Our 37th president, the late Richard M. Nixon, was a terribly flawed man – a fact corroborated by many of the people closely associated with him during his troubled presidency.
But, of course, Nixon was also a complicated man, capable of as many soaring acts of brilliance and selfless patriotism as he was of petty and, sometimes appallingly destructive partisanship.
Henry Kissinger, who endured a full immersion in Nixon’s manifold complexities, described him as a man who, despite his flaws, almost invariably put the interests of his country first.
One unusually compelling chapter of U.S. presidential history reveals Nixon’s capacity for selfless patriotism. As The Washington Times opinion editor David A. Keene observes in a recent column, Nixon had acquired compelling evidence that the Kennedys, working through Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s manipulation of Cook County ballots, had stolen the 1960 presidential election.
Illinois Republican Senator Everett Dirksen urged Nixon to take action.
In the end, though, Nixon refused to contest the election, fearing the effect a recount would have in eroding the standing of the United States vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, which was competing with the United States to carve out a following among the emerging developing nations of Africa and Asia.
How times and personal standards have changed.
Dr.Jill Stein, the nominee of the tiny Green Party, which garnered a mere 1 percent of the U.S. popular vote, has demanded a recount in the key swing stares, apparently not so much with the goal of changing the election’s outcome but rather to raise her visibility and that of her party.
Never mind the effect this recount may play in undermining what remains of this nation’s standing as the world’s leading democracy and model for democratic government. She apparently is interested solely in building her and her party’s political viability.
And to add insult to injury, the defeated Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has joined the fray, apparently with the that hope that this recount could throw the election outcome into the House of Representatives. Throwing the election into the House would likely not alter the inevitability of a Trump victory – Hillary and her staff are undoubtedly well aware of that fact. But it would have the effect of eroding what legitimacy is attached Trump’s presidency.
We have come a long way from the politics of the 1960’s, when even the most fiercely competitive and morally flawed national politicians still felt compelled out of a sense of patriotism to put the interests of the nation first.
Dr. Stein, I may be a deplorable, but you are despicable – and as for you, Mrs. Clinton, you are no Richard Nixon.