Throughout history, many people have influenced different aspects of humanities. Richard Milhous Nixon served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. Fidel Castro was the Cuban President from 1987 to 2008. Just like Nixon, he went through experiences that shaped his political career and informed the decision to join politics. Therefore, the paper compares and contrasts Nixon and Fidel Castro. The paper argues that their backgrounds and experiences influenced their experiences and contributions in politics. However, Nixon used diplomacy while Fidel Castro used radical means to create change.
Although Nixon and Fidel both attended college and used their college experiences to shape their political careers, Nixon came from a poor background. He was born on 9th January 1913. (Bew, 2014) California, United States of America. His mother and father were Hannah Nixon and Francis Nixon respectively. His parents moved to Whittier where they had a grocery store. When he was schooling at Whittier high school, he would go with the family truck to purchase vegetables. He would wash them and display them before going to school. Although he was offered a tuition grant to attend Harvard School, he declined the opportunity because it was expensive for him and most of the family funds were spent in taking care of his sickling elder brother. Therefore, he chose to attend Whittier College with financial support from his maternal grandmother. Here, he became a championed debater and founded the Orthogonian Society (Bew, 2014). After he graduated, he received a scholarship to study law from the Duke University and was elected as the President of the Duke Bar Association.
On the other hand, Fidel was born on 13th August 1926. He was a child born out of wedlock. His father was had acquired wealth through growing sugarcane in Oriented Province, and Biran. Fidel’s mother was his father’s household maid. He attended a boarding school in Santiago. Then, he went to a private school after being regularly suspended for misbehavior. In 1945, he was transferred again to another prestigious school. However, during this time, he did not excel in school work. Instead, he was active in sports.
Nevertheless, he joined the University of Havana to study law in 1945. Here, he involved himself in student activism. He pushed for anti-imperialism policies and opposed the intervention policies by the USA regarding the Caribbean. Furthermore, he criticized the government for failing to end violence and corruption. At some point, in 1946, he openly delivered a speech against the President. The socio-economical background of Nixon and Fidel reflect their political methods in their future in politics. While Nixon was a well-behaved child who used his extra time to help his parents, Fidel came from a wealthy background. His actions while in University show his love for rebellion.
Nixon contributed to his country by helping it uncover and confirm that there is a spy in the government. In 1954, there was an urgent need for a strong candidate against Jerry Voorhis from the Democratic Party. Herman Perry recommended Nixon to the Republican committee. He had known Nixon while he was in the management at Whittier College. At that time, Nixon was in the navy. He left and moved to California. He embarked on a vibrant campaign.
Consequently, He won the Southern California District Seat. He gained public attention in 1948 during the Hiss spy scandal. Nixon believed that Hiss, a former State Department Official was a spy. Therefore, he investigated the role of the committee on Alder Hiss Spy Case (Bew, 2014). He managed to get access to documentaries and films which were claimed to be accessible by only Alder Hiss.
Consequently, he was considered to be a national hero. In 1950, he became a senator. He championed for anti-communist ideologies. He was elected as a running mate in 1952 and later vied as president in 1969 (Bew, 2014). He became the president and was re-elected 1972 (Bew, 2014).
On the other hand, Fidel Castro contributed to the country through practicing law to challenge the status quo and advocating for revolutionary ideas through warfare, military, and propaganda efforts. He joined the Cuban people’s Party which supported the end of corruption and violence which had continued because of lack of effectiveness by the Fulgencio Batista. In 1948, Fidel traveled to Columbia as the leader of a student group in the university. Juan Peron sponsored the trip. The latter was the President of Argentina. During Fidel’s stay in Argentina, Gorge Eliece Gaitan Ayana was assassinated.
Consequently, clashes between the government army and leftist liberals. Fidel joined the liberal lefts by using a gun he stole from a police station. After the end of the clashes, he returned to Cuba where he continued to use the violent protest to oppose government actions like the increase in bus fares. The findings on the contributions of Fidel and Nixon shows that they were both revolutionary leaders. However, it seems that Nixon implemented his revolutionary ideas using diplomatic means while Fidel Castro implemented his ideas using radical and violent methods.
While Both Nixon and Fidel had revolutionary ideas to create change, Richard joined politics because of the influence of other people while Fidel willingly joined politics fight violence and corruption generated by the Batista government. Nixon was a revolutionary leader because he always provided effective alternative ways to solve problems. For example, when he joined politics as the representative of the Southern California District, the Alger Hiss Spy Case was almost falling apart because of lack of sufficient evidence. Nixon got exclusive access to the latter’s films and documentaries and confirmed that Hiss was a spy. Consequently, Hiss was convicted of Perjury (Bew, 2014).
On the other hand, Fidel got recognition by challenging the dictatorial rule of the sitting government. The contributions of Nixon and Fidel, although different, shows that after joining politics, one has to work even harder to maintain relevance in the public sphere. For Nixon, he participated in debates and led committees into solving national problems. For Fidel, he joined oppressed people in fighting against dictatorial rules.
In conclusion, Nixon and Fidel contributed to the field of humanities by shaping the political events of their respective countries. However, there are differences based on their socio-economical background and introduction to politics. Nixon came from a low-income family. His elder brother was sickling hence most of the family finances catered for the latter’s treatment. He had to attend school only after going to the market to pick vegetables for sale. He declined scholarship from Harvard because it was expensive. He attended Whittier College using financial support from his grandmother.
On the other hand, Fidel Castro’s father was wealthy. He attended private high school and colleges. Despite the different backgrounds, both of them joined politics and contributed through their revolutionary ideas hence making the garner public support. Nixon is relevant to the contemporary society because his achievement shows the importance of diplomacy in solving political issues and the need for diligence in recruitment to ensure that the people working for our country have the best interest. Fidel is relevant today because he shows the effectiveness of alternative political strategies when diplomacy fails.
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