The use of terror in governance has been elaborated in Rubenstein’s analysis of Nixon’s presidency. In the 20th century, many leaders focused on terrifying their subjects through forceful administration, making them compliant with overly inhuman procedures. Nixon rose to leadership during such a time and followed the patterns laid out by the former leaders. According to Rubenstein, Nixon’s governance can be described as overly totalitarian.
Misuse of power is demonstrated through leaders’ approach to their subject, their opponents, and supporters. In the case of President Nixon, Rubenstein shows how a lack of control and effective leadership structures intensified the political differences between the ruling party and the opposition. From the start of his tenure, Nixon demonstrated zero tolerance for opposition from within and outside the country, proving Weber’s argument on terror-guided leadership paradigms and socio-political stability.
Rubenstein uses the Watergate scandal, which implicated national government personnel and the Republican Party, to throw light on Nixon’s bureaucracy. In light of Nixon’s techniques for resolving the Watergate scandal, he exemplifies Weber’s theory of bureaucracy. The Democratic Party’s official headquarters was destroyed during the Watergate scandal before the general elections.
According to investigations, the destruction was undertaken by retired federal officials who spied on the Democrats by accessing their confidential files and listening in on their talks as the elections approached. When investigators questioned Nixon about his role in the incident, he denied his involvement in the group that organized the experience.
President Nixon defused the claims against him by blocking the disclosure of the tapes from the incident. Rubenstein argues that this was a demonstration of Nixon’s willingness to cripple the “independence of the legislative branch. Evidently, Weber’s theory is proved through Nixon’s misuse of power to silence critics and limit democratic expression.
Following its resemblance to the rulings of other sovereign countries, President Nixon’s administration could be described as authoritarian. He rendered his reign uncertain and unpleasant, and he wanted to instill a sense of enmity among other monarchs. Owing to his unstable and antagonistic rule, he expected other nations to treat America with honor and, more significantly, terror.
Nixon’s techniques for dealing with crises such as the Watergate scandal might be related to the madman theory because sociologists and critics around the world opposed his methods. Rubenstein further shows how Nixon used terror to rule by subjecting individuals whose ideologies differed from his to torture for no legal reason.
The US government is an exemplar of a bureaucratic system made up of well-organized, decisive, and permanent offices. Rubenstein notes that the revenue authority, CIA, FBI, and other regulatory bodies have been used to terrorize Americans, subjecting them to forced compliance. Weber’s bureaucracy theory describes a clear chain of command that runs from top to bottom to achieve organizational goals.
This has been the case in America from Nixon’s presidency to the current leadership. While comparing Nixon’s style to the Germans, Rubenstein notes that in each case, those punished had done no more than “exercise their political rights.” Following the historical records, Nixon’s leadership was not derived from personal failures but from the system that supported bureaucratic governance. Therefore, any president in Nixon’s position would have done the same thing, following Weber’s theory.