Letters: Revisiting Watergate
UC Irvine history professor Jon Wiener is right to question the absence of leadership and oversight by the National Archives in its direction of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. That said, I recall the remarks by President Clinton, who eulogized Richard M. Nixon at his funeral on April 27, 1994: “Today is a day for his family, his friends and his nation to remember President Nixon’s life in totality. To them, let us say, may the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.”
The Nixon Library is better today than when it
first opened under a private foundation. It now allows historians, researchers, biographers and the American people to see and hear Nixon’s legacy, warts and all.
Thomas J. Searson
Nixon wasn’t merely “forced out” of office. The shocking details of his dirty tricks and obstruction of justice that emerged in 1974 led to a national mood of “no confidence.” When a leader loses the moral authority to lead, he is finished.
Nixon resigned when he finally realized the presidency had left him.
James D. Regan
If former Nixon aid Bob Bostock and other supporters of the Nixon Foundation truly believe that the president’s actions “did not reach the level of offenses for which he could be impeached and convicted,” what better opportunity to make that argument than at the Nixon Library?
Instead, they’re doing their best to sweep the whole matter under the library rug. What could be more damning?
Wiener is apparently upset that the Watergate exhibit is not the only display at the Nixon Library. All he sees about Nixon’s life is Watergate.
Of Nixon’s 81 years, Watergate took up 26 months. There was much more to Nixon’s life and presidency than Watergate.
Weiner fails to mention that the grand opening of the Nixon Library’s “Patriot, President, Peacemaker” exhibit was presided over by U.S. National Archivist David S. Ferriero, a President Obama appointee. If Ferriero or the Obama administration had any issue with the Nixon Library, I have no doubt they would’ve handled it however they saw fit. That they chose to embrace “Patriot, President, Peacemaker” flies in the face of Wiener’s allegations.
I suspect that what really bothers Weiner is that anyone, especially the younger generation, is willing to examine Nixon and his life without the myopic single-issue lens that has clouded so many others.
The writer was a docent at the Nixon Library.
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