Friday, October 17, 2014

The honorable Nixon put his country before himself

There is no doubt he made mistakes, as most people make them.  The biggest of which, as you probably know from your study of history, was the Watergate scandal that lead to his becoming the first president to resign the office of the President of the United States. Yet scandals and politics aside, Richard M. Nixon was one of the classiest presidents we ever had.

I know I am in the minority with this view, but I think it's important to be honest about the men we allowed to lead our great nation; to let the facts speak for themselves.  I will also be doing this with other presidents, both on the right and on the left.

To put it bluntly, Nixon was set up nicely to win the Presidential election of 1960, and it wasn't even supposed to be close.  He was very well known, and was vice president for eight years under a very popular Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was going up against John F. Kennedy, who, at 43, had been a U.S. Senator since 1953.  Nixon clearly had Kennedy beat both in experience and popularity.

What the Nixon team did not bargain for, and therefore probably didn't even prepare for, was this new thing called television. You see, many consider the first televised debate, the one where the aging Nixon was sweating profusely and Kennedy look cool, calm and collect, and one of the turning points in American presidential campaigns.  Some say it was that debate, more so than any other reason, that allowed Kennedy to squeak out a victory over Nixon.

As anyone who was alive at the time would tell you, if you wanted to see the final results of this election you had to stay up late, very late, into the night.  Yet in the end, Kennedy won by one of the slimmest margins in presidential history.

In fact, it was so close that many experts believe he could easily have made the case that the election was fraudulent in both west Virginia and Chicago, Cook County. He could have fought it -- like Al Gore would later do-- but he didn't want to take the country down that path.  He sat on the sword for his country.

When he was being impeached, he could have hung in there and caused a lot of trouble, and he might even have won.  But he didn't.  He bit his pride, and he sat on the sword once again because he didn't want to take the country through that.

We don't have people like that today. Today many politicians put themselves, and their political aspirations and agendas, before their Constitution and Country.  If necessary, they would drag their nation down with them.

Not Nixon.  He fell for his country; he fell right on the sword and he did it proudly.

In a recent column, "Nixon- Before Watergate," Patrick Buchanan reminds us of the accomplishments of Nixon before he fell on the sword.  He said:
Once again, aging liberals will walk the children through the tale of that triumph of American democracy when they helped to save our republic from the greatest menace to the Constitution in all of history.
Yet Nixon was more liberal than most liberals would care to admit, and he did have quite a few accomplishments, such as winning a 49 of 50 states landslide victory, ending the Vietnam war with honor, and ending the draft.

A trial may also have found Mr. Nixon to be innocent of all charges against him.  Regardless, his fall is a quintessential example of what can happen when the American media uses its natural right to be the watchdogs for the American people. It's also a quintessential example of the classy man that Richard M. Nixon was.