OnRichardNixon <– PDF version
It was 40 years ago this week (9 Aug 1974) that Republican President Richard M. “I am not a crook” Nixon resigned his office because he was discovered to be a crook. He had willingly and knowingly covered up a burglary of the Democratic Party offices at the Watergate office building in Washington, committed by his supporters, some of whom worked in his campaign or his administration. Nixon had waged a long internal battle to save himself from disgrace, but in the end the facts came out about his knowledge of the burglary and his abuse of power in covering it up. We will probably never know if the burglary itself was his idea. Many people in his own Republican party, understanding enough about history to know that honest government is always preferable to raw power, assisted in Nixon’s decline. Nixon himself knew by then that he was about to be impeached, and would probably be removed from office, so he resigned in order to prevent a drawn-out political turmoil to the exclusion of other important issues (the Vietnam War being one of them).
So Nixon said good-bye and retired with full benefits to his mansion in San Clemente. He was subsequently given a full pardon by his successor, President Gerald R. Ford, ostensibly to avoid seeing his old buddy have to stand trial for abuse of power and other crimes. It was the worst mistake Ford ever made because it set the precedent by which future Presidents knew they could get away with anything.
Nixon was a crook. He knew he was a crook, everyone else knew he was a crook, there was no means left by which he could talk his way out of it, and few in Congress or the courts were willing to tolerate any more of his corruption. But let’s give old Tricky Dick some credit here: at least he retained some semblance of integrity such that deep down, he recognized that the American people deserved better than him. Therefore, he did what was right by resigning.
We do not have that sentiment in politics any more. The respective political parties have become so ideologically motivated towards the acquisition of power by any means that they will defend their crooks no matter what. There is no limit to the crimes and abuses of power that will be tolerated so long as they expand their powers and associated privileges. We have suffered with recent Democratic President William J. Clinton who even now cracks a smile whenever he is reminded of the massacre at Waco, the IRS targeting of his enemies, and the undermining of American elections with Chinese money (not to mention his personal victims). Our current Democratic President, Barack H. Obama, regarded as the messiah by some of his supporters, has violated his oath of limited powers per the Constitution too many times to count, has once more encouraged and tolerated IRS abuse of his political enemies, and has implemented socialism at home and weakness abroad.
Unlike Nixon, who believed the American people deserved better, these two moral midgets believe the American people are not good enough for them. I suspect the Republicans are no better. So it will continue until “we the people” start demanding better, and start ignoring the slick political advertising extolling the alleged virtues of those who love power for its own sake. In that spirit, I have three recommendations for elections:
1. Regard every word by every candidate as being submitted to you, the citizen, as under penalty of perjury.
2. Never vote for anyone who has committed perjury per #1.
3. Only vote for those who have demonstrated a willingness to limit themselves to the enumerated powers granted to their offices under the appropriate local charters or state and federal constitutions.