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Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon was born 100 years ago. This anniversary probably popped up on “on this day” web sites and journalists paid by the number of hits their posts receive, sitting at their screens, weighed this story against the gun debate, Congress’s poor ratings, the president’s good ratings, the weather, and one of several meltdowns on cable news. The Nixon birthday ranked low on the list. Since most journalists were born after Nixon left office they have only occasional references in the media, all negative, and maybe the History Channel to give them much information.

But Tricky Dick’s (a nickname he earned in his first congressional campaign) legacy deserves more consideration than the Watergate “national nightmare.” How about

  1. China

  2. Going off the gold standard

  3. The National Environmental Policy Act

  4. Inflation control through wage and price freezes

  5. Advocating spending more money on drug abuse treatment than on enforcement

  6. Advocating health care reform

I’m not sure how to classify his performance as to the Viet Nam War. There are probably more successes along with some failures. In a way he did a great service in the scandal by demonstrating that the presidency should have limits to its powers. His administration should be viewed in its totality and in its parts. 

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