Source: The New Democrat
Just on a personal note first and then I’ll get into President Nixon’s farewell speech here. I was I guess bored last night and trying to take a break from the news even as a news and political junky and it suddenly occurred to me that I have YouTube on my TV ( thank you, FIOS ) I went to that on my TV and first saw Dick Cavett’s PBS documentary about Watergate which came I out originally I believe in 1979 and they did a 35th anniversary special about that documentary in 2014. So I watched that first which was very good which then lead me to the network news coverage of President Nixon’s farewell speech from 1974 and saw about two hours of CBS News’s coverage with Walter Cronkite. That is and probably the only reason why I’m writing this post about Richard Nixon today, because I’ve had this keen interest on Watergate the last few days and have YouTube on my TV.
Richard Nixon, gave several great speeches in his long and I would at least argue great political career even with all his criminal baggage from Watergate and his little criminal intelligence operation in the The White House. His 1968 RNC acceptance speech, was a great speech. His 1969 presidential inaugural was a great speech. His so-called silent majority speech from 1969, as well as his Vietnam War speech from that same year were also great speech. His 1972 inaugural speech was a great speech. His 1974 resignation speech was a very good speech. We’re talking about a man who as brilliant at he was and I believe the smartest and most knowledgeable President we’ve ever had ( not the best, which is different ) and yet somehow he was underrated as a speech giver. Maybe it was his voice, presence, who knows, but the man was very good at communicating what he believed and making a great case for it and yet was able to do it in a way that most Americans should understand.
If I had to rank President Nixon’s speeches or just Richard Nixon the man, I would have to go with his 1968 RNC nomination speech where he gets renominated by the Republican Party to be President in Miami. His 69 silent majority speech as President. And his farewell speech as President in 1974 and I’m not sure which of these speeches are his best. I’m not a fan of President Nixon in the sense that I believe he’s one of our best President’s and got a raw deal as President and should’ve never been forced to resign by his own party, which is exactly what would’ve happened at he not had resigned with the House and Senate Republican Leadership’s telling him that he needs to resign or will be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate, which means Congress would remove him from office. He was as Carl Bernstein has said a criminal President who ran a criminal organization inside The White House and had to be removed either voluntarily or through force.
I’m not a fan of Richard Nixon and I believed he did a lot of bad things, but I’m a fan of a Redskins ( even though Dan Snyder tests that everyday ) and I’m not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants, but I respect talent when I see it and I respect Richard Nixon’s abilities, talents as a politician and leader, his knowledge, intelligence, and foresight. The man was a big fan of President Theodore Roosevelt and regularly referred to him as TR and quoted Teddy Roosevelt on a regular basis. And you see that all through his farewell speech here. It was a very ironic speech and with that old saying that irony can come back and bite you in the ass fits perfectly here.
President Nixon saying and I believe this is his best line here in a speech that he personally wrote himself that, “only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” Translation: that you can only know what it’s like to achieve the highest level of success when you’ve first started at the bottom and struggled, work hard to, started in the valley and worked your way to the top. If Nixon didn’t start life in poverty in rural Southern California, you could certainly see poverty from where he grew up. He had a very modest upbringing and joined the Navy to get way from that and to get himself a college education, he was a World War II veteran in the Pacific and rose to Lieutenant Commander. We’re not talking about a unaccomplished bum, but someone who achieved real success in life after starting out with almost nothing.
And then President Nixon’s other great quote being, “Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” Translation: meaning that when you let people who don’t like you and even hate you, but I would add are not even worth your time and effort even thinking about them let alone your respect that is when they win because that is what they want. Which is a negative reaction from you and to know that you don’t like them either and they know that you know they don’t like or hate you. I would add to that, that people should spend more focus on what they already have and achieved instead of focusing on what they don’t have and probably will never have or what they’ve lost. Which I realize is a lot harder than it sounds especially when you’re talking about losing loved ones, but life will be much better for you if you do that.
The irony of President Nixon’s speech is that he spoke from personal experience in both parts here. He was a man that came from practically nothing and achieved great things in life. That is the Richard Nixon speaking from positive personal experience. His negative experience that he personally spoke from was about pettiness and hate. You won’t find a politician who was more hateful of the people who opposed him than Richard Nixon even though Donald Trump I believe is probably at this point a damn close second. And it’s President Nixon’s pettiness and hate, lust for power that destroyed his presidency and administration and why he gave a resignation speech and a farewell speech two and a half years before his second term was up.