Nixon was very much of a mixed bag from the Republican point of view. One thing he pushed for was the Value Added Tax (VAT), which I would strongly oppose today. He was ready to push that on us ALONG WITH the income tax, which would have met that we would more like Europe today, if he had gotten that through.
He also instituted wage and price controls, which was very much against free market Republican principles. As would be expected, they didn’t work. Instead companies had to make reports to the government about their pricing policies which added layers of unproductive work. I know because I was a cost accountant at the time working for a large chemical company. The added work load was onerous.
Nixon continued and widened the Vietnam War. I know that this is an area where most conservatives disagree with me, but it was a non-productive move. I opposed the war for “the wrong reasons.” Vietnam was not where our strategic interests lay. Our main concerns should have been in Western Europe. Vietnam was not and would not become part of the Communist Chinese monolith. The Vietnamese and the Chinese never got along, and that has continued to this day. The current “Trump Doctrine” is to avoid long pointless wars, like Vietnam.
Nixon was a complex man. He was extremely intelligent, and he took great pride in his expertise in foreign policy. At the same time, he was extremely paranoid, which brought down his presidency. He also seemed to have a sort of inferiority complex, which kept him constantly on the defensive.
Republicans could never understand why Watergate happened. Nixon had the 1972 presidential race in the bag. He had the natural advantages that incumbent presidents have. He was also running against one of the weakest candidates the Democrats could have picked.
McGovern was the first, far left extremist Democrat to win the nomination. His campaign was poorly organized and completely disjointed. It started by choosing Thomas Eagleton for vice president and went downhill from there.
McGovern staffers could not plan an event without screwing it up. The fact that McGovern gave his acceptance speech at 3 AM in the morning was an indication of things to come. It was a preview of what a McGovern presidency would have been. He was a weak candidate, but as a Democrat, I could not fully see it at the time.
Why did Nixon feel compelled to burglarize the Democrat headquarters? Why did Nixon cover it up? It all went back to his paranoid nature.