Forty-Two years ago Richard Nixon became the first U.S. President to resign in disgrace. Since then, the man and his supporters have tried to “rehabilitate” his reputation,  trivialize his errors and make the events surrounding his disgrace into mere partisanship bickering. We know now though, that this man literally committed treason against our country and destroyed tens of thousands of lives in the wake of his hubris. In this election,  Donald Trump,  a man who certainly hardly compares to Nixon in terms of experience,  or even the ability to communicate coherently, is running for the American Presidency.  As I’ve detailed here is cause for suspicion that Trump,  in his lust for the attention this office would bring him, is acting as a cat’s paw for the policies of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Richard Nixon was qualified to become our President,  while Donald Trump is probably the most singularly unqualified Presidential candidate in memory.  What both men share though is a high probability of serious psychiatric disorders,  in tandem with a personal ruthlessness that would allow them to act as traitors to our country for personal benefit.  Trump’s deep involvement with Russian politics and his call for Putin’s intelligence service to “hack” into the area of American national security does not yet qualify him as a traitor.  His infelicitous words,  which he now presents as a joke,  do indicate that he is capable of putting his own interests above those of his country.  What lengths Trump would go to to attain and maintain the Presidency certain are indicated by his recent remarks and certainly gives credence to the idea that those “lengths” could easily include treason.  Nixon, however, did commit treason and was saved from the full consequences of that treason by a Presidential pardon from the man who he in effect appointed President.  Here are my reasons for making these blanket statements.

Two years ago HBO ran a documentary on Richard Nixon called “Nixon by Nixon”. The YouTube link to that hour long documentary can be seen below for those who have yet to see it.  Having lived through the Watergate years myself and being fascinated by the subject, I believed I knew just about everything about one of the most damaging traitors in U.S. history. However, when I watched the HBO documentary, I began to realize through its’ impact, that the Nixon years were far more damaging to our country than I had imagined. The documentary was culled from thousands of hours of Nixon’s own taping of himself in the Oval Office and on his telephones. The one exchange early on that made me sit up and take notice came after the release of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg to the New York Times and Washington Post. Nixon clearly orders his aides to “get” the man and the newspapers by any means possible and says clearly that he doesn’t care if laws are broken in the process. Having seen Donald Trump’s pettiness and thirst for retribution against all he feels have “crossed” him,  can anyone doubt that Trump as President would ignore Constitutional “niceties” to punish any who would disagree with him, or speak out against him?

Nixon’s efforts to revenge himself upon Ellsberg was in effect treason by Nixon to his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. It was though a “minor” treason on his part that was eclipsed before he took office in what should have been treated as a Capital Crime.  The new release of extended versions of Nixon’s papers now confirms this long-standing belief, usually dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” by Republican conservatives. Now it has been substantiated by none other than right-wing columnist George Will. Here.

“Nixon’s newly revealed records show for certain that in 1968, as a presidential candidate, he ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them refuse a cease-fire being brokered by President Lyndon Johnson.

Nixon’s interference with these negotiations violated President John Adams’s 1797 Logan Act, banning private citizens from intruding into official government negotiations with a foreign nation.

Published as the 40th Anniversary of Nixon’s resignation approaches, Will’s column confirms that Nixon feared public disclosure of his role in sabotaging the 1968 Vietnam peace talks. Will says Nixon established a “plumbers unit” to stop potential leaks of information that might damage him, including documentation he believed was held by the Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank. The Plumbers’ later break-in at the Democratic National Committee led to the Watergate scandal that brought Nixon down.

Nixon’s sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks was confirmed by transcripts of FBI wiretaps. On November 2, 1968, LBJ received an FBI report saying Chernnault told the South Vietnamese ambassador that “she had received a message from her boss: saying the Vietnamese should “hold on, we are gonna win.”

As Will confirms, Vietnamese did “hold on,” the war proceeded and Nixon did win, changing forever the face of American politics—-with the shadow of treason permanently embedded in its DNA.” 

The indisputable record shows that LBJ was about to reach a peace agreement with the North Vietnamese and that Nixon’s intervention derailed the agreement. The deaths of at least 30,000 U.S. soldiers and untold numbers of Vietnamese is thus the responsibility of this traitor,  Richard Nixon . Beyond Nixon though, his actions solidified a downward path of our Constitutional system.   Just to further limn the context of my premise I want to mention that the tapes exposed Nixon as not only a traitor but a virulent racist, Jew hater and misogynist as well. They show this aspect of the man clearly and give a hint of the sociopath thinly hidden by his stiff, awkward exterior. As the New York Times put it two years ago:

“Timed to the 40th anniversary next Saturday of Richard M. Nixon’s resignation, it samples Nixon’s secret White House tapes to sketch the familiar portrait of the president as a closeted monster: paranoid, vicious, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, with a casual disregard for anything besides his own standing.”  

Nixon called Jews “Kikes”, who as a people couldn’t be trusted and were “natural traitors”. He said Blacks could possibly be civilized given another hundred years. That Latino’s were little better, but at least had family structure. He proposed two women for the Supreme Court publicly, but privately explained it was just for show since women were unqualified. He was in fact a bigoted man, smart enough to hide his bigotry behind “closed doors” However, Nixon is only important in this piece because of the precedent established by his pardon.

As we look back upon the Richard Nixon that we now know from his own words,  the similarities between Nixon and Trump begin to dovetail into a portrait of two men with similar toxic temperaments.  Though sadly I suspect that Nixon was much more in control of the destructive aspects of his psyche.

As the HBO documentary and other material shows, Richard Nixon resigned from office not specifically because of the problems surrounding the “Watergate” break in, but because a continued investigation of his actions would reveal him as a traitor of the highest magnitude. After Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign due to past corruptions catching up with him, Gerald Ford a longtime Nixon ally was chosen to replace him. Throughout his long career as a Congressman and House Minority Leader Ford was known to have close ties with both the CIA and the FBI. He served on the Warren Commission and had much to with what I believe was its cover-up of the Kennedy Assassination, which I wrote about here.

Ford admitted to some of this

“In the preface to his book, A Presidential Legacy and The Warren Commission, Ford said the CIA destroyed or kept from investigators critical secrets connected to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He said the commission’s probe put “certain classified and potentially damaging operations in danger of being exposed”. The CIA’s reaction, he added, “was to hide or destroy some information, which can easily be misinterpreted as collusion in JFK’s assassination”.[43] According to a 1963 FBI memo released in 2008, Ford secretly provided the FBI with information about two of his fellow commission members, both of whom were unsure with regards to the FBI’s conclusions about the assassination“ See here.

There is little doubt in my opinion that Nixon appointed Ford as Vice President because he had worked out a deal to pardon Nixon, if that became necessary. When the Supreme Court ordered the “Nixon Tapes” to be released to prosecutors, Nixon knew if they went through the tapes and his other personal records, his treason would be exposed. To foreclose this possibility, his pardon upon leaving office seemingly closed the investigations, allowing Nixon the time to reinvent his history yet again and in truth to some degree Nixon succeeded in “rehabilitating” his image. Therefore, whether knowingly, or unknowingly, Gerald Ford participated in again covering up what appears treason. Certainly, Ford’s time in government office was spent in harming the Constitution, he had sworn an oath to protect.

While I’ve written much about how the U.S. is an oligarchy and that what we see as democracy is mere illusion, what I write about here is something much more malignant.  Treason, in the name of political expediency. To my knowledge the Nixon treason represented a new paradigm in American politics and to a great degree has led this country on a downward spiral ever since.

The main reason Jimmy Carter lost his Presidency was due to the Iran Hostage Crisis . It always struck me as curious that the hostages were released simultaneously to Ronald Reagan‘s inauguration. Some years later during the Iran Contra Affair much of the sad, sordid and treasonous history of the Reagan Administration was revealed. Unsurprisingly, George H.W. Bush , Reagan’s Vice President, succeeded him and issued pardons for all the major figures in the affair. Thus again the totality of the history, revealed superficially, was covered up. The precedent had been set in stone, that President’s and their aides can commit treason with no consequence. The brake our Constitution was supposed to put on such undemocratic activity has failed and in its wake we have a government that can commit treason and illegality with impunity.

As our current President renewed the illegal Iraq War in the name of “humanitarian” concerns, we see the consequences of all of this illegality in the name of Presidential prerogative. In the wake of the devastation of 9/11, George W. Bush lied to the American public and attacked Iraq to capture non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. History has proven that was a lie told to the American public and that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Our current President, however, gave the signal after he took office that his administration would not examine the illegalities of the Bush Administration. He didn’t even have to go as far as a “Presidential Pardon” to do so. Yet Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have been declared “traitors” for releasing the information proving that we went to war in Iraq based on known lies. To my mind the real “traitors” have been those Presidents that followed Richard Nixon, the original traitor and who have covered up the crimes committed against the American people and millions of people around the world.

The choice we face in this election is made stark by the behavior of Donald Trump as he campaigns to become President.  We see in the truth of the released tapes that Richard Nixon was a consummate bigot.  As much of a bigot as he was, Nixon at the very least tried to hide what he knew was unacceptable behavior.  Donald Trump on the other hand uses his overt bigotry as a campaign tactic appealing to the innate bigotry held by many Americans.  It seems almost unimaginable that we could have a potential President who is far more dangerous to America than was Richard Nixon.  My sense is that in danger to our country,  Trump who clearly suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, makes Nixon seem benevolent,  because Trump’s disorder is considered by many psychiatric professionals including myself,  to be the most dangerous of psychiatric disorders.