“Watergate and Skepticism Toward Government” by Bradley Nafziger

…Ever since the Watergate scandal of and President Richard Nixon’s near-impeachment, Americans have been skeptical of the government and its officials. In his first speech about the events at Watergate, Nixon tried to counter those who were saying: “Watergate demonstrates the bankruptcy of the American political system.” But Pandora’s box had been opened. Doubt and skepticism were creeping into society. Many other scandals uncovered since then serve as a bitter reminder about the lack of transparency in the White House and in the political system in general. The word politician has become synonymous with liar.

Enter Donald Trump. Immediately striking a chord with the people, he acted as the voice of blunt truth and unstoppable change, offering a refreshing alternative to the same old sleazy politicians year after year. In speaking with CNN, Trump said, “Politicians are all talk and no action. I’m the opposite.” Trump provided an alternative that promised greatness, transparency, and change from the inevitable corruption of another career politician in the Oval Office. Trump was able to harness the discouragement of the American people and have them rally behind him, propelling him to victory.

At first, it might seem confusing, wild, or even insane how Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November 2016. Clinton was the lifelong politician with more experience than you can shake a stick at, clearly boasting an impressive resume, but carrying just as much political baggage. Washington viewed Clinton as the obvious next presidential favorite because she is so “presidential,” but the general public wasn’t looking for another generic president. Unable to disentangle herself from the scandals that dogged her, Hillary Clinton was the most recent political reincarnation of Richard Nixon. A public mood of desperation and a feeling that “anything else is better than the same old poison” drove the campaign of Donald Trump. Clinton’s email deletion scandal was just another flashback for the American people to the beginning of it all—Watergate.