I won’t kid you, I was scared. We, my girlfriends and I, were watching ABC’s Saturday Night Movie in their basement when stiff slanted letters intruded on the flickering screen. A Special News Report. “We interrupt this broadcast to bring this breaking news,” explained Harry Reasoner in his musical voice.
“FBI agents have sealed the office of the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.”
I sat up from my prone position on the couch, trying to orient myself to the images on that black and white picture tube. The information didn’t make sense, Cox was the guy ferreting out the facts behind the Watergate scandal, and he should have been left alone to do his job. A sense of bewildered loss of gravity made me uneasy as I watched agents string crime tape across an office door, and around file cabinets.
I needed to go home; this movie could wait.
At the backdoor of my house, I could hear the television blaring. My parents were watching the reports, too. Good. Rounding the corner, there again appeared Harry Reasoner, sounding as confused as I felt. But my Dad knew right away something very shady was underway. He never liked Nixon, buying into that “Tricky Dicky” moniker coined back in the Fifties. So, he assumed the worst—and that was good enough for me.
The crisis deteriorated further. By the next morning, a Sunday, with all of America viewing, we found out Nixon ordered Archibald Cox fired, pronto. But the Attorney General wouldn’t do it, so Nixon fired him, instead. The second at the Justice Department wouldn’t carry out Nixon’s bidding either, opting to resign. The third in line, Robert Bork did fire Cox, and obeyed his President’s rather stunning orders.
I thought America was in the middle of a coup. Again, I was pretty scared.
The rest of this tragic tale is well documented, common knowledge. The public freaked, and the Nixon people freaked, and then the Nixon house of cards came a tumbling down. By August, 1974, less than a year after the “Saturday Night Massacre,” President Nixon resigned, the first chief executive to do so in our history.
The thing is, we all knew there was something dark about Richard Nixon. He looked like he was up to no good, and those who denied this quality were turning themselves inside out to deny it. Nixon always said the right things, “tough on crime,” “support our troops,” bleeding-heart Liberals,” pressing the correct conservative buttons. But he betrayed the trust of conservatives, and it took a man of quality, Gerald Ford, Nixon’s Vice President, to restore some kind of equilibrium to the GOP.
Today, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, some shady business is transpiring on Capitol Hill. Another hurried process to fast track Trump nominees for cabinet positions. We’ve got to ask ourselves, what’s the hurry? To whose benefit is the rush job.
And Trump isn’t about a Hundred Day Congress to aid the lives of Americans. Like Nixon, there is a darkness, and a craving for power that serves only one man. This plutocrat is all about buttressing his position, and ramming through his will as fast as possible. That should send up red flags across both houses of Congress and across the expanse of America.
I’m scared again. Watergate left us all reeling, and trust in government has never really returned. I don’t think any one person should have to endure two rancid presidencies in one lifetime.
The only solution is vigilance and persistence. Don’t listen to a word any of these characters utter. Instead watch what they do. Despots on their way up say what they must to get what they want. Watch what Trump and company actually do. Get your Senator on the phone, and press them with “what’s the rush?” We all want good government; government for all Americans.
If there appears to be an almighty hurry, history tells us it’s time to slow down. The Trump people are up to something.
We, the people and the press, need to insist on answers, and demand explanations for the big fat rush. Again, who gains from this fast tracking? And America doesn’t need another secret government.
Senate Switchboard (202) 224-3121, ask for your Senators office.