Given the current occupant of the Oval Office, and the investigations as being carried on by special counsel and others, Richard Nixon’s name is resurrected in the call for impeachment. This is unfair to Richard Nixon who is one of the most over-maligned and underrated presidents.
Both men apparently obstructed justice by interfering in investigations about their unlawful or improper conduct. Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, and caused a political firestorm. It eventually ended in his resignation before he could be impeached. Trump is mounting a PR campaign to discredit special prosecutor Muller. There has been talk of firing Muller, but as of yet, his investigation continues.
That is where the similarity and comparison between these two men ends abruptly.
Nixon’s cover-up was to protect others initially.
Donald Trump is all about Trump. His constant lies, always and about everything, are to protect him. The Special Counsel’s investigation and what appears to be a number of other investigations into all aspects of he and his families lives and business cover almost all aspects of his life. As you know
Richard Nixon spent the bulk of his adult life serving the United States of America. First in the military and then in politics. He was not rich, although he could have been. Except when in private practice briefly, he made and lived on his government salary. Richard Nixon was a smart politician and statesman. He understood government process, having served in , the House, the Senate, the Vice Presidency, and the Presidency. Without for a moment passing judgement on his conduct has led to him being driven from office, he was a patriotic man dedicated to public service. He was the last of only three Republican progressive presidents. The others being Lincoln and TR. He created the EPA. The very Environmental Protection Agency that Trump wants to destroy and dismantle along with most of the other departments of government.
There are numerous examples of him choosing country over self. He was a flawed character, not a personality particularly suited to politics. I won’t list Nixon’s accomplishments here, but suffice it to say there are many. He was an international statesman and a visionary. He made the world a safer place to live. Domestically, he was actively interested promoting civil rights and healthcare is in.
Trump, regardless of what he may accomplish is not now and never will be half the man and half the president that was Richard Nixon. He is a pathological liar, corrupt, self-absorbed and self-interested, egocentric, incompetent, unqualified in every aspect, misogynist sexual predator.
Other than being involved in attempting to interfere with an investigation which involved him personally, Trump’s personality disorders make Richard Nixon look like Mother Teresa. It is a grave insult to Richard Nixon to mention his name in the same breath as Donald Trump.
Tattoos, and Statues have always been permanent reminders of temporary feelings. A statue however is slightly easier to remove. As a symbol, statues have themselves become a much larger issue. What do we do about our troubling history? How do we judge yesterday’s conduct by today’s standards? What is the purpose and effect of what we include or exclude in the telling of the story of humanity?
A professor of mine, the great historian Gabriel Kolko, taught me that history was perception. Winston Churchill famously said that he was sure that history would treat him kindly because he planned to write it himself. As a general rule, history is written by the winners.
In the United States the issue of statues and symbols, especially relating to the American Civil War, have become a divisive issue. It took until the 21st century for the Confederate flag to be removed from state capitals. Disputes have erupted over the removal of statues of southern Civil War leaders and Generals. These statues and symbols represent the defense of slavery. This was an evil so great that it is understandable that it would be offensive.
There are those who argue that to remove these statues is to deny history. There is no shortage of written materials, records and other reminders of history. There are museums where these statues can join the other mementos of the best and worst humankind.
Statues of the losers and tyrants are symbolically torn down to mark their fall. There are no public statues of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, and a legion of other tyrants and losers in the progress of humanity.
Truth like water find its own level. Statues rise and fall with the march of history and the values and sensitivities of the people who raise and live with them.
There appears to be a consensus that 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. That is the problem at the root of conflict in the world.
Out of all the problems humankind faces, this is the most inane situation certainly on this planet and probably the rest of the universe.
How can people suffer every day from the fear that financial survival in this world demands? While the resources exist to alleviate 99% of it.
It’s not just the poor and disadvantaged, whose mere existence is an insult and stain on humanity. Most people, even the moderate to reasonably well-to-do, have to struggle with financial survival every day.
We live in a world that appears to be deteriorating around us, as infrastructure is a politicians low priority until it breaks. Federal and local governments around the world have lacked the resources to maintain or replace them. We lack the resources to provide the basic services that we need in this modern society. Governments, like most people, must deal with the pain of choosing priorities in accordance with their financial abilities.
Why? Why? Why?
The resources exist to deal with these issues in a way that eases life and makes it more fair for everyone.
The weight of history, has over the centuries distributed some of the great wealth held by the few amongst the rest of the population. The 1% has counted on control of the military and political scenery to maintain this balance. In this modern world it is unlikely that this is the case. Instant mass communication depending on how it is used may be the saviour or the downfall of humankind.
But the scale is starting to tip the other way. The pressure on society to find another way to keep score and fairly manage resources will meet head-on with a deteriorating society. It is hard to imagine that the flow of history will be stopped.
But for the moment we live in a bizarre world. All but the privileged few, under financial pressure from governments to the people. Meanwhile 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth.