All throughout history from Greece to modern day, tragic heroes have existed, not only in literature, but in real life as well. President Richard Nixon meets the criteria of a tragic hero. During his presidency, Nixon exhibited goodness and had high standing before his fatal mistake that led to his downfall.
When people think about President Richard Nixon, they immediately associate him with the Watergate scandal, but actually “…his pre-Watergate record is a lot better than most [people] realize…” (DeGregorio 600). Nixon and his administration stepped up and exhibited goodness during his first term and part of his second term. They reduced U.S involvement in Vietnam War and brought home 518,000 soldiers from 1969 to 1972. They even made deals to get the POW’s in North Vietnam out and home (DeGregorio 595). Nixon’s administration formed the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce clean air and water laws. Nixon also signed all the Civil Rights Acts passed by Congress (DeGregorio 597). The Civil Rights Acts desegregated schools and by 1972, 90% of schools were desegregated (The Richard M. Nixon Administrations). This really helped improve the educational opportunities for black children. Nixon also started a revenue sharing program in which the federal government gave billions of dollars of taxes back to the state and local governments (DeGregorio 596). This helped local governments because they could spend the money on the things that their communities needed the most. Nixon’s specialty was foreign affairs and he visited both communist China and Soviet Union. He was the first president to go to China and he helped open up Chinese-American relationships and settle differences with the Chinese (The Richard M. Nixon Administr...
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...on's own taping system he had installed ultimately led to his downfall which proves that his own mistake caused it.
Even if Nixon made bad decisions that caused his downfall, he was a respected and good president. His presidency may always be best known for the scandals that led to his downfall, but the passage of time and the study of his accomplishments by historians have led many people to conclude that he was a good president.
DeGregorio, William. The Complete Book of U.S Presidents. Richard M. Nixon. New York: Wing Books, 1997. Print
"Richard Milhous Nixon." Discovering Biography. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web 12 Nov. 2013.
"The Richard Milhous Nixon." Presidential Administration Profiles for Students. Ed. Kelles. Sisung and Gerda-Ann Raffaelle. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002. Student Resources in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.