated negotiations with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons, which resulted in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). At the same time,