Foreign Policy Analysis: Nixon vs. Obama

Barack Obama

40 years and seven presidents later, Richard Nixon’s legacy lives on, but not in the way you’d think.

On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation on national television. President Nixon’s resignation came on the heels of the House Judiciary Committee adopting three articles of impeachment against him as a result of his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

Watergate was a “third-rate burglary” into an office complex, which at the time served as the Democratic National Committee headquarters. After the burglary, President Nixon and his administration worked feverishly to cover up their involvement. At the time, the Watergate scandal tore apart the country and gave the media fodder for years to come.

As a result of Watergate, President Nixon’s legacy was tarnished and history would pen him corrupt and power hungry. Currently, the same words can be applied to Barack Obama. However, the difference between President Nixon and President Obama is their foreign policy.

2014 has been a horrid year for America on the world’s stage, and we as a country are floundering under President Obama. While each president has their own hurdles to overcome, Obama’s hurdles are beginning to resemble a minefield ridden with numerous casualties.

From the red line fiasco in Syria to the disaster in Crimea, a precedent has been set and we’ve become a nation of empty threats and broken promises. However, it wasn’t always this way. During the Nixon-era we were steadfast, and our foreign policy was strong.

President Nixon opened doors to China, made peace in the Middle East, and ended the Vietnam war. In contrast, President Obama has turned a blind eye to problems plaguing the Middle East, haphazardly ended the war in Afghanistan, and created a void of American leadership abroad.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll, only 43% approve of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy. This comes as no surprise since the president’s overall approval rating isn’t far behind. The United States is currently at a point in time when we should be using history to help us write a better future. Instead, Obama is unraveling the hard work put forth by President Nixon and others by refusing to take a stand and flex our powers to prove America is a world leader.

The growing unrest in the world is slowly spilling over into the U.S., causing many to look back favorably on President Nixon and view him for what he was, a peacemaker.