Historian: Nixon Most Important Political Figure in 60 Years

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 04:56 PM

By Courtney Coren

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate hearings, and historian Stanley Kutler says the scandal still "resonates in a variety of ways."

"Today, scandal is the watch word of our political lives," Kutler told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"Of course, we have this great suffix called '-gate' that is attached to everything in American life," said Kutler, author of "Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes." "Whether it's Debategate, whether it's Bridgegate, and so forth."

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However, the professor emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Madison said,  "All of that seems to trivialize Watergate," which he contends was a "seminal event in our history . . . and doesn't deserve to be trivialized."

The Watergate scandal isn't the only legacy that President Richard Nixon left behind, he argues.

"Nixon himself is with us in a variety of ways," Kutler said. "I argue, at the risk of some heresy, that Richard Nixon is the most important political figure of the past 60 years in American public life. 

"Things that he did are still with us, for good and for ill," Kutler added.

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