Richard Nixon was the consummate politician. Growing up as a poor Quaker in California, Nixon decided early on to pursue a career in politics. Struggling from the bottom, Nixon worked his way through law school and eventually into politics. Richard Nixon embodied the American dream. He would also embody the American nightmare.
Richard M. Nixon made it to the pinnacle of political power in the United States through effort and determination. Then, in the blink of an eye, he lost everything. Nixon's story, far from being one of triumph, is a story of tragedy. The story of Nixon is the story of how one bad decision determined the fate of an American president. For the misfortune of Nixon didn't affect just him; if profoundly affected the American government and the office of the presidency. To a nation already suffering from governmental distrust after the Vietnam War, the scandal of Watergate would forever shatter the trust Americans had in their leaders. Nixon's presidential legacy would be a cautionary tale. Even the mighty fall, and even those who work their entire lives for something can lose it all in an instant.