August 8, 2018 marks the 44th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon from the oval office. Around 1972, Richard Nixon, a Republican president, ran for reelection. At this time the United States was deeply involved in the Vietnam War and caused the country to be divided. The reelection in Nixon's eyes meant that he needed to have a forceful presidential campaign. His fantastic idea was illegal espionage. (es-pe-an-ahge) In May 1972 members of Nixon's committee of reelection broke into the Democratic National Committee's Watergate headquarters and stole top-secret documents and bugged the office's phones. Since the wiretaps failed to work, 5 men returned to the Watergate building. On June 17th, 1972 burglars in the office of the Democratic National Committee were arrested located in the Watergate complex. They were found wiretapping phones and stealing documents which were connected to President Nixon's reelection campaign. Nixon tried to cover up the crime but ended up resigning in 1974. The Watergate scandal was known to have changed American politics forever, but some oppose this viewpoint. Ultimately, the Watergate Scandal did have a major long-term impact on United States politics because, despite the decrease in voting turnout only being short-term, America has been severely altered by politics and society due to political reforms and actions along with creating dramatic changes to both media and language.
Counterclaim: While the Watergate Scandal had a major impact on politics and society in America, the Scandal only had a short-term impact on politics in regard to voting turnout. After the scandal, many political scientists to began to worry about the effect that Watergate would have on the rate of political dropouts and strains on the two-party political system in the United States government.
A Pew Research center analyzes the outcomes in the years following the Watergate Scandal: in 1974, when the backdrop of the Watergate scandal led to a nearly 3-million vote falloff in the Republican House vote from 1970. The Democratic vote grew by barely 1 million.
But the GOP drop off was so severe that it cost the Republicans nearly 50 House seats https://www.pewresearch.org/2006/11/01/voter-turnout-and-congressional-change/ There is no doubt that the Watergate Scandal caused drastic changes within the political atmosphere during the years following 1974 as the American population very obviously lost faith and trust in the government, specifically in the Republican branch which caused that ultimate imbalance in the structure. However, these statistics have not withheld the test of time, and the mistrust brought about by the Watergate scandal no longer has a major impact on voter turnout. Not only has the Pew Research center revealed that U.S. turnout in 2016 was 86.8% of registered voters, fourth-highest among OECD countries but NPR studies show that voter turnout has generally risen, with 47.5% voting in this year's midterms and 60.1% voting in the 2016 presidential elections which is a nearly 12% increase from voting turnouts immediately after the Watergate scandal. So ultimately, while voting turnout dramatically dropped after Watergate, this was not a lasting change in American politics and voter turnout has exponentially increased in recent years despite the occurrence of the Watergate scandal.
Argument: The United States has been dramatically changed due to the Watergate Scandal specifically in political and legislative changes involving the Supreme Court and the resulting legal reforms. One key political change is the Supreme Court began to severely curb the executive powers and rights once maintained by the President. It was a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court on July 24, 1974, that effectively ended the Nixon presidency by ordering the release of the Watergate smoking gun tape and other recordings.
This critical action was the first step as the Justices held that not even the president was above the law, and it didn't agree with Nixon's claim of executive privilege. The Court stated that "the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of justice." were more important than allowing the continuation of executive privilege. The Court's curb on executive power remains extremely crucial even today in American politics The Watergate Scandal also inspired an era of legal reform: The scandal raised enough public outrage to allow Congress to pass several laws that had already been proposed before a trial even took place. Such as . . Watergate helped push the passage of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (Which ensures that tax returns and related information are to be helpful in confidence, and not released other than within the boundaries established by the section. The Privacy Act of 1974, which included provisions banning secret record-keeping systems. And the . . . Presidential Records Act, which establishes that the official records of the president are public documents, and establishes rules for access to them. Therefore, the Watergate Scandal inspired major political changes as legal action occurred within the Supreme Court and caused legal reform that affects the United States Government even today. Not only were American politics dramatically changed, but the Watergate Scandal is responsible for a plentitude of societal changes; specifically by redefining the government's relationship with media and through a generating a legacy of language. The Watergate scandal severely altered America by redefining the government's relationship with media The people in the United States began to realize that the government is not incorruptible and Watergate ultimately planted the seed of distrust in the minds of many citizens.
A federal times Editor Jill Aitoro wrote, a certain naivete about politics was lost among Americans, a newfound appreciation of investigative journalism emerged, and the government realized that press might not be so easily contained. Media has a large impact on the ever-increasing media saturated environment, and the Watergate Scandal was a key reason for changing the way the media operates. The infamous location of Watergate has been responsible for creating a profound legacy of language. The suffix "-gate" becoming shorthand for any scandal involving deception at high levels of power is one of many signs that Watergate rocked America. Some examples of scandals involving the suffix -gate includes Ronald Reagan's Iran-gate, Bill Clinton's Monica-gate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bridge-gate are just a few examples. more than 200 scandals have had gate attached to them. This legacy of language is a clear indication that the Watergate scandal was not a one-and-done experience, but rather a radical event that even changed language, while simultaneously becoming deeply ingrained in American culture and society https://www.federaltimes.com/smr/50-years-federal-times/2015/12/01/watergate-scandal-public-distrust-of-government-begins/
Conclusion: The Watergate hasn't changed politics and society completely but enough to make a major difference in our lives. Because of the secret operations behind the Watergate scandal performed by Nixon in 1972, politics, legistlation, and society have been changed. The Watergate opened a gap between the legislation government and the citizens. The sense of trust isn't there anymore and that can be in large part because of Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal.
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