Rik Schneider Online

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Richard Nixon Foundation: President Richard Nixon's 1972 State of The Union Address


President Richard Nixon's foreign policy I believe was very clear and yet brilliant. That the United States would be the Democratic leader of the world. Not that we would try to run all of the democracies around the world, but that we would layout the vision of what liberal democracy looks like and what we mean by liberal democracy. And yes our liberal values. Sorry Conservatives, deal with it. And that we would even work with authoritarian states, like the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, authoritarian arab states, the Persian Kingdom in Iran, before they became the Islamic Republic.

We would work with those states as well where we could so we could influence them. Especially their people and show them there's another way of living and it's called freedom. But we would also work with these states to insure peace and freedom around the world where we could. That's why President Nixon went to Russia and China and that's why he negotiated nuclear arms treaties with Russia. And that America couldn't defend the free world by itself. That Europe had to play their role as well, instead of Americans having to pay for and do most of the work. That's what you hear in this 1972 State of The Union address.

What President Nixon also talked about was the need for what the Nixon Administration called revenue sharing. Which is an approach that Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is pushing and something that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also agrees with. Remember, President Nixon inherited the Great Society from President Lyndon Johnson, to go along with the New Deal. From President Franklin Roosevelt thirty-years earlier. And he didn't run for president in 1968 to eliminate the New Deal or Great Society. He knew he would've never gotten that out of a Democratic Congress.

And perhaps President Nixon didn't believe in eliminating the New Deal and Great Society  to begin with. But he wanted to find a way to make these programs as successful as possible, to make them as cost-effective and as efficient as possible. And he believed that empowering state and local government's was the best way to accomplish this by having them run them, with resources from the Federal Government. When it comes to policy, President Nixon is mostly known as a foreign policy President, for what he accomplished there. And even though foreign policy was the strongest interest he had, perhaps from being Vice President for eight years under President Eisenhower, it wasn't his only interest. And the only area that he wanted to work on. And he had a vision for domestic policy as well, but ran out of time to accomplish that because of the Watergate scandal.