A Rainy Summer's Day - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Rainy Summer’s Day

Rain is falling all over the lake, as far as I can see. Still a magnificent sight. Gray and white and then green mountains as far as the eye can see.

My wifey is still asleep at 12.30, which is normal for her. We are being visited by Mike and Nancy Visser, our handsome/beautiful couple from Calgary, and their two super gorgeous daughters, Payton and Megan. I am a bit groggy from staying up last night watching a fine documentary about World War I until way too late.

The documentary is simply called “World War I in Color.” It has got to be nine hours long. If it were a million hours long, it could not capture the horror of that war. The suffering, pain, loss of life, starvation, crippling terror of that war is just plain beyond what we in our pajamas at lunchtime can imagine.

Whenever you are feeling sorry for yourself — which I often am — think of being in a trench getting shelled, gnawed on by rats, in total shock, in agony, then being ordered to “go over the top” into a hail of shell fire and machine gun bullets and certain death.

Think of the tens of thousands frozen in the mountain passes of the Tyrol and the Caucasus in wartime misery that most of us had never even heard of. The fights between the Russians and the Turks in the mountains of Armenia (or near Armenia) were unimaginably horrible. The Italians fought like tigers against the Germans and Austrians, also fighting like tigers, in the Tyrol. What man can stand up to, what he can endure, these torments are unspeakable.

The raw courage of the British and French, and their saviors, the American doughboys, these are stupefying.

And we live in peace in the mountains or hills of North Idaho, looking out a vast window at a vast lake. Eating breakfast and drinking tea. It is all just astonishing.

This second, rain began to fall in torrents. Imagine being in that, in a trench, or marching, carrying heavy weapons and kits and getting shelled at the same time. It is all just incredibly awful. And the results!!! Tens of millions dead of violence or disease. Bolshevism in Russia. Nazi mass murderers in Berlin. The vastly worse cruelty of World War II.…And this turns my mind to the Peacemaker, Richard Nixon.

Two nights ago, I read a review in the New York Times by a Professor Greenberg of Rutgers (a fine school) about two books on Richard Nixon. Their names are not important. Suffice it to say, the authors, and Prof. Greenberg, had on display their usual nasty condescension, contempt, and loathing of Nixon.

My wife (a saint and a genius) says there are genes for hatred. She thinks there is a European gene for Jew hatred. I have begun to think there is a gene for Nixon hatred. Nixon’s accomplishments were so vast, his “high crimes and misdemeanors…” so tiny that only some form of mental disease or defect could explain the seething hatred with which the “intelligentsia” view him. It might just be a genetic disorder that makes people in New York and Brentwood hate him so much.

Look at the man. Although he had been the object of withering criticism and rage by Jews on the left for his whole political life, he became the savior of Israel. He is called an “anti-Semite” because he used street sneers against Jews. That does not make an anti-Semite. An anti-Semite treats Jews unfairly badly, or even hurts them.

Richard Nixon exalted Jews at home in his administration. He had Jews in positions Jews had never had before. Nixon, the “anti-Semite,” had a Jewish head of the National Security Council, a Jewish counsel, a Jewish Chair of the Federal Reserve, a Jewish Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (my father), Jewish speechwriters and campaign managers (I was one).

When the going was really rough for Israel, Nixon threw everything we had into defending the Jewish state. I have never heard of any other President doing that.

Is anyone calling Mr. Obama an anti-Semite even though he has thrown Israel under the bus to accommodate Iran? No. Truman’s wife made him promise he would never have a Jew in the house. LBJ sat on his hands in the ’67 war. Only Nixon made an all-in bet on Israel and it paid off fantastically.

To call Nixon an anti-Semite racist is like calling Ben Gurion anti-Semitic.

Then the haters call him tricky and sneaky. No. Tricky and sneaky is using your own personal e-mail system instead of the one the government gives you for classified e-mails when you are Secretary of State. A man who records all his calls and conversations and then saves them and turns them over to his enemies… That may be foolish. It is not sneaky or tricky.

Why do people hate a man who opened China, eventually leading to a vastly better life for hundreds of millions? Why would anyone call Nixon an enemy of the Constitution for firing a Cabinet secretary it was his exact right to fire? And, yes, Nixon suggested using the CIA to blunt the investigation of Watergate. But he just talked about it. He didn’t do it. How about destroying your records and documents about Benghazi as a Congressional Committee is subpoenaing them? That’s real obstruction of justice.

Nixon — he gave us a generation of peace and we crucified him. It has happened before.

Your basic human, as my brilliant sister says, “is not such a hot item.” But Nixon was red hot for peace. And so the Professor Greenbergs of this world write dismissively and contemptuously of him. But after you run out of contempt, you run into the achievements for peace, and they are solid. They cannot be wished away by contempt. And how any Jew who cares about the Jewish state can loathe Nixon is inexplicable. Maybe it is a genetic thing.

Now, I will make lunch for my wifey.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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