Nearly 44 years after his resignation, I found myself contemplating the much-maligned Richard Milhous Nixon and his political demise. Inevitably, the behaviors of William Jefferson Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama came to mind. Comparing and contrasting the men came about because of one word – honor – as summed up by one Nixonian phrase: “...what was best for the nation.”
In his resignation speech, President Nixon uttered concern for the best interests of America eight times
. He wanted to continue his personal fight, but he understood that what was best personally would prove injurious for the nation.
Honor – it is perhaps an antiquated concept. Where President Nixon showed concern about the nation until the end, President Bill Clinton did what he did best: he fought for his personal survival. With impeachment imminent, he chose to downplay his own degenerate behavior. When the US Senate refused to remove the impeached president from office for lying under oath (for the purpose of denying a wronged citizen her right to her day in court), the national interest seemed far from Clinton’s mind. His own party accused those who sought law and order of putting our nation at risk.
Apparently, to self-interested partisans, enforcing laws and heeding provisions of the Constitution can be risky options.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger cautioned Nixon that a long, drawn-out impeachment battle could embolden our enemies and harm American interests worldwide. Clinton held no such concerns.
Having grown up without a father, Clinton always seemed to feel the need to acquire the approval of others. He had an emotional hole to fill in his soul. He also once stated that he never knew anyone with a better moral compass than his wife, Hillary. Let that sink in.
Nixon rose to national prominence in the 1940s as a communist fighter. In a time when we still had real-life heroes, Nixon was one. (We still have true heroes today, but they are ignored by the major media.) He fiercely fought to keep Soviet influence out of our government. He was popular enough that it is probable he defeated John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election, but when the election came down to Illinois, and the choice of Illinois’ Electoral College delegates depended on the results from Chicago… you get the idea.
Nixon gained fame fighting communists; Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was an avowed communist who was on a secret FBI list to be picked up immediately upon the outbreak of war with the Soviets. While Obama was never in jeopardy of being impeached – he could have shot an innocent man on live television and the national press would have rushed to explain that he was driven by George W. Bush to commit the deed – he was a man without honor, involved in serious scandals, who focused on himself rather than the national interest.
Nixon faced certain impeachment for his role in a cover-up of a politically insignificant offense. Obama helped cover up, through repeated lies, various scandals, including Fast and Furious, various aspects of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, and now it appears he was aware of a budding coup attempt against an incoming president.
If you are willing to allow a known terrorist state like Iran to obtain our military-grade drone technology, what’s a little matter of spying on a single individual, irrespective of that individual’s position?
There is no honor among thieves – or among self-absorbed politicians focused only on remaining in office or punishing America for perceived past sins.
Watergate indeed was a scandal, albeit an overblown one. Because America once had high standards and something called “morality” (you might have to look up the term in the dictionary if you are too young to remember those days), Nixon had to resign; it was the correct and right thing for him to do.
Additionally, unlike the days of Clinton’s impeachment, Nixon’s party declined to support a man who had lost moral authority.
As a country, our collective acceptance of Clinton set the table for the audacity of Obama. Imagine Nixon allowing technology to be shipped to the Soviets or supplying them with cash the way Clinton cavorted with China and how Obama ogled over the Iranian regime. No. You cannot imagine such reprobate behavior from Nixon. He was a moral man who made the mistake of covering for a ridiculous act committed by his subordinates. You do not need to imagine such behavior from Clinton and Obama because it happened.
It will take another 44 years, but Nixon will be vindicated, freeing up historians to discuss his true weaknesses and errors, such as wage and price controls. On the other hand, as the years pass and the murkiness crafted by the media clears, Clinton and Obama will be exposed. What will be missing from the exposés is that one little word: honor.