Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

A Remarkable 37th President


AA - Nixon 37BY ALAN CARUBA

Forty years ago, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned the office of President; the first and only President to do so.

I was just into my thirties in 1968, the year Richard Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States. What I recall most of that year was the way the Chicago police, after enduring an onslaught of name-calling and insults from anti-war protesters aggressively drove them away from their effort to disrupt the Democratic Party convention that would nominate Hubert Humphrey.

His opponent would be Nixon. George Wallace, a segregationist, ran as an independent that year as well. I wasn’t particularly interested in politics at the time. My focus was on my career where I had transitioned from having been a journalist to positions with the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Looking back, I now know I should have been paying more attention because, in the end, whoever is President affects the lives of not just Americans, but others throughout the world.

Like millions of Americans I had turned against the Vietnam War and, in a seminal way, it would influence my movement toward conservatism. For many people Nixon was instrumental, not just in rejuvenating the Republican Party, but for giving a voice to the “silent majority” who didn’t like the war in general and Lyndon Baines Johnson in particular. In 1968, LBJ announced he would not seek reelection.

Cover - Greatest ComebackIn the years since the Watergate scandal whose cover-up forced Nixon to resign in 1974, subsequent generations know him only for that historic event. Patrick J. Buchanan has done us all a favor by writing “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority.” ($34.00, Crown Publishing) and it is a special treat for anyone who loves history in general and politics in particular.

As much as today’s media may have loved Obama when he was nominated the Democratic Party’s candidate, in Nixon’s day he was loathed by them for his strong anti-communist stance when he served in the House of Representatives and Senate, and thereafter throughout the Cold War. After having been Eisenhower’s Vice President for two terms, Nixon would lose to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and in a race to become the Governor of California in 1962. Few would have ever imagined that he would be elected President in 1968. In 1972 he was reelected in a landslide.

Labeled by his political enemies “Tricky Dick”, Nixon was a politician of prodigious talent, but mostly he was a man who, through sheer determination overcame defeat, revived the Republican Party, and, while devoted to conservative principles, was also pragmatic enough to be open to new ideas and events. His circle of advisors shared his principles, but diverged among each other as to tactics and issues. Nixon wanted that. He would choose what advice he thought best.

Buchanan was a member of Nixon’s inner circle, a writer of superb talent and one with a keen eye for the political times in which he lived and which Nixon would shape. As he notes in his book, “The years that followed that 1969 inaugural would be a time of extraordinary accomplishment. By the spring of 1973, all U.S. troops were out of Vietnam, the POWs were home, every provincial capital was in Saigon’s (South Vietnam) hands.”

“Nixon had negotiated SALT I and the ABM treaty, the greatest arms-limitation treaties since the Washington Naval Agreement” in 1922. Significantly, “he had ended decades of hostility between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, dating to Mao’s revolution and the Korean War. He had put an end to the draft, signed into law the eighteen-year-old vote, put four justices on the Supreme Court including Chief Justice Warren Burger and future chief justice William Rehnquist.”

Those of us who lament Big Government must acknowledge that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the plus side the National Cancer Institute. He would “rescue Israel from defeat in the Yom Kippur War (and) end Soviet domination of Egypt.”

What I recall about the 1960s was how volatile and violent that decade was. There were riots in many of our largest cities which engendered Nixon’s “law and order” message that was widely embraced. There were anti-war protests and there were assassinations that took the lives of JFK, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The greatest contrast between now and then is a general feeling of apathy that does not manifest itself in marches on Washington, D.C. anymore and a very distinct breakdown in social mores that includes the embrace of same-sex marriage and the push to legalize marijuana in some states.

The al Qaeda attack on 9/11 generated a massive intelligence program and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. It made Americans angry enough at first to endorse the invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq.

Later Americans would watch the chaos the “Arab Spring” and these days the threat of the Islamic State, a self-declared caliphate that intends to control the whole of the Middle East and then destroy Israel and the U.S. The greatest threat of our times is Iran’s intention to build its own nuclear weapons.

Nixon brought about change on the basis of his vast knowledge of history, foreign affairs, and his judgment regarding the American people. By contrast, President Obama does not seem to like the American people or America.


Alan Caruba 2013 150 x 150The Moral Lib­eral Fea­tured Writer, Alan Caruba, writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.An author, busi­ness and sci­ence writer, he is the founder of The National Anx­i­ety Center. Copyright 2014 © Alan Caruba

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Leslie Lynch King, Jr. AKA Gerald Rudolph Ford


gerald fordAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

Gerald Rudolph Ford was the 38th U.S. President.

Born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., on JULY 14, 1913, he was renamed by his stepfather.

He was the only Eagle Scout to be President.

He attended the University of Michigan on a football scholarship, graduated from Yale Law School and served in the Navy during World War II.

Gerald Ford was House Minority Leader until chosen to be Vice-President when Spiro Agnew resigned, then President when Richard Nixon resigned.

He was the only President not elected.

Gerald Ford stated upon assuming the Presidency, August 9, 1974:

“I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers.”

On September 8, 1974, President Ford stated:

“The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens. Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it.

As we are a Nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God.”

In a Proclamation of Prayer, December 5, 1974, President Ford quoted President Eisenhower:

“Without God there could be no American form of government… Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first-the most basic-expression of Americanism.”

At a Southern Methodist University Convocation, September 13, 1975, President Ford stated:

“I see a century…which equips young men and women…to make their own decisions rather than permit their future to be programmed by massive government structures that an imaginative writer foresaw for 1984–a nightmarish fantasy of what our third century could be.

It is my deepest conviction that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have…

Men and women must prevail over the endless agencies and bureaus that would reduce human beings to computerized abstractions and program people into numbers and statistics.

Today’s mounting danger is from mass government…we must not let them prevail…

Never forget that in America our sovereign is the citizen…The state is a servant…It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”

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