Despicable Dick

 One Man Against the WorldReading time – 49 seconds  .  .  .

I just finished reading Tim Weiner’s well written, well resourced and thoughtful new book One Man Against the World. Inside the front flap of the book jacket the headline for the teaser reads, “The riveting story of a dramatic and disastrous Presidency.” Few who remember or who have studied the sordid story of Richard M. Nixon would quibble with either the book title or the jacket headline.

Richard Nixon was, if anything, a polarizing figure and an easy man to dislike and distrust, in large measure because he disliked and distrusted nearly everyone, especially those who weren’t exactly like him. Neither conventional morality nor Constitutional law were limits he honored and he was able to self-justify nearly anything in pursuit of establishing a heroic place in world history for himself. His self-centered focus allowed for the deaths of tens of thousands more of our military in Vietnam and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians.

Perhaps that self-focus sounds a bit familiar, akin to so many of our current politicians who don’t let facts or good sense get in the way of what they say and do in pursuit of their self-promotion; who never leave campaign contribution checks on the table, regardless of the soul-compromising embedded in those checks and the harm their sell-out will cause to America and Americans; who cannot seem to see past the next election to recognize the dangers they are visiting upon our children and grandchildren.

It is an age-old question as to whether the end justifies the means. Perhaps in absolute terms, as in avoiding nuclear war, it does. Absent such end-of-the-world choices, though, it probably does not. Yet it is with such an absolutist mentality that our politicians continue to attempt to justify their reprehensible actions, like torture and never-ending, undeclared war.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Interestingly, there is something we can do about such people and their despicable acts.

We can VOTE!

“Freedom without responsibility is chaos.” Rod Steiger

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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One Response to Despicable Dick
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    And Freedom without representation — you remember that one? It sounds a lot like the taxation issues that the people of Massachusetts (and nearby environs) threw, literally, a tea party over more than 240 years ago — is exactly what we have now.

    Sure, a relatively few (a PALTRY few is pathetically more like it) of the eligible voters in this country go to the polls every 4 years and cast ballots for their representatives. And, if no one cheats by burying or losing some of those ballots in order to control who gets elected (if you think that doesn’t happen you need to wake up to the occurrences in the last few presidential elections among many elections at every level in this country), we elect the representation that a majority of the people want elected. Maybe, given the foregoing caveat.

    Nixon was one of those who rigged it. George W. Bush was another. George H. W. Bush may also have been one of those also, but I’m not certain about his election. And there have been a number of the earlier presidents whose elections were highly questionable, keeping in mind that for many, many decades before 1950 whole masses of what should have been eligible voters were kept from the polls with poll taxes, immoral restrictions (some of which are still around today), and other illegal exclusions. The same holds true for governors, mayors, state and Federal senators and represent-atives, aldermen, councilmen, etc.

    “OUR REPRESENTATIVES”. The vast majority of them serve only themselves and the wealthy who support them and help them get re-elected. So who is representing “the people”? As in “We The People”.