Nixon: Man Behind the Mask - Gary Allen

The Un-Free Agent

It must seem a great irony to many that as the Nixon Administration moves Left, the country as a whole is moving Right. That this is true is attested by the fact that the President often resorts to Conservative rhetoric and uses Vice President Spiro Agnew as a tool to placate Conservative sentiment in the nation.

On November 5, 1968, over 73 million Americans tramped to the polls and elected Richard Nixon President with 43 percent of the vote. On this basis America's powerful Liberal pundits and social savants announced in a shrill chorus that Mr. Nixon was a minority President, and that in order to govern properly he should form a sort of coalition government to include "the alienated urban poor and the dissident youth." When John Kennedy won a squeaker over Nixon in 1960, thanks to civic-minded voters from the Great Beyond in Chicago and Texas, these same soothsayers trumpeted that the returns were a "mandate" for the march to a New Frontier of the Left. Not one southpaw scribe suggested that Richard Nixon undertake a "dialogue," much less seek a coalition government, with the alienated, disaffected, and dissident ten million who had put their X on the ballot beside the name of George Corley Wallace. Unlike the Black Nationalists and New Lefties, the ten million Wallace supporters were deemed to be beyond the political and ideological pale—awful creatures to be isolated and treated as lepers.

The Liberal pundits ignored the fact that Nixon and Wallace polled a combined 57 percent of the vote, which constituted the greatest four-year shift of voter sentiment against an incumbent party in the nation's history. Led by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Democrats got 61 percent of the vote against Barry Goldwater. Four years later they were swamped when more than 18 percent of the electorate changed their minds. The Nixon-Wallace 57 percent represented a clear Conservative majority. This, of course, makes it all the more strange that the President should prove to be a Liberal in action.

It is certainly not that the President is unaware of the meaning of the 1968 contest, for one of his campaign assistants has delivered to him an exhaustive breakdown of national voting moods and patterns. Kevin Phillips, Mr. Nixon's principal "vote patterns" and "trends" analyst and Special Assistant to Nixon campaign manager John Mitchell during the campaign, assembled the results of his study in a book. The Emerging Republican Majority.

The conclusion of Mr. Phillips that Conservativism is the real wave of the political future is particularly significant, since this graduate of the Harvard Law School is far from being a Conservative on many issues. As one who walks carefully along the center stripe, Phillips cannot be accused of letting his personal prejudices color his conclusions—a charge which reviewers applied to similar conclusions of the brilliant M. Stanton Evans at the time he published The Future of Conservatism in 1968. Actually the Phillips book, written after the election and based on a careful scrutiny of the returns, proves that Mr. Evans was less a partisan than an accurate analyst and shrewd forecaster of the temper of the American trend.

Republican Battle Line, in September 1969, called the Phillips book:

". . . no less than a blueprint for Republican Party control of the White House for the remainder of the century. And it is based on a mass of maps, charts, election trend statistics and historical facts that in combination reflect the author's deep sense of scholarship and keen analytic mind."

The "Phillips Strategy" in a nutshell is to build a Republican presidential majority based upon combining the Heartland (Midwest), the Sun Belt (from Charleston, S.C., across the Southwest to Southern California), and the West. The twenty-five states that comprise the Heartland, for example, cast 223 of the 270 electoral votes needed to elect a President of the United States. Whereas Nixon carried only 17 of these in 1960, in 1968 he carried 21. The "Phillips Strategy" abandons the Northeast, saying in effect, "There's no way, baby."

Phillips has sent Liberals into absolute conniptions, and they have damned his plan as "the Southern Strategy." Actually, it is not a "Southern Strategy," but a national strategy that includes the South. Unfortunately, Liberals have not psychologically re-admitted the South into the Union. They love the sidewalks of New York, not the suburbs of Atlanta. What they hate most about it, of course, is that the "Phillips Strategy" is a Conservative strategy to build a coalition of Republicans, Catholics, and Southern Democrats.

Following the 1970 midterm elections. Liberals, including Democratic chieftain Lawrence O'Brien, fell all over themselves announcing that the "Southern strategy" had flopped, since many GOP candidates had gone down the drain in Dixie. But the misnamed "Southern Strategy" is a Presidential strategy, not a gubernatorial or congressional strategy. Certainly the GOP would like to elect governors, senators, and congressmen in the South, and someday they may, but the facts of the matter are that many Southerners vote for Conservative Democrats in these races. However, this does not mean they will swallow a Hubert Humphrey, Edmund Muskie, or Teddy Kennedy in a presidential race. They will either vote Republican, if the candidate is a Conservative, or they will vote for a third party candidate, like Governor George Wallace in an attempt, at the very least, to throw the election into the House of Representatives, where they could bargain.

"Ah," say the Liberals, "but you don't build a party by reading people out of it. You build a party by bringing people into it. We must attract the young, the poor, and the black."

Of course, no party should exclude people because of race, age, or economic status, but the Republican Party should exclude socialists—be they millionaires or welfare recipients. It is truly tragic that many of the young, the poor, and the black have been convinced that their economic salvation lies in socialism—the primary cause of the problems they have. The Republican Party must not cater to their mistaken ideas. The cliche that socialism is the cancer of liberty and has never worked is true. Following the path of the welfare state with its increasing numbers of people on the dole, high taxes, and perpetual inflation is not only immoral and the road to national disaster; but it is not even politically expedient.

Phillips, relying on stark statistics, shows that no amount of Republican concern for Negro welfare can gain their mass support. He points to returns which show that neither Michigan ex-Governor George Romney nor Illinois Senator Charles Percy got more than 19 or 20 percent of the black vote, despite their all-out effort to win it. Phillips adds: "Indeed, the Negro-Democratic mutual identification was a major source of Democratic loss . . . in many parts of the country . . ." and conversely, the lack of GOP-Negro identification helped the Republicans nationwide.

With an impressive array of vote statistics culled from Northeastern and urban precincts, Phillips demolished the Liberal Republican argument that the GOP must cater to big city Liberals to gain votes. He calls this "one of the greatest political myths of this decade—a product of liberal self-interest . . . the actual demographic and political facts convey a very different message."

The "Big City strategy" aimed at the Northeast, as advocated by GOP Liberals, assures only a Republican debacle. The big cities are losing their power. The real growth of America is in the suburbs and particularly in the suburbs of the fast-growing areas of the South-Southwest and West—targeted by Phillips as the base of his emerging Republican majority. The electoral votes of the Sun Belt almost tripled in the half century between 1920 and 1970, outstripping the declining urban Northeast in the process. Equally important, the Republican share of the suburban vote is on the increase.' Richard C. Wade of the University of Chicago wrote:

"The great growth area of the country is the suburbs—and they are going to be for a long time . . . the suburbs are likely to stay strongly Republican."

However, the decisive turning point has come just recently. A report by the Republican National Committee on the 1966 elections stated: "The balance of political power in the nation's major metropolitan areas has swung sharply in the direction of the suburbs in the past four years." In his book. Conservatism and the GOP, Frank W. Mezek Jr. went on to say:

"In 1962 the metropolitan area vote was about evenly divided between the cities and their suburbs, but in four years the suburban vote grew by more than 12 percent while the urban vote declined 11.5 percent. Thus, in the 1966 elections, the suburban share of the total metropolitan vote rose to 56 percent!". . . [Emphasis in the original]

U.S. News & World Report told us in its June 2, 1969 issue:

"Four-fifths of the national growth will be found to have taken place in the suburbs, where nearly 20 million people have been added in a decade."

Phillips asserted that a large segment of the Democratic electorate is in the process of breaking away. The old urban-labor coalition which has served the Democratic party so faithfully and well in the past is breaking down.

"The Democratic coalition is now a basket case. Its body is emaciated, and its arms or legs are broken, or paralyzed, or sliced right off," wrote Stewart Alsop.

Theodore Sorenson, the late President Kennedy's chief adviser, said:

"The old urban coalition has split to smithereens. The unions can no longer deliver their members, their preachers can no longer deliver the Negroes and the ward captains can no longer deliver the precincts."

The children of the masses of first- and second-generation Americans, who were often ignorant or illiterate and crowded into large cities, where they were dependent on the Democratic precinct captain for vital services or jobs, have now moved to the suburbs. Frank Mezek notes:

". . . the laboring man is becoming affluent, suburbanized, conservative and Republican—usually in that order. The American worker is no longer Roosevelt's 'forgotten man' of the Depression, and he would probably be insulted if this were insinuated today . . ."

Addressing the Western States Democratic Conference in Los Angeles on August 26, 1967, Postmaster General Lawrence F. O'Brien, referring to:

"American workers who live in the suburbs, pay taxes, support church and community activities and hope to send their children to college," went on to say, "We are making a serious error if we look at union memberships as if they were living back in the 1930's. Today the party that forgets that about 50 percent of union families are in the $7,500 to $15,000 range does so at its peril."

Pat Brown, the former Democratic Governor of California, said after his 1966 loss to Ronald Reagan:

"Workers used to ask about workmen's compensation and disability insurance. Not this time. The workers have become aristocrats, they became Republicans."

As laboring families move to the suburbs, and one-half of all laboring families and 75 percent of union members under age 40 now live in suburbia, they do not automatically desert the Democratic Party for the Republican. It is more a process of attrition. As they pay property taxes, become more closely oriented to their local government, and are influenced by the proximity of Conservative and Republican thought, they tend to become Conservative and Republican themselves. The rise of the suburbs reflects a growing middle-class and growing affluence in the United States. Studies by the AFL-CIO have shown that as people move to the suburbs they gradually become more Conservative, looking to the federal government not as a benefactor, but as a menace. They become aware not of what government can "give" them, but of what it can take away.

While Phillips, Evans, and Mezek all agree that labor is becoming increasingly sympathetic to courting by Conservatives, the 1970 Congressional elections showed that labor tends to return to the womb when the economy sours and the specter of unemployment rises. Nixon's refusal to control inflation by cutting government spending and taxes doubtless cost the Republicans dear in the off-year elections, despite the fact that he was basically following Phillips' campaign recommendations and making a Conservative appeal.

Another factor in favor of forging the "New Consensus" is that the number of blue-collar workers is decreasing as a percentage of the total population. Increased educational opportunities and the force of an increasingly scientific and technological society are changing the makeup of the work force. There are now six and a half million more white-collar than blue-collar workers in our country.

A major segment of the "New Consensus" is the South, where century-long attachments to the Democratic party are breaking down. Phillips peers at his election statistics and determines that the whole future of the Republican party lies in moving far enough to the Right to persuade Southern Wallace voters, who are mostly Democrats, to get off their donkey and mount the elephant. He writes:

"The common denominator of Wallace's support. Catholic or Protestant, is alienation from the Democratic party and a strong trend - shown in other years and other contests—towards the GOP. Although most of Wallace's votes came from Democrats, he principally won those in motion beween a Democratic past and a Republican future . . ." Three quarters or more of the Wallace electorate represented lost Nixon votes."

In an interview with Human Events on August 16, 1969, Phillips further elaborated on the Wallace vote:

". . . of the states Wallace carried, four of them had been among the six to vote for Goldwater in 1964. Obviously much of the Wallace electorate there, and beyond those states as well, was a Goldwater electorate. And to that extent it came from voters who had been in a Republican voting pattern.

"But you can go beyond this and you can look at areas that were showing a trend to the Republicans in 1960 that was quite sharp and then rolling up a heavy Wallace vote in 1968. The indication is that an awful lot of these voters, although Democrats by party identification, were exactly the segment of the Democratic electorate that is in the process of breaking away.

". . . Third parties have almost always served as way stations between the parties, and these Wallace voters seem definitely to be in a transitional phase."

Loyalties to the Democratic Party that were built in the South after the Civil War are being displaced as the Democratic Party becomes more and more the creature of the Eastern Liberal Establishment. Phillips observed:

"What you have in the works politically is a deterioriation of Democratic tradition among people, often very conservative people, whose loyalty to the Democratic party is based on old Democratic party cultural, regional and ethnic loyalties. And as those deteriorate and fall apart, their cohesion starts transferring itself to the GOP. Mainly because there are many aspects of the Republican party, whether in foreign policy or social policy or economic policy, that are more appealing to these people once their old traditional loyalties become to them obsolescent and no longer purposeful . . . "

However, it is doubtful if many of these potential pachyderms have been converted by the actions of the Nixon Administration, despite the occasional "meaningless bauble" thrown their way. Liberal Stewart Alsop sees Mr. Nixon moving Left (for his "New Consensus") because that is where he believes most of the voters lie:

This two-way nibbling explains why the President who unleashed Agnew and nominated Clement F. Haynsworth Jr. and G. Harrold Carswell is the same President who first proposed a floor under incomes and a multibillion-dollar attack on pollution. Judging by the polls and other evidence, the nibbling is going so well that the President is much closer to creating his majority than would have seemed likely a year ago.

If the majority is to be solid and lasting, most of the votes will have to come from the Democratic center rather than the Wallace right, because that is where most of the votes are. This is why the Nixon technique of pre-emption of the liberal Democratic issues is his chief political instrument. He has used it so far with consummate skill.

". . . His object is to create a solid majority for the Republican Party and Richard Nixon, which will be the mirror image of the Democratic majority created by Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt's majority stretched from the outer edges of the pro-Communist left to the outer edges of the hard-core Republican right. Mr. Nixon's majority is designed to stretch from the edges of the Wallace right to the edges of the hard-core liberal Democratic left. And he is nibbling away at both edges just as hard as he can."

Mr. Nixon obviously would like to be all things to all people.

Liberals in general, and Liberal Republicans in particular, have tried to convince Republican politicians that the country is overwhelmingly Liberal and that the word "Conservative" has a poisonous image. For them it does. But not to the American public. The truth is that "Conservative" has far more acceptance—by as much as a two-to-one margin—than does the term "Republican." Current surveys reveal that barely one-quarter of the American people now consider themselves Republicans, but a far higher percentage, up to one-half of the electorate, think of themselves as Conservatives.

In a 1963 Gallup Poll, voters were asked, "Suppose there were two major parties in the United States, one for liberals and one for conservatives, which one would you be most likely to prefer?" Fifty-one percent answered Liberal, forty-nine percent answered Conservative. In other words, the Conservatives would only have to proselytize one percent of the Liberals to achieve parity.

In a September 1966 interview Gallup admitted that Conservative strength in America seemed to be on the increase, and added:

"The country is split almost evenly between 'conservatives' and 'liberals.' Strangely enough, the word 'conservative' doesn't carry the onus that the word 'Republican' does."

A Harris survey in 1964 found Conservatism on a key number of issues to be not merely strong but overwhelming. Harris concluded that voters agreed with Goldwater on prayer in the schools (88 percent), government security regulations (94 percent), the demoralizing effect of government welfare programs (60 percent), and the general increase of government power (60 percent). The fact that these same voters were preparing to cast their ballots against the candidate who represented their own views on these questions, and in favor of the candidate who opposed them, illustrates the difficulty of putting a strictly ideological interpretation on any given set of election results.

If the 1964 election had been run on issues instead of TV ads showing Social Security cards being torn up and little girls vaporized in mushroom clouds, Goldwater would have won. But former Census Bureau chief Richard Scammon observed that many voters thought Johnson was the Conservative candidate and Goldwater the "radical" one. Harris found that almost half the voters polled by his organization chose the designation "radical" rather than "conservative" to describe Goldwater's position. '

If there are more Conservatives than is generally believed, then why have they lost so many presidential elections to Liberals? The chief answer, according to Evans, is that American elections are not ideological plebiscites but highly complicated affairs in which popular sentiment is divided by many other factors. Also, it is difficult to determine cause and effect, because politicians most often do not conduct their campaigns in terms relevant to ideology. Equally important is the fact that Conservatives over the years have been outclassed by the Liberals in presenting their case to the public. But Richard Nixon proved in 1968 that a candidate could run as a Conservative and win.

Mr. Nixon, a firm realist when it comes to politics, obviously realizes that despite the howls of Republican Liberals, Messrs. Phillips, Evans, and Mezek know what they are talking about. Republican campaign strategy in 1968 and 1970 reflected an awareness that those who have come to be known as "the silent majority" are a large and politically forceful group. This does not mean that they are well-informed Conservatives who have studied political philosophy, economics, or history from other than the Liberal point of view. These people, for the most part, attended the same institutions of higher leaning and rely for their information on the same Establishment-controlled slick magazines and television commentators as the Liberals. But they are intuitive Conservatives who look around and see the real world as it is. Innately they are appalled at crime, rioting, inflation, high taxes, and an America-last foreign policy. What Richard Nixon realizes is that most of these people have short memories and basically want to forget about politics and go back to minding their own business after the election. Most of them are lulled to sleep by the continuing Conservative rhetoric and don't notice that the Liberals are getting the lion's share of the action.

Doubtless Mr. Nixon would like to carry on this charade through the '72 election. After that it will be "Katy bar the door." Until then, the realities of the Phillips strategy must be observed—though officially denied. Since writing his book. The Emerging Republican Majority, Mr. Phillips has become officially an un-person. Now that he is no longer with the Nixon Administration, when his name is mentioned, top party leaders say, "Kevin who?" Columnists Evans and Novak detailed in the Los Angeles Times of September 30, 1969, how the White House has decided to handle this hot potato:

"President Nixon's highly critical answer at Friday's press conference when asked about Kevin Phillips' The Emerging Republican Majority was no snap response but had been carefully prepared in advance as part of a concerted White House effort to disavow the book and muzzle the author.

"A few days before the President's public rejection of the lily-white strategy implicit in the book, the muzzle was applied. It was made clear from on high in the Administration that Phillips, a 29-year-old special assistant to Atty. Gen. John N. Mitchell, ought to curtail his public appearances. As a result, he quietly bowed out of a scheduled debate on NBC's Today show last Wednesday morning . . ."

Early in September, a senior White House aide (not Dent) prepared a highly critical memorandum on the book for Mr. Nixon. It recommended that, when asked, the President should say he had not read the book but still indicate clearly that he does not agree with it (advice he followed at Friday's press conference).

Evans and Novak reported that Phillips had been thoroughly muzzled by the Administration until he left his job as Mitchell's aide. But you can be certain that Mr. Nixon and Attorney General John Mitchell, who will reportedly manage Mr. Nixon's campaign once again in 1972, have virtually memorized every chart, table, and graph in The Emerging Republican Majority. Battle Line pointed out in December 1969:

". . . if conservatives are pleased with the words of Agnew and Mitchell, they should not lose sight of the many liberal actions the Nixon Administration has been taking. It is fairly obvious that the President and his political advisors have understood and accepted the thesis advanced in Kevin Phillips' book The Emerging Republican Majority. Being pragmatic, they naturally tend to do whatever they feel necessary to win the support of this new national conservative majority . . ."

You can also be certain that the Democrats will cooperate by nominating a "super-Liberal" who will frighten many Americans into reluctantly supporting Mr. Nixon and his seemingly more moderate socialism. It will be the old "lesser of two evils" flim-flam once again. And why not? It works! And it will continue to work until Americans realize that the choice they are given—between taking the freeway to socialism and going by way of the back alleys—is a false alternative. Both lead to the same destination; one route merely gets there slightly later than the other.

Numerous rationalizations are offered for the conflict between what Mr. Nixon does and what he says. One major excuse is that he does not control Congress. This is true from a numerical standpoint, but it would be quite possible to forge an ideological majority with a Republican-Southern Democrat coalition.

If he wanted to, the President could take giant steps toward reducing socialistic controls over the citizens of this country without the assistance of a single senator or congressman. Many of the most dictatorial laws that have partially enslaved Americans were not passed by Congress at all. These are "Executive Orders," which are entered into the Federal Register by the Executive Department and at the end of thirty days have the force of law. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find a grant of power to make "Executive Orders." Historically, presidents issued these "Executive Orders" to cover things like holidays and working schedules for government employees.

But Franklin Delano Roosevelt perverted this harmless mechanism into a weapon for establishing one-man tyrannical rule by bypassing Congress. For example, the reason you cannot own gold is not that Congress passed a law against it, but that FDR issued an "Executive Order." Mr. Nixon has said much (and done nothing) about returning the power of government to the people. By "the people," he does not mean individuals, but state and local governments. Mr. Nixon could take a gigantic step towards increasing individual liberty simply by systematically repealing literally thousands of un-Constitutional "Executive Orders" that are on the books. Instead, Mr. Nixon has increased their number and strengthened some of the most dangerous ones.

The concept that the federal government is a Frankenstein monster run amuck, which cannot be controlled, is another oft-used excuse for the contradiction between Nixon's promises and his performance, as in this example by the Wall Street Journal's Alan Otten:

". . . there's the possibility, sure to be rejected by conservative philosophers, that the Presidency simply forces a man to be more liberal—that once in office, facing the magnitude and intensity of unsolved problems and the tremendous backlog of unmet needs, a man concerned about his place in history almost inevitably becomes an activist, ready or even eager to order new and bigger Federal programs. Greater action by the private sector and state and local governments may be fine campaign themes, and Mr. Nixon will surely push for such action in the months ahead. But the levers and money the President actually controls are Federal power and Federal funds, and more and more he uses these to meet the problems he feels must be met. "

Certainly it takes courage to reduce government, because every bureau, every subsidy, every program represents strong vested interests. But public sentiment is, in general, strongly in favor of cutting back the expensive giveaways—many of which could be abolished by cancelling the "Executive Orders" that created them. Instead, Mr. Nixon is moving in just the opposite direction, adding onto New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, and Great Society programs as well as creating "New Nixon" giveaways of his own.

Another rationalization offered for Mr. Nixon's seemingly inconsistent Liberal actions is that he is prevented by public opinion from doing otherwise. But this is just the reverse of the truth. As the February 1970 Battle Line observed:

"Nor can it be plausibly argued that Nixon is simply being as conservative as public opinion will allow. Quite the opposite. He is obviously suggesting to the public that he is more conservative than is actually the case—implying that public opinion would not only countenance more rightward action but is earnestly in want of it. If the administration's objective is to move things as much toward traditionalism as possible, it should be willing to be at least as conservative as its advertising says it is."

The obvious question is: Why is Nixon leading into socialism? He campaigned as a Conservative, virtually lifting George Wallace's campaign theme lock, stock, and barrel. There was hardly a dime's worth of difference between a Nixon campaign speech and a Wallace campaign speech, except for Wallace's more colorful colloquialisms. The long-standing argument over whether a man can win the Presidency by campaigning as a Conservative has finally been settled. Now millions are wondering why Nixon's actions as President should be so different from his campaign promises. What motive could he have?

Every amateur psychiatrist and "pop" psychologist from Burbank to Boston has been trying for two and a half decades to discover the "real" Nixon. It is a pastime almost as popular as playing Monopoly, or mini-skirt watching. Theories abound like ants at a midsummer's picnic. We shall not spend time on any of these theories for we believe most of them are inconsequential, except that friend and foe unanimously agree that Mr. Nixon is fired by an all-consuming ambition. We think Mr. Nixon is summed up in an unguarded remark he made to an acquaintance of ours when he was first running for Congress in 1946, before he had acquired the cool reticence of today:

"Look, you drove up to this meeting in a beautiful new Cadillac. I came here in a battered secondhand Chevrolet. But all of that is going to change. I'm going to get mine, no matter what it takes."

This inordinate ambition has been both Mr. Nixon's greatest asset and, from the country's point of view, his Achilles' heel. This fervid desire to scratch his way to the top of the political heap has driven him to spend countless hours preparing himself for the presidency. It drove him to tour the country tirelessly, not only in his own behalf but for other Republican candidates. It allowed him to rise from the ashes like a phoenix after his defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial election, in which virtually every observer in the nation had read Nixon's political epitaph.

Richard Nixon is far from being the first man to have borne the scars of childhood poverty and had them turn into a mania of ambition for wealth or power. Mr. Nixon became a politician quite by accident (as we shall see later), much as a man might fall into a career in advertising or as a stockbroker. Had he not become a politician he might have become a real live Cash McCall, or another Joe Kennedy. But such was not his fate.

One can readily understand how a man of inordinate ambition may become an opportunist or, as Mr. Nixon is most often called, a pragmatist, i.e., one who does what appears to be practical without regard to any set of principles.

While Nixon's most vociferous backers have for the most part been Conservative, he does not himself profess to be a Conservative. When asked where he stood on the ideological spectrum, Mr. Nixon replied, "I'm perhaps at dead center."

Being "at dead center," however, is a convenient, a pragmatic position. One can move in either direction from there, very quickly and without attracting great attention. But, as we have said before, the "middle of the road" is a totally unstable position. It is theoretically a position between competitive free enterprise on the right and revolutionary Communism on the left. The "center" is not the place of moderation its adherents claim it to be.

As the world's greatest economist, Ludwig von Mises, has shown, "The middle of the road leads to socialism." In every election campaign the "middle of the roaders" have to promise more and more "free" government goodies to those beguiled individuals who believe that there is such a thing as something for nothing. And in each election we enfranchise more and more people who do not work for a living and therefore don't pay the taxes that finance the "free" government handouts. This is why the "middle of the road" has been steadily shifting Leftward since the election of FDR. Many centrist goals today (such as a guaranteed annual income) would have been considered ultra-Leftwing less than a decade ago. Many, if not most, Americans consider themselves "middle of the roaders" because they feel it is a sensible position between extremes.

A politician can run as a "centrist" and attract support from most people on the political spectrum, foregoing the allegiance only of those who are termed "extremists." This false conception of what the political spectrum is has been the secret weapon of the Fabian Socialists, who would bring the theories of Marx to fruition one painful step at a time. By the middle '50s the late old-time socialist Norman Thomas could look around and proclaim that practically all of the planks of the Socialist Party platform of 1932 had been adopted by the Democrats and Republicans. In April 1957, Thomas, six-time candidate for President of the U.S. on the Socialist ticket, stated that "the United States is making greater strides towards socialism under Eisenhower than under Roosevelt."'8 And Norman Thomas, who liked Ike, would be absolutely delirious over Richard Nixon.

The concept that Mr. Nixon is a "centrist," a "middle of the roader," a "pragmatist"—empty terms that sound meaningful—is widely promoted by the press. Alan Otten, in the Wall Street Journal, expressed what is generally accepted as the lack of any guiding philosophy within the administration when he wrote:

". . . the Nixon Administration appears to have no convictions at all—to be merely holding its finger to the political winds and swaying back and forth," and he further observes that the President "is above all a pragmatist, addressing himself matter-of-factly and non-philosophically to the domestic and foreign problems facing the country and the political problems facing himself and his party; that he will seek aggressively to command as much of the middle of the road as possible; and that this means he will probably zigzag back and forth . . . "

Columnist Robert Semple of the New York Times would have us believe the same thing:

"Yet in the end one suspects that the underlying cause of much of the confusion is the absence of any firm ideological thrust in Mr. Nixon's mind or in the minds of his principal associates. 'A political man,' he is fond of calling himself, and that is what he is: a creature of that extraordinarily shapeless heritage known as 'moderate Republicanism,' a centrist whose principal political ambition is to occupy neither the right nor the left, but to enlarge the middle.

"Hence he zigs and he zags, and if he is zigging rightward today— and no one should be surprised by this, in view of his campaign promises—then he may zag in the other direction tomorrow. Intellectually supple and politically sensitive, he is trying to build a complicated platform from which he can preside—and win again.""

Max Frankel put forth the same Establishment line on the President: ". . . the President abhors controversy and keeps trying to embrace all points of view . . . "

The Wall Street Journal's Edward Behr predicted on July 17, 1969, that apparent ideological confusion will continue to reign throughout Nixon's first administration:

"It may well be . . . that no one action will mean much, that the oft-confusing crosscurrents marking the President's first six months will persist indefinitely and that even by January 1973 the Nixon regime will show no clear-cut pattern or philosophy."

You can bet a clear-cut pattern will emerge after January 1, 1973.

On January 24, 1970, Human Events interpreted Mr. Nixon's actions in much the same way:

"We don't accuse the Nixon Administration of being truly liberal, or even blindly middle-of-the-road. More often than not, it appears confused and at cross purposes with itself. Too frequently it seems as if the President has no real philosophy, that his entire goal is to tranquilize the electorate rather than to lead it in a certain direction. When the conservatives get uppity, Spiro Agnew comes to the fore with all his hard-line rhetoric. But as the liberals become incensed, Agnew fades offstage and the spotlight suddenly focuses on Robert Finch, who has been patiently waiting in the wings with his latest liberal spectacular."

While superficially it appears that Mr. Nixon wouldn't take a stand on what time it is without consulting a hatful of watches and is widely regarded as America's foremost political weathervane, this merely serves to mask what is really happening. The political winds are blowing to the Right, and Mr. Nixon acknowledges this while at the same time moving Leftward. Congressman Robert Nix (R.-Pa.) commented:

". . . the Nation [is] being asked to do the 'Nixon foxtrot'—one step forward, two steps backward, then three steps sideways and take a 15-minute break."

We think two steps Left and one step Right is a more accurate if less colorful description. In Marxist terminology this is known as dialectics.

Establishmentarian Max Lerner of the New York Times would have us believe Nixon may not know what he is doing:

"If some leaders govern by love and some by fear, Mr. Nixon generates neither but governs by puzzlement and indirection. He runs foreign policy and suffers domestic policy, but in both his chief quality is a shrewdness which keeps his opponents constantly off balance by timing, compromise and diversion and also the quality of detachment which enables him to use a Henry Kissinger and Daniel Moynihan as well as a Spiro Agnew and a Mitchell for purposes that none of the four may understand—if indeed the President himself understands them. "

But we think there is method in this madness. As Alan Otten noted: " . . . to a large extent his [Nixon's] policy has been one of studied ambiguity." We think the "studied ambiguity" is a smokescreen behind which Nixon can continue the same policies of taking the country Leftward that were practiced by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. The faces change, but the policies never do. In its February 1970 issue Battle Line observed:

"What is the ideological significance of all this? It is suggested that Nixon's policy is a kind of fabianism in reverse—an inching back toward traditional GOP principles, in which Nixon moves as far to the right as conditions will permit . . . this is obviously not the case. What has transpired is not a movement toward conservatism, but continued momentum along the path of liberalism, albeit at a slower pace than might have been expected if Hubert Humphrey rather than Nixon were in the White House.

The Nixon Administration is not Fabianism in reverse, it is Fabianism in second gear forward. Nixon sees himself as a modern Disraeli, a man with a Conservative image who implements socialist programs. Alan Otten wrote concerning Mr. Nixon, in the Wall Street Journal of August 20, 1969:

". . . He had been reading a life of Disraeli, the conservative [sic] Prime Minister who pushed through some of Britain's earliest laws to improve slum conditions, protect factory workers and extend the franchise. Both appraising Disraeli and paraphrasing one of his quotations, Mr. Nixon said he realized it was 'Tory men with liberal principles who enlarged democracy.'

". . . But the Nixon comment does call attention to an oft-forgotten fact of political life: Conservatives pursuing a liberal course can on occasion succeed better than liberals could have, while liberals on occasion can advance a conservative cause better than conservatives could.

The cold, hard facts are that Mr. Nixon is neither a Liberal, nor a Conservative, nor a "pragmatist," nor a "centrist," although at times he can pretend to be any of these. He is simply a man with all-consuming ambition. And as a professional politician, naturally a man with his desire to get to the top of the heap would seek the ultimate in political power—the Presidency. But Mr. Nixon could not have become President unless he had been willing to work with or join the oligarchy that has the power to make or break those with presidential aspirations.

After losing to Pat Brown in the California gubernatorial race in 1962, Nixon had universally been consigned to the political trash heap. He left his practice as an attorney in California and went to New York, where he moved in as a neighbor of Nelson Rockefeller, the man who is supposedly his archenemy, in a $100,000-a-year apartment in a building owned by Rockefeller. Then Mr. Nixon went to work for the law firm of Mr. Rockefeller's personal attorney, and in the next six years spent most of his time touring the country and the world, first rebuilding his political reputation and then campaigning to get the 1968 Republican nomination.

At the same time, according to his own financial statements, his net worth multiplied many times and he became quite wealthy. Nelson Rockefeller, the man who helped make Nixon acceptable to Conservatives by appearing to oppose him, and his colleagues of the Eastern Liberal Establishment, rescued him from political oblivion and made him President of the United States. Does it not make sense that Mr. Nixon, the man of passionate ambition whose career had sunk to the bottom, had to make some deals in order to reach his goal? And did he not acquire massive political debts in return for being made President by the Eastern Liberal Establishment?

The President is obviously an un-free agent. Mr. Nixon gets the glory, gets to live in the White House, flies across the nation and the world in a giant jet, and makes numerous decisions and appointments, but the real power lies with a clique based in New York. This clique is interested in building an all-powerful government that it will control. This is the real reason Mr. Nixon moves Left while talking like a Conservative. He has no choice. Despite highly convincing statements about cutting spending and decentralizing government, almost everything he does increases government spending and concentrates more and more power in the federal government. Certainly it is not exclusively a one-way street. That would be too obvious. The "Nixon Fox Trot" two steps Left, one step Right—serves to disguise the real intent and direction of the Nixon Administration. As Battle Line pointed out in February 1970:

"For those who have watched the President's career in politics the past year should really be no surprise. Nixon has always prided himself on being a pragmatic "centrist." What was surprising in 1968 was that so many staunch Republican conservatives should have granted Mr. Nixon the nomination, which they surely had the power to deny, without gaining some assurance that his presidential policies would at least reflect elemental conservative tendencies. Indeed the mass of conservative minded voters who elected Richard Nixon can be forgiven their lack of political sophistication. They heard what candidate Nixon said and to them it sounded conservative, matched their state of mind, and so they elected him."

Many key Conservatives were given private assurances during the campaign that the Nixon Administration would be very Conservative. But this was simply bait. Mr. Nixon was already firmly committed to carrying out the will of the clique to whose members we shall hereinafter refer to as the Insiders, who had resurrected him from political oblivion.

If this is true, and it is, the obvious questions are: What is this mysterious clique, and why are its members interested in building a socialist government?