Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: Downloads should look similar to the originals…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Downloadable content in PDF and ePUB was designed to be read in a similar format to the original articles.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Rothenberg, A.B. (1975). Why Nixon Taped Himself. Infantile Fantasies Behind Watergate. Psychoanal. Rev., 62(2):201-223.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Review, 62(2):201-223

Why Nixon Taped Himself. Infantile Fantasies Behind Watergate

Alan B. Rothenberg

I.

In the end, Richard M. Nixon was convicted in the public mind by his own admissions on three of his White House tapes of April 23, 1973. Now that his guilt has been tacitly established by his acceptance of President Ford's pardon, the central question that remains unanswered is: Why did this once powerful man jeopardize his own safety in office by ordering electronic devices to record his private, often self-incriminating conversations which, he must have known, would bring his swift downfall if they were ever made public? As indeed they were. Was it the value of the tapes as tax deductions or collectors' items that lured him into ordering the tape recorders turned on for two years in the Oval Office? Was it the value of the tapes as blackmail to insure the loyalty and silence of his fellow conspirators? Such advantages to Mr. Nixon should have seemed petty compared to the enormous price these incriminating tapes would cost him should their existence and nature be discovered.

We must therefore look beyond such rational or mercenary explanations of his behavior if we are to find satisfactory answers to our central question. Psychoanalysis suggests that unconscious, infantile rather than conscious, realistic motives may have propelled Mr. Nixon and his associates into much of their misconduct. We shall turn, then, to psychoanalysis for a more penetrating illumination of some aspects of the worst political scandal in American history.

II.

Despite

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.