In the 1960s, as opposition to the Vietnam War grew, the phrase “love it or leave it,” as a counter to those who opposed our military involvement in southeast Asia, appeared frequently. Implicit was the notion that one does not protest United States military involvement. To say a war is wrong is also to say U.S. military personnel who died in such involvements died in vain. Such protest is unpatriotic and people who protest wars should leave the country.
The Pentagon Papers revealed that United States elected officials - R and D - and military leaders had known quite early that a military victory in Vietnam was impossible. Michael Herr, whose coverage of the Vietnam War for Esquire magazine was chronicled in his book Dispatches, recalled a joke Americans in Vietnam told about how to win the “war.” To paraphrase Herr: You take all the friendlies in the country, put them on a ship, and sail it whatever distance is necessary. Then you nuke the country. Then you sink the ship.
Media coverage of Vietnam was thorough. Each evening we watched on the news the body counts - ours and theirs - for the week. We also saw the futility of military operations in which a lot of lives were expended to take a hill, the hill was abandoned as strategic focus shifted to another hill, and a couple of weeks later more lives were expended to take the same hill.
The people of this country became disgusted with U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Our free press gave people the information necessary to decide we should get out of Vietnam. A phrase more patriotic than “Love it or leave it” is “Change it or lose it.” Dissent and free expression are values at the core of our republic. The United States is the only country it appears to stage free elections (1864) during a civil war. We also staged free elections (1944) during a World War.
A break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972, became a crisis known as “Watergate.” People associated with the Committee to Re-elect the President carried out the burglary. That crisis ended with Richard Nixon’s resignation as President of the United States. The investigation was bipartisan. The number of members of the GOP who called for President Nixon’s resignation grew as more wrongdoing was uncovered. On the cover of Neil Young’s album “On the Beach,” Young’s back is to the camera. On the sand a newspaper headline states “Buckley Calls for Nixon to Resign.” James Buckley was a Republican and a United States Senator from New York.
Richard Nixon had won re-election in 1972 in a landslide of both popular vote and vote of the electors. He opened relations with the Peoples Republic of China, thawed relations with the Soviet Union frozen by the Cold War, and claimed credit for passage of domestic programs that improved the environment and sought to calm racial tensions. As a lawyer he understood the Constitution. He respected the Constitution and the people of this country enough that he resigned when the leaders of both parties called for him to take that step.
The current occupant of the Oval Office lost the popular vote by some three million (3,000,000). He obtained votes of electors in sufficient numbers to claim office. A “flip” of about forty thousand (40,000) votes in three “swing” states gave him that margin of electors. One GOP sycophant said, during hearings two weeks ago, that the current POTUS is in office by the will of the American people after a landslide victory. One is left to infer that “landslide victory” occurred in 2016. A “landslide,” in this context, is defined as “an election in which a particular candidate or party receives an overwhelming mass or majority of votes.” A loss by three million popular votes is not a landslide. Even the margin of victory of electors was not a landslide, but the ninth closest on record.
The Republican Party started as a progressive party aimed at abolition of slavery. Other policies of the GOP aimed at economic reforms and to preserve the environment. Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive, after all. Senator Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign for President of the United States exposed, for the first time since Reconstruction after the Civil War, that the “solid South” of the Democratic Party was not so solid. President Nixon was credited with a Republican “southern strategy” that manipulated racial tensions to calve off states that had been solidly Democratic for a century.
Part of the southern strategy, as honed by the late Lee Atwater, was to use “wedge” issues, such as women’s reproductive rights, but also school busing, to make the GOP more ideologically “pure.” A corporate entity knows no “purity.” The Indiana Republican Party is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Indiana. In 2010 the “tea party” movement attacked Republican insufficiently “Republican” by tea party standards to take over the GOP. To vice opposition to these forces was political suicide. Senator Richard Lugar, the longest-serving United States Senator in Indiana history, lost in the primary.
Republican candidates generally are scared to anger the tea party “base,” even though the views of members of that base are in a minority. Members of the GOP today are concerned more with electoral victory than with what is good for this country.
I am a bona fide candidate for the Republican nomination for the Fifth Congressional District. (Indiana Republican State Committee Rule 1-12.) I am a qualified primary Republican. (Rule 1-24.) I am a Republican in good-standing, to date, because there are no Republican Party nominees for any office to support or oppose. (Rule 1-25.)
Each day more acts of wrongdoing by the current POTUS are exposed. He seems to be moving to eliminate opponents in next year’s primaries.
Today the American people have been abandoned by our two-party system. During Watergate leaders from both parties eventually prevailed on President Nixon to resign. Whatever serious wrongful and illegal acts were carried out by Richard Nixon and members of his administration and campaign pale in comparison to the conduct of the current POTUS.
I believe it is the duty of any who seek the office for which I run to openly call for the President/Vice President ticket that took office on January 20, 2017, to resign. I openly call for those resignations. We cannot abandon one of the two “major” political parties to forces of hatred and ignorance. Those forces gamed our system to place in power and effect views held by a minority of our citizens.
The difference between what Vietnam is today and what it might have been without United States military involvement is one of lives. The United States lost sixty thousand (60,000). Estimates of Southeast Asian dead are in the millions. People who opposed the undeclared “war” in Vietnam were not unpatriotic. Today a person who opposes an individual who gained the Oval Office through illegal acts and adherence to a hostile foreign power a question is not treasonous.
Whatever flaws the United States has, our system of law and free elections, somehow, has come through many crises. The last time the two-party system was weakened to the point of extinction was roughly 1840 to 1868. Structurally the Constitution is given to two parties. We must take the GOP back.