Richard Nixon vs Ronald Reagan
When you think of influential presidents you think Abraham Lincoln or Bill Clinton? When someone mentions influential presidents to me, I think of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. They were both elected for two terms, but each of them was seen either in a positive light or a negative light. On television, Nixon said, “I am not a crook,” but that is what he is known for even today. Although, Reagan was the oldest president elected into office, in my opinion; he was the most prominent political figure serving his eight full years as President of the United States.
We will look at Richard Nixon’s and Ronald Reagan’s life before presidency, their leadership qualities, and their office accomplishments. The differences of childhood and adult lives of both Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon before their presidency, was most likely why Reagan was a more prominent political figure. Reagan’s mother and father were both very loving parents and constantly gave him support while he grew up. Reagan was very likeable due to his careers in acting, radio hosting, and television host (Rosenberg). Even though Reagan was a late bloomer in politics, it did not stop him from becoming the next governor of California.
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On the contrary to Reagan, Richard Nixon grew up in a home where he had an abusive father and two of his brothers died growing up. Nixon pushed himself into politics through his whole life, starting in high school when he became Student Class President. In college, Nixon learned how to be a great liar when he decided to become a lawyer. When people say, “Only painters and lawyers can change white to black,” Nixon proved them correct. Finally when he couldn’t get a job as a lawyer he got into politics. Now let’s look at the leadership qualities that each previous president had which caused the differences in their political careers.
A quality of being a good leader is being a truthful, likeable, and trustworthy person. Reagan was a very honest person, and people described him as being kind, humble and forward-looking. Because of his previous career as an actor, this helped his leadership skills because people saw him as not just a politician but as a real person. Nixon deceived the United States multiple times near the end of his 5. 5 years in office (Hogan). Nixon lied about himself, when trying to disguise his transgression in the Watergate complex (Farnsworth).
In result, Nixon was the first president in the United States’ history to resign from his duties. Now that we know how leadership qualities affected presidency, let’s look at Nixon’s and Reagan’s accomplishments while they were in office in office. Even though they were both republicans, they had different accomplishments that were made in the political office. Reagan lowered federal income tax and raised the federal receipts 8. 2% (Federal Budget). Reagan spoke truthfully when he said, “People free to choose will always choose peace,” because he was the only president to have both of his terms without war.
The poll of approval on Reagan throughout his presidency stayed constant (Poll-Approval Reagan). In contrast, Nixon showed in his poll of approval dropped throughout his presidency (Poll-Approval Nixon). Nixon was accredited for ending the war in Viet Nam and raised federal receipts like Reagan did. Even though he did so many things no one will be able to get passed the Watergate Scandal in the end before or after his resignation. Ronald Reagan, I believe was one of the most influential political figures and presidents, in history, to run the United States.
People should look to Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments throughout his life when electing the next president. If Nixon would have been more of an honest person through his whole term, then people might not have thought of him as the “Crook” he made himself out to be. Reagan could have also been involved in politics a little earlier, and more people could have had faith in him as president. Society can be hard on people, and they never forget how someone says one thing and does another. How do you think life would have been if Reagan had not decided to go into office at all?