Kruse and Zelizer: Watergate's lesson? If Democrats want to heal America, Trump must be held accountableRoundup
tags: Julian Zelizer, Richard Nixon, Watergate, presidential history, Trump, Kevin Kruse
Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer, professors of history at Princeton University, are the authors of "Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974." Follow them on Twitter: @KevinMKruse and @julianzelizer.
Democrats are wrestling with how aggressively they will investigate the president and whether impeachment proceedings will ultimately be warranted. Publicly, the discussion has largely centered on worries about the political implications of moving forward. Some Democrats are concerned that aggressive oversight might trigger a backlash from voters; others worry that holding President Donald Trump accountable would only aggravate our already pronounced political polarization.
Democrats shouldn’t think this way. Accountability is essential to the long-term health of our democracy, more important than even healing the nation’s partisan divisions.
The United States learned this lesson 45 years ago. In August 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace as soon as it became clear that the House would vote to impeach him for obstructing justice in the Watergate scandal and, moreover, that the Senate would likely vote to remove him from office. In a flash, Vice President Gerald Ford assumed the presidency.
Ford hoped to heal the nation from the trauma of Watergate, telling the country in his first official words as president that “our long national nightmare is over.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Oral Histories of Donald Trump's Housing Discrimination Case, the Central Park Five, and More
- A Stolen Letter Written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 Resurfaces
- ‘It’s art activism’: Charleston artists gather at Calhoun monument, urge its removal
- Chinese Railroad Workers Were Almost Written Out of History. Now They’re Getting Their Due.
- Mayor and ‘Foreign Minister’: How Bernie Sanders Brought the Cold War to Burlington
- The Partisan
- If “living history” role-plays in the classroom can so easily go wrong, why do teachers keep assigning them?
- MIT just cracked open an historic time capsule–here’s what was inside
- Historian Ben Macintyre reveals the gripping story of the KGB agent who saved us from Armageddon in 1983
- Peter Cole's ‘Dockworker Power’ Highlights Transnational Struggles for Justice