Richard Nixon On Twitter? But How…..?
This is one of the best reads of the day. As a Nixon history buff I love this idea.
My father is dying.
His hair is thinner than it was last month, his skin the color of light beer. Speech is difficult. He watches crime dramas in his hospital bed. They never end, and David Caruso seems to be in all of them.
Dad doesn’t read or follow the news anymore. He’s shutting down.
I want to get a rise out of him.
Dad, do you know what Twitter is?
I have an account.
It’s Richard Nixon.
Dad forgave the Phillies’ Mitch Williams for giving up the losing home run in the 1993 World Series, and accepted it when I shaved my head in eighth grade.
But he hated Richard Nixon.
I write in Nixon’s voice. I respond to current events as though he’s still alive.
But I doubt there will ever be a definitive portrait of Nixon.
Better minds have tried since the ’50s; some have probably come close, but he always slips away and sets up ahead of us, waiting for the next hunter. That’s as it should be. If Nixon could be caught, I wouldn’t do this. But as much as the account is about searching for him, it’s also about the audience.
@dick_nixon’s followers include politicians, teenagers, academics, veterans, journalists, diplomats, sports fans, and communists — for starters. There’s even a plagiarist who uses my work to paint Nixon as a cranky, embarrassing Paleo hipster who watches SpongeBob SquarePants. Some enjoy my analysis, others thrill at their imagined proximity to the Dark Lord, and others seem to fear he’ll run again.
The most surprising reaction, though, comes from people of all ages and political beliefs. It usually comes when a politician embarrasses himself or when questions of war and peace are raised. At least one person will say, in effect, “We’re sorry. Come back.”