Monday, March 30, 2009

Nixon's The One!

Tonight, History International is running a show about a Philadelphia man who was trying to assassinate President Nixon in February 1974. I don't think I'm giving anything away by describing that a somewhat critical part of the plot of "Watchmen" involves Richard Nixon winning the Vietnam War and being elected to a third and fourth (and fifth, I think) term.

I was born near the end of Nixon's first term as President. I don't have any active memory of any President before Carter, so I don't remember Nixon actually being President, although my Mom tells me I watched the Watergate hearings with her as a tot. I am a bit of a Watergate buff, although this extends to only having read a lot of books on the subject, along with writing a little bit about it in college.

What interests me is not so much Nixon- a fascinating character by any respect, and a man about whom much could and has been written. But suppose this attempt succeeds. Do we view Nixon differently today? I would suggest that we'd almost have to. If Nixon is killed before he resigns, much of the popular rage against Nixon is vented. Does he get a posthumous halo around his Presidency, like Kennedy, where his flaws are papered over and his strengths exaggerated beyond reason?

What do you think?

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