Richard Nixon played upon the growing resentments of “regular Joes” across the country. He defined this target audience as a great “silent majority,” and rallied them to his cause by railing against the elites, not the least of which were anti-war college students and professors with draft deferments. Nixon cheered in 1970 when construction workers brutally attacked peace protesters in New York. “Thank God for the hard hats!” he said. He was so successful that he rode his silent majority to electoral victories in 1968 and again in 1972.
Nixon’s political and social maneuvering was masterful, Machiavelli would have been impressed. His scheming led to wins in two presidential elections but in so doing he created a deep rift in American society that persists to this day, polarizing the United States. But Nixon didn’t dream all of these tactics up on his own. He didn’t have to look far to find the prototype for his winning strategy. It was right there in front of him, devised by another California Republican, a lesser known personality to the nation at the time, but that would change….
80 years ago this week, the ELECTRIC AUTO-LITE STRIKE begins in Toledo Ohio over union recognition and wages. The strike lasts nearly two months, during which occurs a brutal five-day pitch battle between some 6,000 strikers and the Ohio National Guard, leaving two striking workers dead and more than 200 injured. The highly publicized struggle happens at the height of the Great Depression and comes to be known as the Battle of Toledo. The strike is regarded by many labor historians as one of the most important strikes in U.S. history…
FDR had stated he was against the re-acquisition of Indochina by the French after WWII. Unfortunately he didn’t make it that long. Truman ignored Ho Chi Minh’s plea for help and backed the French.
Ho Chi Minh had come to power in Vietnam with the assistance of the OSS in the wake of the Japanese surrender in September 1945. He had not yet been tarred with the Communist label– that came later for political reasons. Truman sacrificed Ho in order to keep the French solidly in the Western bloc against the Russians at the end of the war…the rest of course was tragedy….
The Geneva Accords “temporarily” divided Vietnam at the 17th Parallel. Why such a disappointing outcome for Ho Chi Minh and his comrades? At the time Ho’s primary allies, the USSR and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), had other geopolitical considerations that outweighed any benefits to be gained from digging in their heels for Ho Chi Minh… READ MORE>>
The French, Americans and British all had vested interests in keeping the Communists at bay during those chaotic days. They were particularly interested in keeping them from gaining a foothold in Saigon. A suitable governor had to be found, one that was loyal to the “idea” of a South Vietnam and who would advocate for western policies once in place. A name that had surfaced on-and-off throughout the years of French rule was one Ngo Dinh Diem… READ MORE>>