In 1972 I was a newly minted voter, chomping at the bit to cast my vote against a man who I thought was the worst human being in the world, Richard Nixon. I volunteered on George McGovern’s campaign and despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, I believed in him and was doing my bit to get the former bomber pilot who was passionately against the war in Viet Nam, elected.
For months before the election, there was a constant drip, drip, drip of news regarding the Watergate break-in. I remember shouting NO! at my car radio when I heard the news in late October that the Justice Department was putting any further hearings on hold until after the election. No one really cared the Nixon campaign seemed to be up to its neck in scandal and cover up. I didn’t know what was wrong with everyone else, I knew in my gut they were a bunch of crooks.
Nixon, of course, won in a Landslide, only Massachusetts and DC went for McGovern. I was as depressed as I’d ever been when shortly after, I boarded a boat and sailed off to Europe for the next nine months. While there though I was the first in the house I shared with several other Americans to get the daily copy of the International Herald Tribune and find out what was happening with what was already being called Watergate.
I returned to the US in early summer 1973. I got a job working at a restaurant in the evenings and spent pretty much every day watching the televised Senate hearings and watched the Nixon Administration slowly collapse from the weight of all the lies and cover-ups. A year later sitting at the bar of the place I worked we watched Nixon address the American people and tell us he was resigning for the good of the country.
Now watching Donald Trump lurch and stumble from one disaster to the next I hear the term “Watergate” and “Nixonian” bandied about on cable news. One thing I can say with complete certainty, Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. Nixon was despite his many flaws and effective leader on the world stage. Many people have no idea that before Nixon opened the door, China was a closed society much like the North Korea of today. Very few people got in and very little news got out. The picture of
The picture of Richard Nixon, the fierce anti-communist, sitting down with Chairman Mao was an extraordinary image. Nixon realized that the health of our planet was in peril and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon came from humble beginnings and growing up during the depression realized the role of government in the everyday lives of the people.
Nixon was also petty and vindictive. One reason that marijuana is a schedule one narcotic is that in the words of the president, “It stirs up the hippies and left-wing Jews”. It came to light just a couple of years ago that Nixon sabotaged the peace talks in 1968 to prolong the war giving him a better chance to win thus costing thousands more American lives in Viet Nam. That alone would have been a reason for impeachment and probably prison. In light of that alone, Nixon was a criminal and was lucky he was able to resign in disgrace to go off and write his memoirs.
Trump does not have the political smarts or cunning to be compared to Richard Nixon.
The Watergate scandal was an elaborate web that slowly came unraveled. What we have been watching since January 20, 2017 has been Donald Trump shooting himself in the foot like Elmer Fudd. Trump’s twitter account is the shotgun he uses to blast himself. His communications department doesn’t have time to let the ink dry on their inept lies before Trump tweets and leaves them looking like Daffy Duck with his bill blown onto the back of his head.
Trump’s fragile ego is the engine that drives his ineptitude. The press is against him, the Intelligence Community is against him and all the not hot women who he rejected are out to get him. His only friends are the members of his inner circle and Fox News. I think the talk of impeachment we are hearing is premature, especially with the republicans in congress still hanging on to Trump’s coattails.
Paul Ryan wants Trump to hang on at least long enough for him to achieve his dreams of screwing the elderly out of their healthcare and directing as much of the country’s wealth to the 1%. Mitch McConnell just wants to dump his toxic coal waste into the rivers in peace. If public anger keeps building and the republican rank and file begin to turn you may see Ryan and McConnell find their spines but that will take time.
Right now it’s almost laughable to watch these far right wing politicians go on TV and defend the Russians. Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave, for that matter so is Richard Nixon, he would be furious to see he’s being compared to the bumbling fool who now sits at his desk in the Oval Office.
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