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|Thunder on the Right - June 2011|
THUNDER ON THE RIGHT
By Paul Jackson
The last snowstorm of winter swept across the Canadian prairies in May—yup, even in May—so on that night of despair I picked up my much-fingered copy of Conrad Black’s mammoth book Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full and gave it yet another deep read of a politician and president so unjustly maligned.
Black’s assessment is - despite the absurdity of the Watergate break-in – and while Nixon was at sometimes neurotic and at times tawdry - he was a top-notch leader. I fully agree - and if you are looking at a president who actually won the world award for being tawdry look at Bill Clinton.
In his work, and in a recent newspaper column, Black, a man I admire greatly - who also penned the best work ever done on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, notes Nixon received little credit for helping to promote the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the World War Two, and also “pulled the rug” from under the red-baiting fanaticism of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Coincidentally, Nixon’s exposure of Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent of influence - now fully admitted by Moscow as its man - brought Nixon the enmity of the so-called Liberal-Left for the rest of his life.
In an act of great nobility, when he lost the 1960 election to John F. Kennedy by just 9,000 votes in Illinois, the most corrupt political state in America, Nixon rejected advice to challenge the result on the basis to do so “would tear apart the nation.” As Black notes, to this day some of those suspicious ballot boxes are still missing.
When Nixon finally took office, there were a reluctant 500,000 draftees in Vietnam, and the bodies of hundreds of dead Americans returning in body bags every week. This awful legacy of Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson dumped into his lap, Nixon fought day-in, and day-out to end the war. Those who contend Nixon didn’t end America’s involvement soon enough should reflect he was thwarted all the way by both the Soviet Union and Communist China, and Nixon was determined not to throw millions of innocent South Vietnamese into North Vietnam regime death camps.
Black reminds us that Nixon ended school segregation, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, and with SALT 1 signed the greatest arms control agreement in history to that date - until President Ronald Reagan forced the Soviet Union to capitulate - opened the door to China, and started ending the draft. Plus much, much more. He even pondered a project of a ‘guaranteed annual income for all Americans’, that would have been enough for an average family to live on, but not a reluctance to work, and also cutting out a vast bureaucracy of other social welfare programs on which the utterly lazy feed on.
Nixon’s list of achievements go on and on - but the irrational hatred for him by the fraudulent Liberal-Left media continues to tarnish his image and his accomplishments.
As for Watergate, Nixon knew nothing about the break-in until after it occurred, and was only culpable in foolishly, due to misguided loyalty, trying to cover up those who ordered and committed the irrational crime.