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Question I2 In its historical context Watergate was not a surprising development when it is considered that Nixon was a paranoid personality capable of using any avenue to insure that his political objectives were attained He had proved that early in his political career in his famous Checkers speech By the early 70s however the nation had changed It wasnt as easy to dupe the public with sappy speeches to explain away political indiscretions The country was seriously concerned about our involvement in Southeast Asia and how the administration was going to extricate itself from the disaster The media was on the job during this watershed period in our political history The whitewash days of the Kennedy period were over The press was willing to examine and cross-examine This was a significant departure from the mentality of the press the day Kennedy was assassinated and his alleged assassin incredibly unprotected and gunned down two days later The country had changed significantly by the early seventies The passive public was not quite so willing to be blindly led anymore The press was now activist in nature Archilbald Cox stated the Watergate experience is the convincing evidence of the ability of the American people to come together in times when abuses of political power appear and threaten our political system The people were not willing to accept without question the proclamations of presidential press secretaries In the process the peoples self-image had to change They matured and of course were willing to challenge authority This is something that was unheard of in the 1950s The effect on our political institutions was dramatic It was a wake up call to Congress that their responsibilities within the system of checks and balances were of extreme importance As the result of Watergate the concept of a special prosecutor became a reality and despite initial problems it worked Interestingly Nixon true to his pattern of abusing power arrogantly thought
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