Everyone that knows me knows that I admire President Richard Nixon. So I recently purchased a book titled “Pat Nixon” by Julie Nixon Eisenhower and this year would mark the centennial of Mrs. Nixon’s birth. And this is what I have to say on Pat Nixon:
Pat Ryan didn’t have affirmative action that got her into an Ivy League college even if her grades were not good and got her a big scholarship. Her grades were great but she didn’t have affirmative action. She didn’t have anything given to her because she was a woman.
She had to work for everything. Her mother died when she was 12. She had to take care of the house. That’s a job. That’s a real job. She was a retail clerk, an x-ray technician, a janitor sweeping floors at a bank, a Hollywood film extra. She worked. She later said that she didn’t have time to day dream. She was too busy working. Her father died when she was 17. She didn’t inherit money. She had to work. She had to work. And this was during the Great Depression.
I keep saying this because this is what America used to be: Young men and women worked. That was what life was. Not asking the government to do things for you.
Most people don’t know this, but Mrs. Nixon fought against racial prejudice all her life. She didn’t see color or race. She saw the human heart underneath.
When Mr. Nixon gave his famous Checkers speech he said Mrs. Nixon did not have a mink coat. What she did have was “respectable Republican cloth coat… and I always tell her she would look good in anything”. Mrs. Nixon didn’t show off like other first ladies.
Mrs. Nixon became the Vice President’s wife in 1952. She travelled all over the world to advance the causes of peace and freedom with Mr. Nixon. She went to dangerous places and got rocks thrown at her and had demonstrators spitting at her car in Venezuela. Nothing stopped her from working for peace and for the cause of freedom.
By 1969 Mrs. Nixon became the First Lady of the United States. She was the hardest working First Lady of the Century. With a strong emphasis on volunteerism, something I strongly believe in and advocate. She stated, "Our success as a nation depends on our willingness to give generously of ourselves for the welfare and enrichment of the lives of others." She travelled all over the world, shook millions of hands, and went to places like Africa where no first Lady had ever been before. Went to Vietnam and became the First lady to fly over a combat zone. She went with President Nixon to Moscow to seek to end the Cold War. She went to China and charmed Chou En-Lai. She came back with two giant Pandas and a new world order that gave promise of a generation of peace. That was always President Nixon’s and Mrs. Nixon’s dream and goal.
Then came Watergate and the worst smears ever against President Nixon and Mrs. Nixon. She and her husband still had to work. Saving Eretz Israel and building a foundation of peace in the Middle East. Creating arms control with Russia. Making the world a safer, more plentiful place. the greatest peacemaker ever to occupy the White was made to leave over something small and trivial.
I admire Pat Nixon for her dedication to country, her strong work ethic, her advocacy of volunteerism and personal diplomacy and most of all her commitment to her to her husband and family.