Friday, August 08, 2014

40 Years Ago, Nixon Waved Goodbye

August 8th, 1974: President Richard Nixon resigns.

The crime: knowing who ran America but thinking that by being president, it meant he could change it.

The media did their job perfectly because 35 years later, so many Americans are blind to his work in office because of the performance art that was the Watergate scandal.

I promise a real Watergate post Monday.


Anonymous said...

Knowing next to nothing about Nixon beyond the usual narrative (I'm 28), and having enjoyed reading the "@dick_nixon" twitter feed so much, I picked up a $.01 + shipping copy of Nixon's memoirs from Amazon.

I tore through the 1200 pages in a week, completely captivated. What a man -- an actual leader.

I used to say that "Pat Buchanan was our last chance". I think I'll need to change that. Nixon was our last chance. Pat knows and understands what is going to happen, but I don't think he had the personal capacity to turn the ship around.

Nixon had both the understanding and the personal capacity to effect change.

But, the bastards still got him.

So all we can do is toast to President Nixon while we sit tight and await the coming Caesarism.

peterike said...

"Performance art" is a great way to put it. And indeed, while the media had certainly been covertly Left for decades before Watergate and stuffed to the gills with Communists (as it still is, only they're called Progressives now), it was Watergate I think that shifted the media to blatant support of Democrats and the Left. They weren't even pretending any longer.

Well looking forward to the full Watergate post.

peterike said...

Nixon had both the understanding and the personal capacity to effect change.

Nixon did a lot of damage domestically. If he hadn't been demonized because of his early anti-Communism, he'd be a Liberal hero. He saddled us with the EPA -- granted, needed to some extent at the time, but it's become a nightmare. And even worse, OSHA. Then there were price controls. He pushed to grow government health care and started up the "War on Drugs." He started the first Federal affirmative action plan.

In the long view, the opening to China has also been disastrous. We should have just let them keep rotting away in their Communist mire.

There's more. In fact, Nixon was an extremely successful Liberal President, but the Left is utterly unforgiving. I think Nixon did all that Liberal stuff to try and curry favor with the press and the intellectuals -- so typical of Republicans with weak egos. Naturally, they thanked him by eating him alive.

Toddy Cat said...

it was Watergate I think that shifted the media to blatant support of Democrats and the Left. They weren't even pretending any longer. "

I lived through Watergate, and I can vouch for this. It was almost a day by day process. In addition, by 1975, the media were flat-out rooting for the Commies in Vietnam. It was sickening, and it happened in the space of a few years.

Portlander said...

Funny that just yesterday I read Pat Buchanan's send-off to Nixon over at Unz.

His list of Nixon's accomplishments sounds impressive at first, but at the same time, they are not conservative: EPA, OSHA, nix the gold standard, Federal school deseg.

For 20 years the dig on Nixon from the right was that he was one of the most liberal Presidents we ever had. He was conservative only relative to the despicable types of FDR and LBJ. As much as the press and Democrats hated him, it was not because he was a conservative. He was a statist just like the rest of them, and their complaint boiled down to he won and they lost.

Maybe it speaks to how liberal the country had become in the late 60's and 70's, but I am surprised, and frankly confused, by all the neo-Nixon appreciation going on.

To my own mind, I'm not sure he would have changed the course of the country any more than Reagan did. I think a societal hubris took hold in the 60's and its been an accelerating descent ever since. Arguably Reagan made things worse by preventing the Boomers from truly hitting bottom with their recklessness.

As it is now, all-out demographic assault of the last 15 years is the end of the end. Once they let in 20 million latinos and another 20 million from the rest of the world, the situation can't be salvaged. By analogy, the upper mid-west was never salvaged after the Great Migration that resulted from the Great Flood of 1927. To this day, Detroit and Gary are ruins, and Chicago and Cincinnati are basket-cases looking set to repeat the folly.

nikcrit said...


The infamous 'resignation speech' is perhaps my first television memory; I recall playing baseball catch in the front yard with a friend and my visiting great-Aunt calling us into the house for the 'big moment.'

Yes, some in my immediate family considered the speech a great historic moment to anticipate ----- and, yes, no tears were shed.

But, hey, I was a damn-near pre-schooler at the time! WTF could I do re. that lib-schadenfreude tableaux??!!! lolzzz

Son of Brock Landers said...

I appreciate his foreign policy work. He also saw the decline and knew the enemy or "cabal" as he put it. He had his faults but the man was ahead of his peers in grasping the changing nature of politics, tv, and voting blocs.

Oh God was his expansion of govt liberal but you work with the congress you have and pick and choose battles. Comments on the media changing and openly going left around then are so right. We're going down, and I like to say post-68 America because something broke horribly in the 60s but no one really comes clean because they are the ones in charge.

Anonymous said...

His "liberal" government expansion efforts, I think, can be mitigated by two factors:

1) The man was a consummate politician: in some way, shape, or form, these were actionable items that a decent number of people were supportive of.

2) Via "Fourth Turning" theory, these expansion came at the tail end of a period of American unity. Nixon's formative years were post-WW2 "can-do!"America. Bureaucracy and government programs *can* be somewhat successful, provided you have a more-or-less unified (and homogenous) majority in support of such efforts.

Moreover, leaving aside extreme Libertarian notions, it's entirely within the conservative (or NrX!) philosophical sphere to acknowledge a state interest in, and authority enforcement of, things like environmental conservation or protection of workers. In an of themselves, these notions do not necessarily lead to a horrifying faceless bureaucracy. That they, in fact, did lead to horrifying faceless bureaucracies -- the same horrifying faceless bureaucracies that helped do-in Nixon -- shows the rot of the system, not of the man.

And with regards to China -- one thing that was implicitly emphasized in his memoirs was tactics & strategy. You don't show up at the card table with half-a-hand (see: Kerry).

A major reason for opening up China was to have third pole in negotiations with the Soviets -- one the Soviets were TERRIFIED of. "Brezhnev, we really need to talk about strategic arms limitation. Oh, yes, and by the way we're working on opening relations with half-a-billion people just south of your Siberian prison-wasteland. . . "

peterike said...

Yo yo yo, Nixen be lookin' just like diddy