By August of 1968 the US had exploded in violence over the Vietnam War and Civil Rights. With over 100 US cities on fire and 540,000 troops in Vietnam – things were spinning out of control. The need to bring the nation together and have order was the main goal of all three main Presidential candidates in 1968. Democrat George Wallace was the most vocal law and order candidate but the media will not tell you that.
Just recently the media has compared the Trump convention with what they call the “Nixon law and order playbook.” The media wants you to infer something nefarious from this comparison. The media wants you to infer Nixon was playing on fears or using race. This is a libel I am always happy to confront.
Democrat George Corley Wallace was the candidate of fear and race in 1968.
Law and order was only one part of the Nixon campaign in 1968. Another part was ending the inherited war in Vietnam. Nixon never spoke of a secret plan. He promised an honorable peace – not cut and run. He would deliver on this promise.
You might think Mr. Nixon gave a divisive speech in August of 1968 in Miami. The media- many who never heard it or even read it later – are hoping you won’t look at it either.
Let’s see what Nixon did to heal and inspire the nation in 1968 by examining the acceptance speech. Below is an excerpt that captures the beauty of America and a vision for unity.
“As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame. We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish. Did we come all this way for this? Did American boys die in Normandy, and Korea, and in Valley Forge for this? Listen to the answer to those questions. It is another voice. It is the quiet voice in the tumult and the shouting. It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans — the non-shouters; the non-demonstrators. They are not racists or sick; they are not guilty of the crime that plagues the land. They are black and they are white — they’re native born and foreign born — they’re young and they’re old. They work in America’s factories. They run America’s businesses. They serve in government. They provide most of the soldiers who died to keep us free. They give drive to the spirit of America. They give lift to the American Dream. They give steel to the backbone of America. They are good people, they are decent people; they work, and they save, and they pay their taxes, and they care. Like Theodore Roosevelt, they know that this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in. This I say to you tonight is the real voice of America. In this year 1968, this is the message it will broadcast to America and to the world. Let’s never forget that despite her faults, America is a great nation. And America is great because her people are great.”
Nixon mentioned that the US should be a shining example for the world- a phrase Reagan would pick up on later. But there were no grandiose promises- just a promise to action- as FDR had done.
“And so tonight I do not promise the millennium in the morning. I don’t promise that we can eradicate poverty, and end discrimination, eliminate all danger of war in the space of four, or even eight years. But, I do promise action — a new policy for peace abroad; a new policy for peace and progress and justice at home.”
And finally this excerpt.
“Tonight, I see the face of a child. He lives in a great city. He is black. Or he is white. He is Mexican, Italian, Polish. None of that matters. What matters, he’s an American child. That child in that great city is more important than any politician’s promise. He is America. He is a poet. He is a scientist, he is a great teacher, he is a proud craftsman. He is everything we ever hoped to be and everything we dare to dream to be. He sleeps the sleep of childhood and he dreams the dreams of a child. And yet when he awakens, he awakens to a living nightmare of poverty, neglect and despair. He fails in school. He ends up on welfare. For him the American system is one that feeds his stomach and starves his soul. It breaks his heart. And in the end it may take his life on some distant battlefield. To millions of children in this rich land, this is their prospect of the future. But this is only part of what I see in America. I see another child tonight. He hears the train go by at night and he dreams of far away places where he’d like to go. It seems like an impossible dream. But he is helped on his journey through life. A father who had to go to work before he finished the sixth grade, sacrificed everything he had so that his sons could go to college. A gentle, Quaker mother, with a passionate concern for peace, quietly wept when he went to war but she understood why he had to go. A great teacher, a remarkable football coach, an inspirational minister encouraged him on his way. A courageous wife and loyal children stood by him in victory and also defeat. And in his chosen profession of politics, first there were scores, then hundreds, then thousands, and finally millions worked for his success. And tonight he stands before you — nominated for President of the United States of America. You can see why I believe so deeply in the American Dream.”
I encourage you to watch or read the entire speech. This is the man the media is trying to vilify- even today. The next time you see an attempt to smear President Nixon- don’t follow the court historians and kennel-fed media. For them- Nixon has to be the villian. A lot of folks owe Mr. Nixon an apology.
I say, “Nixon Now. More than Ever.”