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P. 1
Mr Nixon

Mr Nixon

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Published by Hal Shurtleff

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Published by: Hal Shurtleff on Mar 30, 2011
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04/28/2011

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MR.
NIXON
A
HardLookAtTheCandidate
Gary
Allen
,
agraduateofStanfordUniversityandoneofthenation'stop authoritiesoncivilturmoilandthe
New
Left,isauthorof
Commun
istRevolutionintheStreet
s-a
highlypraisedand definitive
new
volumeonrevolutionarytactics
and
strategies,publishedby
West
-ernIslands.Mr.Allenisactiveinanti-
Communist
andotherhumanitariancauses
and
isPresidentoftheFounda- tionforEconomicandSocialProgress.Afilmwriterandjournalist,heisa C
ontributin
g
Editor
to
AMER
ICAN
OPIN
IO
N.
GaryAllenlectures
wid
ely.
THE
SEEM
ING
LY
endlesssearchforthe "real"RichardNixonhasbeenapopular sportof
Ame
ricanpunditssince1948. Aswiththe
hunt
forJacktheRipper, the
qu
arr
yhasprovedbrilliantlyelusive yet
quadr
enniallycaptivatingtothe imagination.Everyfouryears,bythe timethesnowfallsinNew
Hamp
shire,Mr.Nixonreturnstothepolitical sceneascertainlyastherecurringlegend oftheRipperlivesoninthewarystep oftheLondonshopgirl.Whoishe? Whydoeshedoit?Intheanswersto thesequestionsarethesecretsthatpro longthelegends.
I
THE
NI
XON
ST
O
RY
isonethatbegins almostasifithadbeenwrittenby
Hora
tioAlger.Rearedinahard-work ing
Qu
akerfamily,RichardMilhous Nixonwasearlyinspiredbyhisfather's com
mit
menttoovercomingeconomic hardshipthroughdiligenteffort.Asthe
I
for
mer
Vice
Pr
esidenthassaid,"Mydad wasan
ind
ividual
-h
e'dgotohisgrave
SEP
TE
MBER,1968
beforehetookgovernmenthelp.This attitudeofhisgaveuspride."And,no doubtitdid.TheschoolboyNixon workedinthefamily'ssmallgrocery store
unt
ilnineorteno'clockatnight, andafter-hourswouldstudyuntiltwo orthreeinthemorning. InNixon'sjunioryearinhighschool, inkeepingwithhis
Qu
akerphilosophyofindividualresponsibilityandpersonal di
gni
ty,young
Nixon
'sfathergave
him
c
ompl
etechargeofthevegetablecounter inthefamilygrocerystore.Dickdid thebuying,drivingtotheLosAngeles publicmarketbeforesunriseto
hagg
lewiththelocalproducegrowers,then hurriedbacktoarrangehisdisplays beforeleavingforschool.Alltheprofit hecouldmakewashis,andallthathe couldsavew
ent
intoacollegeb
ank
account.Itwassuperbtrainingforany boy.Agoodstudentofaggressiven
atur
e,Nixonbecameentrancedwithdebating inhighschool.Hisdebatecoach,Mrs. Clifford
Vin
cent,re
mem
bersthatshe usedtofeel"dis
tur
bed"athissuperioritv overhisteammates.
"He
hadthisability,"shesaid,"to
kind
ofslide
around
anargumentinsteadofmeetingithead on,andhecouldtakeanysideofa debate."*
His
teenageskillatdebating mayhavebeenhonedbyhissixweeks asa
bark
erforawheelofchanceat theSlipperGulchRodeoinPrescott,
Arizo
na.
Th
ere"helearnedtheknack ofd
rumm
ing
upcustomersandthen lettingthemhaveit,"writesPhillip Andrewsin
ThisMan
Nixo
n.
"His
WilliamCostello,
TheFacts
About
Nixon,
VikingPress,
New
York,1960.
1
 
booth,itissaid,becamethemostpopularoneintheshow."
While
workinghiswaythrough
Whitt
ier
College,
RichardNixon
majoredinhistoryandagaincoveredhimselfwithdistinctionasadebaterandalsoasanactorinschooldramas.
Dr.
AlbertUpton,whodirectedNixoninoneoftheWhittierCollegeplays,isstillawedwhenherecallshowadepttheyoungcollegianwasatproducingtears.
"It
wasbeautifullvdone,thosetears,"heremembers,confess
i
ng
tohaving"twinged"whenhesawphotosofNixonweepingonSenatorWilliam Knowland'sshoulderafterthefamous "Checkers"speech.
Dr.Upton
saysheneverdreamedthathisformerstudent wouldgointopolitics,butadds:"I wouldn'thavebeensurprisedif,after college,hehadgoneonto
New
Yorkor
Ho
llywoodlookingforajobasan actor."
During
allfouryearsincollege,the youthful
Nixon
doggedlywentoutforfootball.
Tho
ughhenevergotbeyondthebench,beingpossessedoftwoleftfeet,heneverthelessrefusedtogiveup.Hiscoach,Wallace
Newman,
recallstheweeksthatwouldgobywithoutNixon'severplayingaminute,
but
sayshewasnonetheless"wonderfulformorale,becausehe'dsitthereand cheer.
..
.
To
sitonthebenchforthe betterpartoffourseasonsisn'teasy." AccordingtoEarlMazo,hismost friendlybiographer,"Nixonclassified
him
selfa'Liberal'incollege,'butnot aflamingliberal.'Likemanylawstu dentsofthatperiod,hispublicheroes wereJusticesBrandeis,Cardozoand Hughes,thentheSupremeCourt'spro gressiveminority."*At
Duk
e
Law
Schoolonscholarship,hegraduated thirdinhisclass.StewartAlsopquotes afor
mer
classmate:"Myimpressionwas thatRichardNixonwasnotanexcep tionallybrilliantstudent.However.he
"EarlMazo,
Richard
Nixon
,
Harper
and
Brothers,
New
York,1959.
2
wasoutstandingbecauseofhisability todoprodigiousamountsofwork.
He
pursuedhisambitiontostandatthe headofhisclasswithanintensitythatfewpeoplearecapableof."UpongraduationNixonwasnonethelessturneddownbvseveralWallStreetfirmsand,curiously,bytheF.B.I. Shaken,heacceptedajobinthebureaucracyofWashington,D.C.,thenserved intheNavyduring
World
War
II.Mr.Nixondescribedhiswarrecordinthefamous"Checkers"speechof1952in thesewords:
Myservicerecordwasnotapartic- Ida
dy
nnnsna!one.
I
went
totheSouthPacific.Igltess
I'm
entit
led
toa
conple
ofbattlestars.
I
gota
couple
oflettersofcommendation,bntI wasjllsttherewhenthebombswere falling,and
then
Ireturned,
Thatisn'tjusthowitwas.Infact, StewartAlsopnotesin
Nixonand
Rockefe
ller
that
"
...
Nixonhadanoncombatjobfarfromthebattlelines. .
..
"
For
afewweeks,though,hisnaval
unit
wasonthe
fringes
ofacombatarea.And,whilehereceivedacitationforbeingefficientinprovidingsupplies -somethinghehadbeendoingeffectivelywithcabbages
and
parsleysince theageofseventeen-hewascertainlyentitledtonobattlestars.HomefromtheSouthPacific,Nixon beganhispoliticalcareerasaprotege ofagroupofbusinessmenwhowereso anxioustodefeatLeftistCongressman JerryVoorhisin1946thattheyhadrun anadvertisementinalocalnewspaper toseekprospectivecandidates.Friends inWhittier,nodoubtregaledbyNixon's warstoriesofbombsburstinginair, suggestedthatheanswertheadand runforCongress.Uptothen,RichardNixonsayshe hadlittleinterestinpolitics,butheac ceptedtheofferwithalacrity:
"W
hydidItakeit?I'mapessimist,butifIfigure
AME
RI
CAN
OPI
NIO
N
 
RichardNixondiscusseshis"
war
rec
ord
"in
the
na
tionallytelevised"Checker
s"
spe
echof
1952.
I'vegotachance,I'llfightforit."As theacidStewartAlsopobserves:"Nixon becameapolitician,inshort,morebe causeitseemedagoodideaatthetime thanbecauseofanyprofoundpolitical convictions.
Having
th
usenteredpoliticsmoreorlessbyaccident,onesuspects thathethoughtofapoliticalcareer muchasanotheryoungveteranback fromthewarsmightthinkofadvertis ing,ormeatpacking,orbondselling -asawaytomakealivingandget ahead."YoungMr.Nixon,campaigningin his
Na
vyuniform,wonthatfirstelec tionagainstgreatodds,usingastrategy describedbybiographerWilliamCos tello:"...Nixon,canvassingthe
200,000
votersofthedistrict,introducedhimself asa'liberalRepublican.'Herefrained fromattackingthe
New
Dealinallits aspects,buthepullednopunchesin attackingVoorhis."
II
IT
WAS
theHisscasein1948which rocketedtheyoungCaliforniaCongress-
SEPTEMBER,1968
mantotheheadlines.Althoughthe actualinvestigationofAlgerHisswasdonebyRobertStriplingofthestaff ofthe
House
CommitteeonUn-Ameri canActivities,itwasNixon'spersistence whichfinallynailedHissasaSoviet spy.TheHisscasehaditsoriginin testimonygivenbyWhittakerChambers beforetheHouseCommitteeonUnAmericanActivities,ofwhichMr.Nix onwasamember.Nixonrecalledlater that
Cham
bers"madechargeswhich atthetimeseemedfantastic-that he'dbeena
Comm
unist,thathehad workedwithHiss,White,Abt,Press man,
Witt,
andagroupofotherswho werealsoconnectedwiththegovern
ment
."AlgerHiss,ofcourse,wasaveryimportantman.
He
hadlongserved withtheState
Departme
nt,wasinstru mentalatthefoundingoftheUnited
Nat
ions,
and
hadsincebecomePresi dentofthepowerfulandprestigious Carnegie
En
dowmentforInternationalPeace.Hisspromptlycamebeforethe
Comm
itteetodenyall.
"He
wasan
3

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