Episode 56 RICHARD NIXON The Man Who Saved the Union (Part 3) A Fire, The Court, and Cambodia


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This episode opens at the dawn of the environmental movement in America. It may come as a surprise to you that Richard Nixon is considered second only to Theodore Roosevelt as the greenest of all our Presidents. Several historians consider Nixon's environmental record his second biggest achievement.
Nixon's secret to success was pretty simple.
He found good people and then let them run the ball down the field. As they have often noted he had little interest in the issue, and was not an expert in it, so he found those who were experts in it and then he supported their efforts. He founded the Environmental Protection Agency, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the list goes on and on. Richard Nixon really set a high bar for commonsense approaches to environmental issues. Something we could all learn from today.
Richard Nixon also had an enormously rare opportunity to appoint four Supreme Court Justices including picking the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Here you will hear him discuss this enormous opportunity to shape the laws of our land he was given and the two other appointments he made that ended in failure too. It was a fascinating look at a rare opportunity for any President.
Finally, Richard Nixon makes some very difficult decisions about how to deal with North Vietnamese supply chains running through neighboring neutral Cambodia. Nixon finally decides to go after the Ho Chi Minh Trail and cut those supply routes in what was arguably the most controversial decision of the Vietnam War. He would cross the border and order military operations in Cambodia. It would be one of the most effective decisions of the war but lead to upheaval here at home.

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