|Download PDF of this full issue: v44n2.pdf (31.2 MB)
Nixon's Dream-Stomping Ego
By Allen Meece
After a debate on black and white TV that made him look like a sweating chump, Nixon was beaten by John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election.
Eight years later, Nixon and his vanity were back in the Big Race and he beat Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, who ran as an independent, and got into the White House where he canceled his former rival's marvelous Apollo moon exploration program. NASA had planned to build a manned lunar base and later fly by the planet Mars. Humanity had its foot on the bridge to space when "Tricky Dick" Nixon stuck out his foot and tripped us.
Nixon didn't only wind-down the moon program, he crashed it in its tracks. He abandoned two fully-made Saturn V moon rockets on the assembly line. The most powerful rockets in the world were given to space museums to rust in the weather instead of flying mankind's destiny into space. His defective pride could not let him accept the wonders of a program that reflected the brilliance of a real president, John F. Kennedy.
But voters loved Nixon and his dubious Vice President so much that they re-elected them by a landslide of votes, 61% to McGovern's 38% in 1972. Both Republicans disgraced themselves and had to resign within two years.
Forty years after Apollo 17 and Gene Ciernan said goodbye to the moon, we have six astronauts in a doghouse of an orbiting satellite 205 miles high, instead of living on the moon, a quarter-of-a-million miles away. That's a serious failure for the entire population of seven billion homo sapiens.
Political public relations campaigns will fool us unless we work hard on researching the candidates underneath the ad agency hype, which is actually disinformation, to get elected.
Allen Meece was in the US Navy in 1962-1966.