Tag: Nixon

A Historian’s Perspective on Bad Times in American History

I don’t think there’s really any disagreement about how pessimistic the majority of Americans are about the future. Currently, all the polls reveal that pessimism.  As I survey the scene—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns as well. I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how… Read more »

Yes, Hillary, This Is Serious

It’s as if she doesn’t even realize she is in trouble. I’m talking about Hillary Clinton. She airily dismisses all allegations about her secret e-mail server and confidential communications she conducted in an unsafe manner. She even continues to say there were no confidential communications, although we are now up to more than 300 identified (and I may be behind on the latest calculations). Now we discover a small company in Colorado, connected to the Clintons, housed that server in… Read more »

Reagan’s Presidential Library

I’ve been in California this past week, researching at both the Reagan and Nixon libraries as part of one of the projects I’m working on during my sabbatical. I’ve promised to provide updates along the way for those of you who are interested, so here’s another one. The Reagan Library, in particular, is impressive, not only because it’s located on the top of a high hill from where you can see for miles, but also for its beautiful architecture. As… Read more »

The Productive Year Ahead

Later this week, I’ll begin showing students around some of Virginia’s best historic sites. I’ll be staying in Williamsburg, one of my favorite places on the planet. The historic colonial area always attracts me. We’ll also tour Jamestown’s original site, the re-created Jamestown settlement, Yorktown, Monticello (Jefferson’s home), Mt. Vernon (Washington’s home), and sites in Richmond (Virginia capitol, John Marshall’s house, St. John’s church, where Patrick Henry delivered his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” oration). That’s just the… Read more »

The IRS Scandal: Worse Than Watergate

Watergate was an egregious attempt by some Nixon staffers to steal strategy intel from Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign. If successful, it would have given the Nixon people insight into how to conduct their campaign to defeat George McGovern. It was an attempt to influence an election. For the record, it was spectacularly unsuccessful. Nothing was taken and no one who broke into the Democrat headquarters even resisted arrest. Moreover, it was entirely unnecessary; McGovern effectively defeated himself, losing… Read more »

The Preacher & the Presidents

In preparation for my upcoming year of sabbatical when I will be doing some research at presidential libraries, I’ve been reading as much as I can about those who were spiritual advisors to presidents. The obvious first choice for study is Billy Graham. Recently, I finished a book that provided some really excellent and even profound insights into Graham’s relationships with presidents from Truman to George W. Bush. Elegantly written by journalists Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, The Preacher and… Read more »

Celebrating the Stimulus?

We are now five years into the passage of the heralded stimulus bill that was supposed to end all our economic woes. Is it time to celebrate yet? This whole “have-the-government-spend-more-money-and-prosperity-will-result” approach is nothing more than resurrected Keynesian theory. John Maynard Keynes was the economist who became the darling of those who sought to prime the pump of the economy by government expenditure. Richard Nixon, who at one point decided to impose wage-and-price controls on the private sector to resuscitate… Read more »