Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nixon's 1968 GOP Nomination Speech Similar To Democratic Talking Points Under Attack By Conservatives Today

Here is an interesting quote:
When the strongest nation in the world can be tied up for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world can't manage its own economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented lawlessness, when a nation that has been known for a century for equality of opportunity is torn by unprecedented racial violence, and when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home without fear of a hostile demonstration - then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America.
Can you guess who said this?

These words were spoken by Richard Nixon on August 8, 1968, at his acceptance of the Republican Party nomination for president.

I'm sure people like Glenn Beck can point to this quote as proof President Obama needs to go, saying that a Republican was the one who ended Vietnam, and it will be a Republican who will end Afghanistan and Iraq, but that is not why I am posting this quote.

I am posting it in support of the current administration because of the things that Nixon had mentioned. America has been bogged down in two foreign wars for years, over a decade of deregulation and radical conservative economics have almost decimated the American economy, the federal government had seemed to turn a blind eye to the Constitution, considering the dangerous rhetoric echoed on the right and the recent increase in violence towards Democratic legislators, and considering the low approval ratings President Bush had towards the end of his presidency, the message is pretty obvious - Nixon's GOP speech seems to read like an endorsement for Obama.

While that is not the theme of the speech, for Obama was only 7 years old at the time, I find the similarities interesting, especially since there have been numerous comparisons between now and the 1960s, and I'm not just talking about the wars overseas, either. Just consider Glenn Beck's recent programs, where he compares himself and the Tea Parties to the civil rights movement, or from the left, when the Tea Partiers yelled racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

There were other elements of Nixon's speech that resemble things Obama has said, and that the modern right has attacked. Take this line, for instance:
And let us accept this challenge not as a grim duty but as an exciting adventure in which we are privileged to help a great nation realize its destiny and let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth, to see it like it is and tell it like it is, to tell the truth, to speak the truth and to live the truth. That's what we will do.
and this one:
Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively. And if after all of this time, and all of this sacrifice, and all of this support, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past.
If this line was spoken today and by a Democrat, conservatives would have been all over this as Nixon stating that America was "weak."

How about this one:
And so tonight I do not promise the millennium in the morning. I don't promise that we can eradicate poverty and end discrimination and eliminate all danger of wars in the space of four or even eight years. But I do promise action. A new policy for peace abroad, a new policy for peace and progress at home.
Sounds like Obama's campaign slogan.  Promise of peace abroad would be attacked as "naive" and a policy of "progress?"  The far-right has attacked the very notion of progress.

Here is a keeper:
And now to the leaders of the Communist world we say, after an era of confrontations, the time has come for an era of negotiations.
Sounds similar to Obama's plan to engage nations not friendly to America?

I can go on, but the point I am trying to make is that the talking points from the left that conservatives have been attacking are the same talking points once spoken by the right.  There have been claims by conservatives that this nation has been infiltrated by subversives, and that progressives have been assaulting America for over 100 years, but considering these words were spoken by a Republican, it sort of punches a hole in the conservative argument.

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