Do you remember the days during the Richard Nixon era? That would be the early 1970s. I actually like referring to him as ‘Dick’ Nixon just because I like the sound, and it’s a good old-fashioned name that hails back to the good ol’ days before social media, fake news, and Trumpian politics. Actually, I’m making a plea for all western societies to begin using the name ‘Dick’ again. I have no idea who decided to start calling people ‘Dick’ as an insult. I know, you can use the politically correct phrase, “Richard Noggin,” instead of the sophomoric, ‘Dick Head.’ But I digress. I miss Dick Nixon.
During the Democrat National Convention, an old, familiar face popped on the screen. When I heard the voice of Barrack Obama, I had to stop what I was doing and listen. I couldn’t help it. It was like listening to Santa Claus at Christmas – like Elvis Presley in his concert in Hawaii – like Frank Sinatra – Obama’s voice was smooth and smart. The man behind the voice gave a speech that arguably was one of the best convention speeches of all time. The timing, the wording, the message was exceptional. I was not really an Obama fan until sometime around the U.S. mid-term elections in 2018 – when Trump was simply being himself – that’s when I started missing Barrack. Well, precisely, when Donald J. Trump excoriated the poor, indigent Central American migrants and refugees as terrorists and outlaws – that’s when I started missing Barrack.
I admit, there were a few times during Obama’s presidency that I really missed George W. And yes, during George W’s presidency, sometimes I really missed Slick Willy or as some called him, Bill Clinton. On-and-on, each president kind of made me miss the one before for myriad reasons. George W could not say a coherent sentence in English without screwing it up; his predecessor could speak like he was made for oration. Interestingly, a few times when I was listening to that ‘smooth’ articulation Barrack was so famous for, I missed the good times we had with George W. who couldn’t speak, but generally told the truth.
So, back to Dick Nixon. I kind of miss him. Yes, he lied. He sent his henchmen into Watergate to spy on the Democrats. He covered up his illegal activities. Did I mention he lied? Anyway, those were the times when U.S. citizens generally trusted their president and viewed him and his office in high esteem. Even during the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s approval hovered around 50 percent. And before him, Johnson’s approval was around 55 percent, Kennedy’s around 70 percent, and Eisenhower’s around 65 percent. Those were the days when the U.S. masses liked their head politician – revered him.
Dick Nixon lied, he swore, he was a stern, unholy individual who did some crap. But the stuff he did in office 50 years ago would, today, likely be passed off as necessary business, especially by the Republican party – the Grand Ole Party – who has done nary a thing to reign in the man in the Oval Office in 2020.
Since taking office, Donald J. Trump has lied approximately 20,000 times according to the Washington Post. Twenty thousand times! And that’s just since he took office. During his 2016 campaign and before, there were more – many more lies. In fact, can we just stipulate that Trump is a liar? If we can do that, then we can move on to other meatier discussions like his lack of leadership during the pandemic, the fact he has not kept his campaign promises like so many argue he has, and the fact there has never been another U.S. president that has divided the nation as much as Donald J. Trump has, just to name a few.
Of all the problems facing the United States, I’m going to just pick one, and say, of all the problems, this is probably the one we need to fix first in November 2020. The person that gets elected in November needs to lead the way in healing the divide. He needs to bring the country together – be a leader of ALL Americans. Leading by dividing as we’ve seen Trump do is not leadership at all. There’s a big job coming up. Who can fill the shoes? We must pick the right person for the job. As nice as it is to look back, we must collectively look forward and bring about a new normal where citizens can make dreams come true; we need to get back to days like the good ol’ days – when some men were known as Dick.