Political DNA

I was six the first time Richard Nixon was elected president, in 1968. The night is burned in my brain because two unusual things happened. First, not only did my mother permit the black and white television to stay on while the family ate dinner, but she was mute when my father rolled the heavy console out and to the side so we could see the screen from the table. Odder still, when the new president came on camera, my mother fled to sit with her nose nearly pressing the thick bow of green glass separating the TV from the rest of us. And she started talking back, if doing an exaggerated pantomime of vomiting counts as talking. Over and over, the man with the Pinochio nose would make a statement and my normally refined mother, plastered on her knees in front of the television, acted out a dramatic vomit, complete with fingers down her slender freckled throat. “He makes me sick,” she kept shouting.

I somehow got the idea one should wear a political preference on one’s sleeve and feel free to wipe a mouth on some dark days in November. I began voting in 1980 and in the ensuing 36 years, have cast a ballot only twice for a winning presidential candidate – twice, both times. For the sake of our country and the entire world, I pray to every deity that the candidate I vote for this November wins. If not, no deity in the world can help us.

In hindsight, Nixon doesn’t seem so bad.

Nixon’s 1968 Presidential Acceptance video (not responsible for your boredom if you don’t fast forward to at least 5:00 mark)


Add yours →

  1. He was probably too good for US citizens. In my opinion there were only three Presidents in the previous Century who deserve to be mentioned: Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. I don’t pretend that you agree.

  2. Reading the previous post I feel like Laura Meecham’s mother.

  3. Thanks for the read, Rafael!

  4. I’m flattered that you read the post, Stefano, and I now see that President Nixon was one of the really good ones. All the more ironic for my childhood impression.

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