> You don't understand to this day the economic and social harm
> inflicted by Nixon's continuation of a war he went into office
> pledged to end.
Aside from hindsight being 20/20, the incremental impact of the war to
U.S., lasting a year or so longer than perhaps it should have, was not
that great. The US was winding down its efforts in the last few
years. It would've been bad policy to just walk away and capitulate;
the North Vietnamese took advtg of the opposition to the war to hold
In any event, your statement implies "the end justifies the means".
That is dangerous, because a great many anti-social activities could
be justified on those terms. The actions of southern segregationists
in the past and anti-abortion clinic blockaders of today, to give some
> I know personally from those days radicals were coming to college
> campuses and spewing propaganda to recruit people to disrupt
> everyday life and succeeding in some ways. This is not, contrary to
> belief of some, legitimate political discourse. These were criminal
> acts and a violation of the rights of other people.
I suppose there was some of that, but the majority of what went on at
least started as civil disobedience modeled after that evil radical
"Civil disobediance" is criminal activity. It is a violation of the
rights of others. It is NOT protected free speech. Nixon was under
considerable pressure by people in the country to stop violations of
their rights -- people wanted to go about their daily business without
suffering disruptions by illegal protest sit-ins in the streets or at
colleges. The end intent of those "protests" was indeed disruption of
commerce and education. Nixon had a duty to put a stop to it.
As to Gandhi, I'm not sure exactly what he accomplished, but there was
terrible bloodshed when India and Pakistan gained independence.
Doesn't sound like much of a record of success.
> Governmental over-reaction tended to escalate that into riots
> at times, culminating in the Kent State massacre.
We know now that protesters were deliberately and specially trained to
provacate in such a way to draw a reaction. The protest leaders were
a safe distance away while their pawns did their dirty work.
Take a look at "The Ungovernable City/Lindsay" which talks about the
intentional abuses against the police by the rioters at Columbia
That, and against whom he used those powers. Remember some of the
legitimate critics who were under surveillance, and that the Watergate
burglary and cover-up were targeted at the loyal opposition.
Those who released secret documents were not "loyal". In the case of
Vietnam, it gave aid to the enemy since they therefore knew the US had
no resolve to keep the war going; they had no motivation to make
This was not about peaceful innocent protesters, but, as mentioned
above, those out to disrupt the country.
I won't contest that J. Edgar was out of control, but he served at the
pleasure of the president. Of course, he probably had the goods on
Nixon as well as everyone else who could touch him.
Hoover was a powerful spin doctor in his day and he created a powerful
myth about him. Nixon tried very hard to squeeze him out, but Hoover
would not retire. If Nixon fired him, there'd be a huge outcry.