The Scapegoat: Richard Nixon and Our Disturbed Politics
I’d rather be Nixon than many other leaders with better “official” reputations
My Wikipedia entry identified me as a Southern California science fiction writer. For many years, it was the only thing it said about me. Much like other female writers and those of color, little true about us is recorded.
Perhaps it is better to be nothing than to be a scapegoat for an entire nation in which nearly everything that people believe they “know” is “true” is in reality, a total lie.
I just saw someone say via social media that Richard Nixon, the 37th U.S. President, was this nation’s “worst war criminal.” They denied, declined, and misinformed about many actions Mr. Nixon took during his time in office that ended up — if perhaps only for a short time — benefiting living humans in this nation and others.
Richard Nixon is the President who ended the Vietnam War. He is also one of the last individuals to serve in that office who did combat duty in a war; I’m sure he knew George H.W. Bush — who served as CIA Director prior to becoming Vice President, then President. There are rumors that state that both Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush were in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy, a man who defeated Nixon for the Presidency three years prior, was shot dead.
I saw President Nixon in person. I was just a little girl. My grandmother took me to see him when he was attending a ceremony to dedicate the Veterans Administration Hospital in Loma Linda, California. Our area had received other Presidential visits. President Kennedy had also visited. And there is a picture hanging in the Mission Inn of President Theodore Roosevelt kissing a little toddler girl in front of the parent navel orange tree in Riverside. That little girl is my grandmother.
Over the years, I heard people raving wildly about how evil and horrible Richard Nixon was. “Tricky Dick” was a joke — almost every comedy show in my young life made ample fun of him, especially his unusually-shaped “ski nose.”
I thought, “How could he be so bad?” The most I knew about Nixon as a young person was the terrible reputation and Watergate, at the time — so we innocent people…