March 01, 2013

Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon

Nixon and Kissinger were a rare breed of strong-minded leaders who understood history and how the world works. Can you imagine Nixon starting an unnecessary war against an Arab dictator without having heard of the difference between Sunnis and Shiites like the idiotic George W. did? Can you see Richard Nixon talking about Syria the way the ignorant Hillary Clinton recently did, with no knowledge beyond a tenth-grade world history? (She keeps repeating the very slogans that have plunged us in the mess we are in today, slogans about democracy and equal rights, slogans that are as alien to Arabs as gay marriage and gay rights are to bush tribesmen in the Transvaal.)

Pat Buchanan recently wrote about Nixon’s centennial in The American Conservative. He finished by quoting Nick Carraway’s words to Gatsby: “They’re a rotten crowd….You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Just look at Nixon’s enemies. Most of them were rich and left-leaning without a scintilla of understanding of what being poor really means. Nixon was born in a house his father built with his hands, served honorably in the Navy during the war, and became a hero to Americans by 1948 when he was so popular in California the Democratic Party did not field a candidate against him. In 1950 he captured a Senate seat with the largest majority in that state’s history.

After his resignation over Watergate—which was basically a coup by the Washington establishment that loathed and feared Nixon for refusing to play ball with it—Nixon found himself with something like $500 in the bank. Unlike Clinton and Blair, who have made tens if not hundreds of millions by sucking up to shady billionaires, Nixon wrote books to keep the wolf from the door. The critics tried their best to ignore him, but his ideas and political nous were too much for their pettiness and ignorance.

I dined with him often, in his house in New Jersey and at some New York restaurants. His grasp of politics was amazing. He gave speeches without notes and without a second of hesitation. What people forget is that Nixon was a determined advocate for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 as well as a trusted ally of Martin Luther King. Lowlifes such as the Clintons refer to King as if he were a saint because they pander to black votes. Nixon was backing King when Bobby Kennedy was chasing communists in Hollywood, long before the sexually voracious Reverend King had become the goût du jour.

Have a happy 100th birthday Mr. President, up there where you belong and are.



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