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100 Days: Bob Dole Reflects On Richard Nixon

April 29, 2017

Readers know I am a history buff, admirer of Richard Nixon when it comes to international relations, and not at all confident this country currently has a well-balanced or skilled leader in the White House. As we observe and ponder the first 100 Days of President Trump it also merits some backwards glancing to see what can be learned so when we move onwards it might be more productive.

Former Senator Robert Dole wrote the following this week about a man he knew well, President Richard Nixon.  The following portion was perfectly stated.

Amid partisan strife, what can today’s leaders in Washington learn from a man who thought with great depth about his era, and the long-term impact of the tough choices he would have to make for his country?

They can learn what a cohesive, well-thought-out and well-executed, America-centered foreign policy looks like.

The core elements of Nixon’s transformative foreign policies are still with us, especially with regard to America’s relationship with China. It is important that both the U.S. and China see the benefits of working together on geopolitical issues of importance and consequence, and President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping seems to have been an important first step in reaffirming that ideal and building personal relationships.

Nixon realigned geopolitical pillars throughout the world to fit American interests. As I said in my eulogy, he was without a doubt the 20th century’s greatest architect of peace.

Today’s leaders can also learn to think in terms of national interest, versus becoming a prisoner to ideology. Of course Nixon was a partisan, and few possessed such seasoned political antennae as he did. But above all, he was a pragmatist, not an ideologue.

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