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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9238/nixon/

Nixon!

January 14, 2009 by

Some personal history on my impressions of Richard Nixon:

My earliest memories of Nixon involve Watergate, and my father’s outrage that a third-rate burglary would be the stuff of national scandal. He figured it was a racket.

The public school distributed copies of the Weekly Reader, packed with pious propaganda and high dudgeon over the entire incident. I was alone in my elementary school to rise in his defense, thereby outraging teachers and administrators.

It was years later when I threw myself into reading the prehistory: the Hiss/Chambers trials of 1949 and Nixon’s role as the leader of the prosecution. Later I learned of his horrible role in creating the EPA and making the dollar pure paper, as well as instituting price controls. As I came to understand war as a species of socialism, the ebb flowed again with appreciation for his role in opening up China and for starting arms talks with the Soviet Union.

So is Nixon someone I respected? Yes. FULL ARTICLE

{ 17 comments }

J Cortez January 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I try to stay away from Stone’s movies. Not because of subject matter, but because of execution. There’s usually an exhorbant amount of quick cut edits between shaky camera footage, grainy black and white, to saturated lighting and high contrast color shots, to darkness, etc, that just gets on my nerves aesthetically. I passed on W. even though I completely hate the man being portrayed on screen.

I come on this site for econ info and have always received good information. Based on the good things I usually find on this site, I’ll check Nixon out.

Personally, I would like a 10 part movie series on Clinton, Bush I & II, FDR, JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln and Wilson that shows everything horrible thing done and the consequences of those things. The backdoor deals, the military actions, the outright lies. Probably not box office blockbuster material, but an interesting dream, I think. Maybe someone reading this can make it a reality. :)

pbergn January 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I have seen the movie.

It’s a good movie, a bit boring one, though. Hopkins does a great job playing Nixon…

I am amazed that an Austrian can respect and even defend Nixon, who embodies everything that is wrong that government can do to the free world and markets!

He was NOT a Capitalist! On the contrary, he paved the ground of destroying free markets and with them the greenback, and opened the gates of hell of exploitation of the 3rd world country workers, and destroying the manufacturing base here at home under the pretext of “free and fair trade”… The guy was the worst president ever in modern history, until “W” bested him…

Bruce Koerber January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Dear Jeffrey Tucker,

Thanks for the movie review. I will watch it sometime soon, tucked away under piles of snow here in Iowa!

With warm regards,
Bruce

J Cortez January 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

The guy was the worst president ever in modern history, until “W” bested him

I disagree. I have Woodrow Wilson as the top candidate for the worst president of all time on my personal list. His administration set so many horrible precedents and helped set the stage for World War II. I’d put W. in the number 3 slot to tie with Johnson.

Rodolpho January 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Richard Nixon and Johnson,Kennedy, Woodrow Wilson, F ..D Roooselvet. Facists

Rodolpho January 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Richard Nixon and Johnson,Kennedy, Woodrow Wilson, F ..D Roooselvet. Facists

Fephisto January 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm

“I disagree. I have Woodrow Wilson as the top candidate for the worst president of all time on my personal list. His administration set so many horrible precedents and helped set the stage for World War II. I’d put W. in the number 3 slot to tie with Johnson.”

Agreed.

C. Evans January 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm

My worst five list in order from worse to worst is-GW Bush, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and Lincoln.

Lincoln is at the bottom of my list as worst president because he was the progenitor as Thomas DiLorenzo has argued. He destroyed the Union based on voluntary compact and created a true American State based on conquest and confiscation. He warred against his own people, not just in the South, but also in the North. He destroyed newspapers in the North who did not support him; arrested dissenters in the North who criticized his war; instituted a draft; enacted an income tax; issued an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Taney; had a member of congress deported to Canada for opposing his war; and waged total war on soldiers and civilians in the South all to collect a tariff. His actions inspired several subsequents presidents who believed that in times of emergency they, too, could throw off the shackles of the Constitution and become a dictator. That’s just my opinion, though. I have no problem entertaining arguments for other presidents.

Glen January 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I put FDR as the worst, not only did he do a lot of damage, he’s revered for it. My biggest issue with W and Nixon is that they somehow have become associated with capitalism.

Greg January 14, 2009 at 7:46 pm

“My biggest issue with W and Nixon is that they somehow have become associated with capitalism.”

that’s what happens when there’s an (R) after the last name, no matter how false. thank the media and public schools.

newson January 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm

thanks for the tip, jeff, it’s going on my download list. i’d always pidgeonholed stone as a leftist director, though i have enjoyed some of his works.

i, too, have studiously avoided watching “nixon” because of a residual sympathy for nixon. and not because he was a nice guy, just that he revealed the true presidential face. lying, conniving, and joyously taping it all for posterity. long before youtube, nixon gave us all a fly-on-the-wall peek at how the oval office really works.

it’s amusing to see how the dead nixon has been rehabilitated, and lauded for some of his diplomatic achievements. thank god we’ve still got the tapes to refresh our collective memories, otherwise all his comic vileness might have be airbrushed away.

TokyoTom January 15, 2009 at 3:15 am

Jeff, you’ve persuaded me that Nixon is a film worth seeing, but it seems that you forgot to make a case explaining why you respected the man. Is that coming in a later post?

jeffrey January 15, 2009 at 7:55 am

I respect him for the same reason people did in his day: his enemies. He chose his enemies well.

He was a war criminal and destroyed the dollar and worse, and yet if his breakthroughs with China and Russia had stuck, the Cold War might have ended 15 years earlier.

Jeremy Wuitschick January 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I have respect for the work of Jeffrey Tucker. So, I think I’m going to have to give the film a look.

I am willing to give Nixon a fair chance, but I am still inclined to agree with Hunter S. Thompson concerning Nixon. lol

DS January 16, 2009 at 6:44 am

The problem with Nixon is not that he was an unusually venal, dishonest or power hungry president – in those regards he was very middle of the road. The problem is that he is heald out as some kind of anomoly that the American people accidently let get into to power. Any president put under that kind of scrutiny would come out looking pretty bad. His real problem was that he wasn’t a glib, smiley, likable guy that came across well on TV. I’m convinced this was the only difference between him and Kennedy, or Clinton or Reagan.

As long as his abuses can be characterized as unusual instead of ordinary, the propagandists for big government can continue to make their fraudulent claims.

gene January 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Nixon looked like an amateur thug next to George! and even though Tricky is looked upon as a “liar” by history, there is no comparison. W’s ability to deliver a blatant falsehood as “country boy” straighttalk has never been rivaled.

Franklin January 17, 2009 at 8:46 pm

DS hits it out of the park. Right on.

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