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The legacy of Dick Nixon is not a very pretty one. There are plenty of people out there who still hold something of a grudge against old Tricky Dick. It has something to do with him undermining the political process and betraying the trust of the American people. Seems bad, right? And while that was some decades ago, there seem to be plenty of aging liberals who still get a rage-boner at the mere thought of Nixon and his shifty, weasely eyes.
So yes, there was a time back in the day when Dick Nixon pulled some pretty sneaky shit that might have raised an eyebrow from even the most ethically bankrupt politicians.
Did he bomb Cambodia and escalate the Vietnam War without telling anybody?
Were there some scandalous accusations about his use of campaign funds during his time as a vice presidential candidate?
You could say that.
Did he condone an illegal break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel in order to cheat his way into gaining political advantage?
And while all of these things appear to be damning evidence that the man was a complete piece of shit and deserves little to no sympathy, I say otherwise. Yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon, and while there are plenty of hippies who celebrate this day by dropping acid and reminiscing about the time they saw Hendrix at Woodstock, I say it is an apt time to reexamine the twisted mind of Richard Nixon. Here are a few reasons why Dick wasn’t so bad after all.
NIXON HATED COMMIES
Every decent American hates the idea of communism, partly because it runs counter to everything that is great about America, and partly because the thought of freezing your ass off in Soviet Russia with a bottle of potato vodka and pot of goulash seems really unappealing. Well, nobody hated those communist bastards quite like Nixon. In 1960, Nixon wrote a paper entitled “The Meaning of Communism to Americans.” In the paper, he tells us very plainly that communism “denies God, enslaves men, and destroys justice.” Well said, sir.
But wait! Didn’t Nixon open up diplomatic relations with communist China during his presidency? You may have realized this and are excitedly describing how this blows a huge hole in the Nixon-hated-those-fucking-communists argument. Well, reconsider that line of thought.
It’s called taking one for the team. You think poor Rich enjoyed visiting that socialist hell hole that reeked of piss and rampant child slavery? Fuck no he didn’t! I’m convinced the man put on his best game face, pretended to give a shit about ping pong, and secretly wished he was back in the land of the free sipping scotch and getting ready to tee off with Arnold Palmer.
Like any good leader, Nixon knew how to suck it up and do what was best for his people. The man knew that America would be better off with a constant stream of cheap iPhones, assembled at the hands of Chinese toddlers. So thank you Richard, for making the toys in our McDonalds Happy Meals possible.
NIXON OVERSAW THE MOON LANDING
It was originally JFK who said that America would send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. At the time, America was in something of a competition with the Soviet Union. You might have heard about it. In true form, America had to prove that anything the Soviets could do, we could do twenty times better.
“You put a man in space? Oh yeah? Well go blow it out your ass! We are going to put a motherfucker on the moon! Maybe once they get there, they’ll play a round of golf, because fuck it, why not?”
Kennedy made this pledge back in 1961 when he was really getting excited with this whole “being the president” thing. Unfortunately that didn’t turn out so great for ole Johnny. He had something of a bad car ride in Texas several years later, and ended up surrendering the presidency prematurely. Needless to say, the task to land on the moon fell to policy makers like Lyndon Johnson, and eventually, Nixon.
Keep in mind, Nixon did not personally oversee the Apollo 11 project. There were countless agencies, scientists and astronauts who made that possible. However, Nixon was the man who ultimately approved the NASA space shuttle program and ensured that America would become a regular visitor to the moon. And when Neil and Buzz made that original landing in 1969, Nixon made sure he was one of the first to congratulate them. He made a call from his office saying it might be “the most historic phone call ever made from the White House.”
Our flag stood at attention on the moon, the astronauts got home safely, and America effectively told the fucking communists that they could kiss our red, white and blue asses.
NIXON KEPT AMERICA BEAUTIFUL
It can be generally agreed that protecting America and all her natural beauty is a noble cause. It is a cause that was originally supported by the great Theodore Roosevelt. Good ole Teddy actually suspended campaign tours just so he could go camping in some of America’s greatest National Parks. TFM.
Roosevelt doubled the number of American National Parks, and made it a mission to ensure that the natural beauty of America would be there for future generations.
Nixon, in similar fashion, took strides to protect America the beautiful. Now, while this man wanted to protect the environment, he was smart enough to know that eating granola and sitting in a drum circle would never accomplish a fucking thing. Nixon kicked off the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act of 1970, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as well as founding the Environmental Protection Agency.
Nixon managed to protect the environment more than any pussy liberal before him. And he did it all while wearing a suit and having a sensible haircut. Suck on that you dirty hippies!
NIXON BROUGHT THE TROOPS HOME
Tricky Dick inherited the Vietnam War as soon as he took office, and by this time it was something of a cluster fuck. Nixon knew that America needed its troop’s home, and he would eventually be the man who put an end to offensive action in Vietnam.
What happened is this: Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, secretly negotiated peace agreements in October of 1972. The president of North Vietnam, however, was not satisfied with some of the details of the peace agreement. The North Vietnamese published the details of the peace talk and effectively blew what was supposed to be a discrete agreement.
Well, Nixon wasn’t too happy about this. I think his exact words were: “What a fucking dick…”
The proper measures were taken and Nixon ordered the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong in December. This major military offensive was named, and I shit you not, Operation Linebacker II. The assumption is that the name “Operation Linebacker” was so fucking cool that they had to use the name twice.
A month later the enemy quit their bitching. The troops came home and America was better for it. Nixon had seen that there was peace.
THE BAD NEWS
The man really did accomplish some great things. During his presidency he managed to decrease unemployment and slow down inflation. Even his political opponents had to admit that the man was pretty damn smart. As a matter of fact, Richard Nixon had an IQ of 155, the fourth highest IQ of all American Presidents.
Sadly, the man shot himself in the foot with that whole Watergate Scandal. The break in at the DNC national headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in 1972 was disrupted, and the ensuing coverup by the Nixon administration only made things worse. This all lead to Nixon resigning the presidency in 1974, and he was the first president to ever do so.
During his resignation speech, Dick Nixon shared his thoughts by quoting Theodore Roosevelt when he referred to the man in the arena:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I for one will defend old Tricky Dick. He truly did what he thought was best for America. His accomplishments can be seen to this day, and yet, he was a man with some serious demons. They were vindictive, self-conflicted demons that would eventually drag him down, and still, if he was going down, he was going down swinging.
I leave you with a few real-life TFM’s from Richard Nixon: