Sunday, August 27, 2023

good morning jacob


Richard Nixon developed a mastery of poker,

with several thousand dollars in winnings, 

while serving as a supply officer on a small

Pacific island during the course of World War II.

The money he won went to funding the early

days of his 1946 bid for Congress.

With Japan's surrender in August, 1945 American's

expected a quick return of their loved ones to

home, family and a civilian life.  Millions of former

GIs, (Government Issue), flooded the streets

looking for jobs.  They got married, they had kids

and they had money saved up to buy into the

good life.  But factories needed to retool from 

making tanks and planes to cars and washing 

machines.  By 1946 inflation was 20% as people

bid up the price of popular home goods.

Outrageous!  America's greatest generation was

being offered only table scraps by that

nincompoop in the White House - Harry Truman.

So what brought on the Depression?  Tariffs,

unrealistic Stock Market investments, oversupply.

Oversupply.  We were brilliant at manufacturing

what people wanted but we didn't have the 

middle class needed to buy all these goods.

Labor was exploited.  Workers provided services

to employers at a fraction of their actual value.

Wage earners would have to unite if they had

any hope of standing up to the corporations.

Unions prospered under Roosevelt but endless

strikes following the war further disrupted an

already fragile economy.  People took note.

Maybe unions now held too much power.


Jerry Voorhis was the golden boy of Southern California.

Here was a New Deal Democrat bringing home the 

bacon five elections in a row from the swing

12th District located just outside LA.  Labor loved

him.  His Democrat colleagues in the House

voted Voorhis the hardest working man in 

Congress.  So when Richard Nixon arrives and 

announces his candidacy for the Voorhis seat

even Republican pols think - Lots of Luck.

Nixon burns the candle at both ends.  He puts in

20 hour days, 6 days a week - writing pamphlets,

doing research, making speeches before service

organizations.  His wife, Pat, administers the

campaign - updating schedules, running the office 

and critiquing her husband, the candidate, until 

4 days before the birth of their first child, Tricia.

Nixon was relentless in his drive to win. 

Murray Chotiner made Earl Warren Supreme Court

Chief Justice by engineering Warren's gubernatorial

victory in California.  Certainly Eisenhower took 

notice of this.  Chotiner picks winners and that's

what he saw in Nixon.  The man's got intellect 

and the discipline to carry through to achieve 

what it is he's trying to do.  Also, he shared 

Nixon's fierce passion to win.  Winning means

more than some Man of the Year trophy.

Victory is power.  You are now in position to

make a difference, to change the course of

society in some positive way.  

You matter.

Only a hopeless idealist would hold onto the

dream of a post-war kumbaya between the

Soviets and Washington.  So why is it difficult

to believe in a mankind, being of singular 

purpose, living in harmony?  If this is you -

you are probably some harmless eccentric.

Like maybe a college professor.  There are

others who will say you are part of some

sinister conspiracy to overthrow our way of

life and replace it with Stalin's vision of 

Worker's Paradise. 

Crowds.  Hoopla.  Big Whoop.

That's not Richard Nixon.  

He's too shy to look you in the face.

He's a bookworm, a nerd.  Studious.

But he has his Dad's argumentative nature.

Richard nurtured and shaped this skill

through debate competition that lasted

through college.  He was good, comfortable

at arguing either side of the issue.  

Poor Jerry Voorhis.  Always playing catchup.

He didn't know what hit him.

This first election victory was the happiest 

for Pat and Dick, Congressman Nixon.

There were other victories along the way

to the White House but nothing compared

to the glow they now shared.  

Such were the possibilities.

God bless.



©  Tom Taylor


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