Saturday, September 06, 2014

Perlstein, Nixon and Watergate

I've been reading a couple of books lately, re-reading Perlsteins' "Nixonland" and concurrently his "Invisible Bridge". Both books are invaluable for understanding what has happened to us as a nation.

There are many reasons to wish a special place in Hell (if there is one) for Nixon and these books will not change that wish. But for forty years Watergate has made no sense to me, there was no reason for it to have happened. A couple of weeks ago the last lose thread was reveled, the only reason that could cause a rational sitting President to commit such a criminal act, the fear of getting caught in the greater criminal act of treason.  As has been suspected Nixon committed treason by interfering with the 1968 Paris Peace talks, directly leading to the deaths of almost 30,000 US troops. His sabotage of the talks was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. While I could be wrong, Nixon's fear that the Democrats had that confirmation was what led to the break in of the Watergate and the bugging of the offices.

Of course it could be just as simple as Nixon had no moral compass, which was also true, just remember the Southern Strategy.  Without Nixon the racists would have had no place to go other than Wallace and with out the power of one of the major political parties may have faded away.

Bottom line we are living in Nixon's world, 40 years later we are still paying the price and I expect will be for many more years. My only hope is once my cohorts have died out we as a nation can escape Nixonland.  


  1. I'm not very political - I don't even vote - but I think Nixon was a disgraceful and a dishonorable president.I think Clinton was one also. But I don't vote and I stand on the sidelines and just watch the side show.

  2. Ralph,

    I trained as a Political-Economist and of course never used any part of it to make my way in the world. I expect the world was a better place as a result :-).


  3. Anonymous2:00 AM

    Random Nixon/Watergate comments...
    I have heard from a few people who have plowed through the few thousands of hours of Nixon tapes that not once does the subject slant towards what's best for the country when any issue is discussed. What was best for the country was never considered, debated or even thought of.
    I have concluded that well before Watergate the only purpose of the Nixon administration was to further Richard Nixon. The constitution, the law, the basic notion of democracy be damned. The Nixon administration was a criminal organization at it's very heart and rotten soul.

  4. Chuck,

    Nixon's mainstreaming of misdirected hate and anger changed this country. For that alone he should rot in hell, add in the disregard of lives and the lawlessness of his administration, and in a just world he would have spent the rest of his life sharing a small cell with LeRoy. Ford was a man of limited ability and it showed in the pardon, maybe we would be a better country today if Nixon had stood in the dock.