Catching up on my favorite people, I came across this priceless post by Victoria Dougherty.
In her post, Ms. Dougherty brings to light things most people don’t associate with Nixon. She quotes Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “The most liberal democratic administration in the second half of the 20th century was Richard Nixon’s first term. Between 1968 and 1972, Mr. Nixon expanded welfare benefits, fortified civil rights for women and minorities, and created the EPA.”
I have to admit, like everyone else, I don’t think about those things when I remember Richard Nixon. Most people think about Watergate, I know, but I think about flush toilets.
You see, Nixon’s troop draw-downs of the Vietnam War (the war that wasn’t a war) got me out of the field.
I’d been in the bush so long that when I got to the rear in Long Binh, I couldn’t believe there was actually running water. Stood there at the urinal for a long time, flushing it over and over, laughing like a kid watching a cartoon. A lot of guys avoided eye contact with me after that, but I didn’t care.
I slept in a clean bed, without my M-16. There was hot chow (not singed with burning C4, but cooked on a stove) three times a day. There were real showers with hot water. There was music and ice cream. Hell, there was even Armed Forces television!
Mama-San made my bed, washed my uniforms, shined my boots and cleaned up after me. I settled into the cushy life of a REMF (Rear Echelon MF) and waited for my rotation back to The World.
So… Say what you will about Nixon, I was more than happy to get out of the jungle, and gave his administration the credit.
His fall from grace didn’t surprise me too much. Politics is a filthy business, and it was pretty damned easy to hate Tricky Dick.
But thank you, Victoria, for pointing out that how you view events depends on where you’re standing. And where you’ve been.