Nixon 1968: Let’s win this one for Ike
The talking heads on CNN brought up Nixon’s 1968 convention speech. I was curious. I watched it.
With 20/20 hindsight, I couldn’t help but snicker when Spirew Agnew was praised as a “statesman of the first rank,” and especially not when Nixon said that “the time has come for honest government in the United States of America.”
It was also weird when Nixon named three people: Reagan, Romney and Rockefeller. Two of those names are still big names 48 years later, but one has been completely forgotten.
That stuff aside, indeed the main theme of Nixon’s speech was law and order and out-of-control crime. The thing is, Nixon was right that it was a big deal.
From 1960 to 1968 (according to statistics found here ), the violent crime rate increased by 85%, and from 1968 to 1991 (the year of peak crime) it increased another 154%.
Unfortunately for the nation, even though Nixon was completely right about the problem, his administration was a complete failure in doing anything about it. Now it’s my very strong belief that the increase in crime was not because the wrong people were working for the federal government, but because of a tide of permissive liberalism sweeping over society. But still, Nixon did nothing to reverse the tide of permissive liberalism.
Even though crime has been going down since 1991 (except for the current year in which it has turned around and is rising again) the violent crime rate never returned to the level of 1960, and in fact never even went back down to the level of 1968 when it was considered high enough to be a big problem. We’ve just gotten used to a much higher level of crime and bad behavior and we now think it’s normal and nothing to be concerned about.
As I wrote in April:
During the last two years, I have watched as we have lost the political will to not tolerate crime. We are definitely at the beginning of a new crime wave. The reason why it doesn’t happen overnight is because of HABIT. Once people get into the habit of behaving lawfully, the habit stays with them. It takes a while for habits to change. But the current message the criminal element is receiving is that society is no longer going to be tough on them, and we will see more and more people break their habit of law abiding behavior in favor of a new habit of criminal behavior.
Based on Trump’s speech last night, I think that Trump understands my point. Whether or not he can do anything about it as President has yet to be seen, but first he has to win. But we can be sure that with Hillary as president, the new crime wave will grow.