Trump vs Nixon;
How similar are they?

By Ollie Newcombe

Many people think Trump’s presidency is a completely abstract concept that has ever been seen before, but there are more similarities between Trump and Nixon in their presidencies than you might think. Nixon’s presidency ended in near impeachment. Could Trump follow in his footsteps?

During the watergate break-in and subsequent scandal of 1972, Nixon’s men broke into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) building, otherwise known as the watergate building, and attempted to wiretap them to dig dirt up on George S. Mcgovern (his political rival in the democrat party) in time for his re-election campaign. To cover up this scandal, Nixon ordered attorney general Elliot Richardson to fire the special prosecutor in charge of seeking the truth about the cover up, but Richardson refused and subsequently resigned. He then ordered deputy attorney general William Ruckelhaus to do the same, with the same outcome of resignation. Trump has also done the same by trying to fire special prosecutor Mueller over investigations on alleged Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election.

 

If he is innocent and has nothing to hide, why would he try to fire the very person who would uncover his innocence?

 

They also share a deep seated distrust for the press. In a meeting in 1972 with his secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Nixon is telling him “the press is the enemy” several times. This compares disturbingly closely to Trump’s press conferences where he calls the reporters “dishonest people”. This hatred for the media seems to stem from the general press dislike for them. Nixon had very a negative, icy relationship with the press, as does Trump. This led them to think the press is categorically against them, which only makes matters worse. Having an enemy in the form of the press, a huge and diverse entity, will do no good to your public image, but would cause huge damage to his reputation

 

Nixon’s term is office ended with a near impeachment, as the senate effectively told him there was no way he could escape impeachment, as the senators who previously backed him abandoned him after the ‘Smoking Gun Tape’ was released, in which Nixon is having a meeting in the oval office days after the break-in to discuss how they were going to cover up their involvement. This put the nail in the coffin for nixon and he resigned in 1974. Before he resigned however,he made vice president Gerald Ford promise to pardon him once he took over, which was carried out as soon as he was sworn into the oval office.

 

Whether you agree or disagree that trump is guilty of working with Russia, we can all agree that his attempts to fire Mueller shows he may be falling down a slippery slope that could lead to further enquiries into his alleged dealings with russia, or possible questions on his legitimacy as president, which could see his days in the oval office shortened.

 

Is he really as abstract as you think or is he following in Nixon’s footsteps?