Praising Richard Nixon, a Act of Liberal Desperation

I never thought I’d live long enough to see this, in Salon no less:

The last president who had a plan for protecting American workers from the vicissitudes of the global economy was Richard Nixon, who was in office when foreign steel and foreign cars began seriously competing with domestic products. The most farsighted politician of his generation, Nixon realized that America’s economic hegemony was coming to an end, and was determined to cushion the decline by a) preventing foreign manufacturers from overrunning our markets and b) teaching Americans to live within their new limits. When the United States began running a trade deficit, Nixon tried to reverse the trend with a 10 percent tariff on imported products. After the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo suddenly increased the price of gasoline from 36 cents to 53 cents a gallon (and just as suddenly increased the demand for fuel-efficient German and Japanese cars), Nixon lowered the speed limit to 55 miles an hour and introduced the Corporate Average Fuel Economy law, which gave automakers until 1985 to double their fleetwide fuel efficiency to 27.5 miles per gallon.

Had Nixon survived Watergate, he might have set the nation on a course that emphasized government regulation of the economy, and trade protection as a response to globalism. We might also have preserved more of the manufacturing base necessary for a strong middle class.

Richard Nixon has been the left’s bete-noire since the 1950’s, when he participated in the anti-Communist campaigns.  That’s why they pursued him with such gusto during Watergate, and gloated at his downfall.

Now they’re having second thoughts.  And, of course, their current hero’s snooping into everyone’s affairs exceeds anything Richard Nixon could have asked for or thought.  But that’s what happens when you allow the “venting of the spleen,” as my mother used to put it, drive your agenda.  So what other left-wing villain will be rehabilitated someday?

4 Replies to “Praising Richard Nixon, a Act of Liberal Desperation”

  1. This is interesting.I never read about this until now.Can you please provide some links where I can read up some more on this and Nixon?Thanks in advance.Love and peace from Guyana.


  2. Don,

    I think the desperation is on your side: you’re so jiggly-jiggly urgent to get something out on your hated libruls that you had to settle for something, anything, quickly, and Lo! here you found you could accuse them of saying something nice about Nixon.

    What lowlifes! Saying something nice about Nixon.

    Meself I think your aim is off, perhaps because of the jiggly-jiggly. Salon may have been liberal when they were founded, but it seems to me that, like Slate, they’ve fallen more into the category of National Enquirer wannabes lately.




    1. All right, I’ll go one better: it’s hard to find ANY American publication, print or online, which has anything nice to say about Richard Nixon. It’s just that the left has had a higher vitriol level, for reasons mentioned.

      American punditry, and especially liberal punditry, is in the habit these days of invoking “The Judgement Of History” as an immutable imposition of their moral sense. My point here is that they don’t always stick to their own script. But historical opinion is neither univocal nor immutable. And when this Republic comes to an end, all bets are off.

      Or maybe sooner. In 1918 Leon Trotsky informed his political opponents that they would end up on the “asheap of history.” 22 years later Trotsky ended up murdered by Stalin’s goons. Fifty years after that the USSR took its place on same asheap.

      As far as the National Enquirer is concerned, as a South Floridian I remember the spectacular Christmas tree they put up every year along US-1 in Lantana. As long as Salon and Slate can’t match that, wannabees they will remain.


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