Richard Nixon

Vice Presidency More Significant Than Ever Before In 2016, With Oldest Presidential Nominees In American History!

The Vice Presidency has been growing in significance and stature in the six decades since Richard Nixon was Vice President and started to grow the office.

We have had outstanding men in the Vice Presidency since then, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden.

We have also had “lemons”, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to scare us at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Now that our Presidential candidates will be the oldest in American history in combination, with average age of past 70, combining Democrat Hillary Clinton at 69 plus and Republican Donald Trump 70 plus on Inauguration Day, it is more essential than ever that we have the best possible men or women placed in that position for the upcoming Presidential election!

But so many of the proposed nominees, that have been bandied about by the news media and the candidates’ campaigns are far from the best possible candidates, and they can cause worry about succession, if the winner of the election dies in office of natural causes or by assassination in the next four years, with the odds growing on each possibly occurring.

The idea of two “senior citizens” competing for the most stressful job in the world is not comforting, and the fact that it has been 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed, and 71 years since the natural death of a President in office (Franklin D. Roosevelt), as well as 42 years since Richard Nixon resigned.

We need distinguished Senators or Governors ready to come forth and offer a strong backup to the two nominees, but particularly in the case of the Republicans, the odds of such a person arising is not likely!

Imagine A President Trump Confronting Speaker Paul Ryan, The Intelligence Agencies, And The Military Hierarchy!

Imagine just for a minute a President Donald Trump and a Speaker Paul Ryan, and the constant clash they would be engaging in for ultimate control of domestic and economic policy!

Trump has no clue as to how Congress works, and he fails to understand that the Speaker of the House wields great power over anything that goes through the House of Representatives.

So be assured that Paul Ryan would not allow any kind of mass deportation of Muslims, or the building of a Mexico wall, along with many other ideas that Donald Trump has!

And be assured that the intelligence agencies and the military would never follow through on what a President Trump wanted to do in foreign and military policy, and this has already been made clear by people in the intelligence agencies and the military hierarchy! This includes David Petraeus, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and many others!

President Dwight D. Eisenhower discovered that he could not “bark orders” and get things done, as had been true in the military!

Donald Trump would discover that he would be put in a “strait jacket” in both domestic and foreign policy, and the likelihood of an impeachment is likely, since he is a very dangerous man, with his ignorance and shortcomings in both domestic and foreign policy are massive.

The greatest danger would come from the “mob psychology” of the crowds who come to cheer him on, thinking they are at a football game or some such event.

But even scarier is the image of the Nuremberg rallies where Adolf Hitler spewed for this antisemitism and his belligerent war threats, as Trump’s “minions” are totally terrifying.

Trump represents an evil that must be overcome, and this idea of disillusioned voters staying home creates perfect conditions for a Trump victory, and an attempt at a Trump dictatorship, which would turn the American nation upside down and inside out, far worse than the threat of Richard Nixon!

America First From Charles Lindbergh To Pat Buchanan To Donald Trump–1941-2016

In 1941, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was one of the leading speakers for the America First Committee, arguing against US entrance into World War II. Despite his fame, he was an open antisemite, racist, and nativist who had openly spoken approvingly of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany!

In 1992, Pat Buchanan, former speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, ran for the Republican Presidential nomination against sitting Republican President George H. W. Bush, promoting antisemitism, racism, and nativism, and denying the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. He promoted an overly nationalistic America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh a half century earlier.

Now in 2016, Donald Trump is running for President, and likely Republican nominee, and is a racist, nativist, misogynist, and Islamophobe, who is now promoting an America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh and Buchanan.

The concept of shutting out the world, ignoring alliances, and alienating other nations, including those who are natural friends, was damaging in 1941 and 1992, and is still so in 2016!

Richard Nixon And The Environment: Looking Back On Earth Day

Richard Nixon is rated very low in rankings of Presidents, and in many ways, rightfully.

But it was Nixon who promoted the environment more than any President until his time, except for Theodore Roosevelt.

It was Richard Nixon who promoted and signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency, and backed and signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Endangered Species Act. He also had Walter Hickel in his cabinet as one of the greatest Secretaries of the Interior in American history.

Nixon may have done some of this for purely political reasons, but the legacy he left is still massive in the area of the environment.

When one looks at the Republican Party today, we know that if it was left up to them, they would set out to weaken and, if they could, destroy federal involvement in the environment, with most of them even denying global warming and climate change!

Ironically, the first Earth Day was started by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, and we saw Richard Nixon die on Earth Day in 1994!

The Importance Of The Vice Presidency Grows With “Senior Citizen” Likely Presidential Nominees!

The Vice Presidency has become more significant and powerful since the time of Richard Nixon in the 1950s under Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Before Nixon, the Vice Presidency had little impact, and was often the butt of jokes and humor.

But the office has grown since then, and with the exception of Spiro Agnew under Nixon and Dan Quayle under the first President Bush, the men who have held the position have been men of quality, distinction, and ability, even if one did not necessarily agree with them on their political stands.

Recent books on the Vice Presidency have demonstrated that the last three Vice Presidents, each in office for eight years, a record in American history, have had a great impact on the office.

Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden have all served in a manner that demonstrates their influence and impact on the Presidents they served.

Now, with the almost certain reality that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the likely nominees of their parties, we have the alternative candidates being past 70 and 69 respectively, meaning either one will be in their 70s during their term.

This is the first time that we will have both party nominees as senior citizens, and only Ronald Reagan for all but two weeks of his Presidency, and Dwight D. Eisenhower for three months were in their 70s.

So we must insist that both parties are very careful in the selection of the Vice Presidential nominees, as the odds of the next President not being able to finish his term has grown, with the rise in age of the nominees!

If one looks at the odds, it is something to worry about that it has been 53 years since the last time a President died in office, and 42 years since a President left office, and that makes for a longer such time frame than any previous period since the beginning of the Constitution!

We cannot afford to have another Agnew or Quayle, or even a potential Sarah Palin, as a heartbeat away from the Presidency!

Can Losers Of Presidential Race Come Back To Win? Yes And No!

Now that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has made clear that he will not accept a draft for the Presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, speculation is beginning that former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney might make himself available.

There is no way that seems possible, as Romney has totally alienated Donald Trump supporters, who would refuse to back him at the convention or in November, but the question arises whether or not losers of Presidential elections actually have been able to come back and be elected President at a later time.

The answer is both Yes and No!

Five times, a Presidential loser has come back to win, as follows:

Thomas Jefferson, lost in 1796 and won in 1800.

Andrew Jackson, lost in 1824 and won in 1828

William Henry Harrison, lost in 1836 and won in 1840

Grover Cleveland, lost in 1888 and won in 1892, only President to win (1884), lose, and then win again.

Richard Nixon, lost in 1960 and won in 1968

However, six other Presidential candidates lost more than once as follows:

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney lost in 1804 and 1808.

Henry Clay lost in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

Martin Van Buren lost in 1840 as a Democrat, after having won in 1836, and then again lost in 1848 as the nominee of the Free Soil Party.

William Jennings Bryan lost in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Thomas E. Dewey lost in 1944 and 1948.

Adlai Stevenson lost in 1952 and 1956.

Additionally, three third party candidates have lost more than once as follows:

Socialist nominee Eugene Debs lost in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, a total of five times.

Socialist nominee Norman Thomas lost in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948, a total of six times.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot lost in 1992 and 1996, the first time as an Independent.

Lawless Donald Trump Challenged On Plans, If Elected, To Use Waterboarding, By Director Of CIA And Former Director Of CIA And NSA!

A very alarming development is Donald Trump’s announced plans, if elected President, to utilize waterboarding and other torture techniques which were used in the Iraq War against terrorists, but have been banned since then.

Senator John McCain, who suffered from torture while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and many others. have made it clear that torture does not work in gaining intelligence that helps win a war or to fight terrorism, but Trump is claiming that he will revive it.

But now, CIA Director John Brennan and former CIA Director and former NSA director Michael Hayden have come out strongly against such revival of waterboarding or other such torture techniques, with both making it clear that they would resist a President’s orders to implement such directives!

That is startling, but comforting, and it shows just how dangerous Donald Trump is, that he would become a truly lawless President, far worse than Richard Nixon!

And it would be great to hear other Republicans agree with the intelligence agency leaders, but do not count on it.

More reason to repudiate Donald Trump and the party which is against him, but seems unwilling to condemn his threat of an abuse of Presidential power!

40th Anniversary Of “All The President’s Men” Film: A Great Moment Of Investigative Journalism!

If it was not for Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and the investigative journalism of the Washington Post four decades ago, we would never have learned about the illegalities of the Richard Nixon Presidency.

It was their courage and willingness to go where leads took them that held Richard Nixon and his administration accountable for the scandals that besmirched the Presidency, not just Watergate but many others.

The film, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, came out forty years ago this week, and can be considered one of the very best political films ever produced.

Sadly, journalism has declined dramatically, and too much of it now is entertainment or sensationalism oriented, and this has caused the American people to lose confidence in the reliability and accuracy of journalists.

And newspapers and magazines in print have rapidly disappeared, a tragic turn in journalism, as online has become dominant!

Hillary Clinton Best Qualified To Take Oath Of Office Since George H. W. Bush

Presidents come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and some come ill equipped to deal with foreign policy and or domestic issues.

It is often said that learning on the job is the best experience, but that puts the nation at greater risk.

So the question arises: Since World War II, what Presidents came to office fully qualified to take the reigns of power?

This judgment is not one of approval or disapproval of the President and his record, but simply his qualifications when he took the oath of office.

It is clear that three Presidents came to office very qualified to be President, and they would be, chronologically, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush!

Harry Truman was ill prepared; Dwight D. Eisenhower had never taken an interest in politics; John F. Kennedy was very challenged in his first year in office; Gerald Ford had years of experience but no real ambition to be President; Jimmy Carter had limited experience in government, as did Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as being governors of southern states did not prepare them for national leadership; Ronald Reagan had a very narrow view of national government and its importance; and Barack Obama had limited experience in national affairs, having only served four years in the US Senate.

On the other hand, Lyndon B. Johnson had been in government for thirty years and was a master legislative strategist, although foreign policy was certainly not his forte.

Richard Nixon had been Vice President for eight years, as was also with George H. W. Bush, and those years plus foreign policy expertise set them up well to be President.

Hillary Clinton is, without a doubt, the best equipped since the elder Bush to be President, as her years in the White House with her husband; her Senate years; and her four years as Secretary of State, even with problems, made her known worldwide, and she has the respect of foreign governments.  She is likely to be more activist in domestic affairs than her husband, which would also be a plus!

2016: Most Dangerous Year Since Richard Nixon Constitutional Crisis In Late 1973 And Until His Resignation In August 1974!

Today, March 15, 2016, is the Ides of March–the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Republic in 44 BC.

It is also the day that the Republican Party may suffer its death as a serious political party; the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan!

If Donald Trump manages to defeat both Marco Rubio and John Kasich today in Florida and Ohio, then the GOP nomination battle is over, and a true disaster has occurred!

The idea that Ted Cruz would be an acceptable alternative is ridiculous, as his extremist right wing views would, in many ways, be even more dangerous to our nation than even Trump!

Trump is a Fascist demagogue, with no principles, willing to consort with racists, nativists, misogynists, homophobes, and with white trailer trash that represents the worst of America.

Were he to win, we would face a constitutional crisis on the level, and possibly surpassing it, of the Richard Nixon constitutional crisis in late 1973 and until his resignation in August 1974.

Trump would likely be more dangerous than even Nixon, certainly the worst threat to civility and the Bill of Rights since Nixon!

Thankfully, no scenario with the Electoral College can see either Trump or Cruz winning 270 electoral votes, but the nomination of Trump would represent the demise of the GOP, caused by their own right wing turn in the years since Barack Obama won the Presidency, and they have no one to blame for their mess, except themselves!