A meme I despise.

One of the things you see cropping up in the lefty internet anymore is “Richard Nixon was more liberal than Obama!” The EPA will be mentioned, as will Nixon’s abortive health care and guaranteed minimum income plans.

People who say this are, essentially, either idiots or assholes. Nixon didn’t do these things because he was convinced in his heart of hearts that they were the right thing for the country; Nixon did these things because the Republican party in his day still included men who could be described as “liberal” without giggling. and he needed to hold his party together. Nixon was also an authoritarian asshole with a burning hatred for such minor things as “equality before the law” and “representative democracy.” Hardly a liberal lion. That said, I prefer him to Barry Goldwater.

If you haven’t, please read Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland. It’s brilliant, and sad, and true.

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