Hunter Thompson burned his bridges by writing what really happens during these political freek shows where some of the most rotten and brutal tactics imaginable are performed all for the entertainment of the press corps and to win the “hearts and minds” of those citizens who believe they are engaging in democratic political action called voting.
Nixon was the landslide winner in that election and less than 2 years later he was resigning in disgrace, his closest advisers and his former vice-president were going to prison and Nixon himself escaped only because a mindless twit named Jerry Ford pardoned Nixon for crimes he had not yet been convicted. His most serious crime as it were, was underestimating the doggedness of two reporters, unknown at the time, Woodward and Bernstein, who would not quit until they unravelled the source of graft, corruption and criminal activity at the doors of the oval office in the White House.
Richard Nixon was a rotten bastard and a criminal at heart with a long history of dirty tricks. Yet Nixon paled to insignificance in comparison to the George “Dubya” Bush boys and their ability to get away with stealing elections and invading countries for the purpose of regime change without any remotely legal or valid reasons in those countries. They started the Presidency down the slippery slope of shredding Constitutional guarantees of freedom of intrusion by the government under the thin disguise of a “war on terror” which can never be won. They used the “initialled agencies” to spy on the American people, the CIA, FBI, NSA, whatever… They used the blackest of “black ops” to engage in dirty tricks and political assassination that Nixon could only have had wet dreams about. If Nixon would have even attempted the horrible crimes that Bush, Cheney, and their cronies got away with, he would have been hanged in a public square in the middle of Washington D.C by a crowd of citizens in a rage.
It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The “Dubya” boys, George “Dubya” Bush and Dick (Oil) Cheney, created something that the current President and all future Presidents will loathe to give up; the absolute and corrupting power that has been given by a gutless Congress into the hands of a salivating commander-in-chief of the largest military machine ever created on the face of the earth.
The current President, Obama the Bomber, openly commits murder by drone, remotely controlling the deaths of American citizens and well as any others who are on the “enemies list.” Even “Dubya” Bush hesitated to admit he was doing the same thing. It used to be called “plausible deniability.” Nixon had an enemies list of journalists, film stars, and other politicians. The people on those lists took some pride in being included but feared little except some small and venal attempts by the Nixon boys to snub them or maybe engage in a few illegal wire taps.
Under orders from the infamous “Patriot Act” enacted by the United States government after September 11, 2001, if you are on the “enemies list” of the US President in the 21st Century, you are in for a rough time at best. If you are “lucky” you will only be rounded up and “detained” indefinitely without benefit of lawyer or phone call; you will simply disappear. If you are on the list and not so “lucky” you face the high probability of being tortured and/or murdered by black-suited commandos “dropping in” for a short visit or by some remotely guided missile dropped into your living room while you are watching CNN. Obama the Bomber has not started drone attacks against US citizens in the USA but he could if he wanted to.
The US Presidency has been corrupted beyond all belief and the so-called electorate simply shrugs its collective shoulders and trudges on to work, fearful that if they say too much, too loud, they too might end up on an “enemies list” somewhere, or, at the least, a “no fly” list. There is a sinister “chilling effect” falling like a winter fog on the populace enveloping them in cowardly acquiescence. The “chilling effect” phrase was first used by the United States Supreme Court in the context of the United States Constitution in a court case in 1952. The term itself refers to the playing upon the fears of ordinary citizens because of vague or excessively broad laws which appear to stifle or “chill” legitimate freedom of speech. Because of the laws passed since September 11, US citizens have become increasingly afraid of saying certain “key words” on their mobile phones, in emails, or public forums like Facebook, Twitter or a weblog.The good Germans of the 1000 Year Reich ended up in a nightmare world where neighbor watched neighbor and children informed on their parents and where everyone was afraid of everyone else. Hannah Arendt called what the Nazis brought to their people, the “banality of evil.”
Now, just as then, Americans suffer from the same malady that, “the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.”