Politics are the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action, the conduct of decision-making for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political science is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections, public opinion, institutional activities (how legislatures act, the relative importance of various sources of political power), the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.
Richard Nixon (1913–94) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He graduated from Whittier College in 1934 and Duke University School of Law in 1937, returning to California to practice law. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and to the Senate in 1950. He served for eight years as vice president, from 1953 to 1961, and waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy. In 1968, Nixon ran again for president and was elected. He initially escalated the Vietnam War, but ended US involvement in 1973. Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened diplomatic relations between the two nations. Though he presided over Apollo 11, he scaled back manned space exploration. He was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. A series of revelations in the Watergate scandal cost Nixon much of his political support in his second term, and on August 9, 1974, he resigned as president. In retirement, Nixon's work as an elder statesman, authoring several books and undertaking many foreign trips, helped to rehabilitate his public image.
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