Christopher Nixon Cox Wrong; Richard Nixon Would NOT Vote For Donald Trump
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum reopened on Friday after a $15m overhaul, drawing family, friends, allies and a brass band to honor the 37th president. This took place as Donald Trump was ripping the party that Nixon was so faithful to into shreds.
As I reviewed the ceremony that re-opened this library I was struck by a most odd and inaccurate statement.
The late president’s grandson, Christopher Nixon Cox, stated that Richard Nixon, if given the chance would have voted for Trump. “He always supported the Republican ticket. I think he’d go straight down the line Republican.”
I simply disagree.
There is no doubt Nixon was a staunch party member and worked for many people who did not meet the smell test for the rest of the nation. But Nixon was one of the most capable and brilliant minds regarding the formulation of foreign policy and would never have voted for Donald Trump who has stated his desire to see NATO gutted, nuclear weapons be spread to more nations, and a total disregard for the international standards which have governed diplomacy for decades.
I also add that the straight-laced Nixon would never hve countenanced the trashy side of Trump. Never Ever!
Cox was surely paying lip service to some powerful monied interests who were in attendance for the re-opening. But by doing so he did a grave disservice to the former president.
I say that because there is nothing about the serious side of Nixon–the man who secluded himself with yellow legal pads and pens to write thought provoking books on international affairs–that would suggest under any circumstance he would do harm to internationalists with a vote for Trump.
This is not some idealized notion I have of Nixon–a man who I have read about and studied for decades. Rather my views are a strong assessment of the facts as his life and writings which lead me to this conclusion.
Nixon wrote of and spoke often about the need for America to use skill to show our power is the best at preserving peace and promoting freedom. Nixon helped build some of the transatlantic partnerships following W.W. II and fully appreciated their value. He fully grasped the requirement that a president have a keen sense of the world and the history which guides us still.
I wish to remind my readers–and others like Christopher Nixon Cox–that Nixon would have paled at the words of Trump regarding Muslims. Let me pull off my shelves Seize The Moment and quote directly from the former president.
As we develop our policies to engage the Muslim world, we must begin with respect and understanding for peoples who feel they have been misunderstood, discriminated against, and exploited by Western powers.
Nixon also stated in that book “our civilization is not inherently superior to theirs“, meaning the Muslim world.
I could go on and on and pull volume after volume from the shelves that line this home office. But I trust I have made my point.
I sincerely wish–and I say this with kindness–that Christopher Nixon Cox read more about his granddad and not place everything about the man in a partisan mindset. As the years when Nixon live recede it is even more obvious he was a tremendous thinker who pondered the world in deeper ways than many perhaps are aware.
That pondering and reflection is what attracted me (a liberal Democrat) a long time ago to this historic figure. There is much to learn from one who worked so hard after a political downfall to show his eagerness to still shape and mold the American future.
That is what I hope Cox can find.
As I write this post I thought of the Finlandia Hymn by Jan Sibelius which I heard not so long ago for the first time at a symphony performance. May it guide us as a nation forward, too.
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.