An Analysis of Watergate
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Nine years ago on June 17, 1972, three Cubans, an Italian American, and James McCord were arrested in the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington D.C. Such was the beginning of the Watergate affair that did not end until Richard M. Nixon resigned from the Presidency two years and two months later. At that time, Americans could only wonder in bewilderment about the causes of such a scandal for the resignation of a president was unprecedented in the history of our country. Today, however, the abundance of material on the affair offers us unique vantage points from which to view this crisis in the American political system. One vantage point would be the psychoanalysts' explanation of the Watergate affair. Others would be the accounts of those involved in the affair or the interpretations of journalists and scholars. In this two-part analysis, I examine the affair from these three vantage points. In part I, I focus primarily on the views of Dr. David Abrahamsen, a psychoanalyst. Abrahamsen has studied Richard Nixon's behavior before and during Watergate and believes that there are links between the behavior of Nixon during Watergate and his early political career. Furthermore, some links extend to Nixon's childhood. While I have uncovered evidence which supports Abrahamsen's claims, I also have discovered evidence which does not support his views. Out of the six links which I have examined, two are questionable. Because of these two discrepancies, I view Richard Nixon's past experiences and personal problems as only slightly affecting his behavior before and during Watergate. The relationship between Nixon's past and Watergate is not as strong as Abrahamsen believes. In part II, I analyze the views of several Watergate participants along with those of journalists and scholars. I deal mainly with John Dean's interpretation that Watergate was an outgrowth of the Nixon White House since many other Americans share this belief. While his explanation is fairly correct, a more correct analysis is that the Watergate affair, the break-in and cover-up, grew out of the actions of reporters, terrorists, and previous administrations as well as the Nixon White House.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to this SIP.