In the Dark

I Gave Them a Sword

Produced by Imagine Entertainment and Studio Canal
Directed by Ron Howard
Screenplay by Peter Morgan
Distributed by Universal Pictures


On August 9, 1974, the day Richard Nixon officially resigned from the presidency, I discovered just how rabid political hatred could become short of taking up arms.  I was in my faculty cubicle after teaching a summer class.  From the hallway, I heard two professors, both feminists, cackling uncontrollably: “Oh, God, they got that sonofabitch, they got him,” one was chortling between gasps.  “Yeah, they really, really did,” the other agreed after catching her breath.  “But,” she continued, “I won’t be happy until they get his daughters too-oo.”  Pealing, shrieking hysteria bounced off the prefab metal walls of our cheaply constructed quarters.

Nixon was everything leftists hated.  Over the years he had fed their hatred, and the more he did, the more insatiable it became.  Even today, there are some who will never get enough Nixon to kick around.  They couldn’t forgive him for defeating Helen Gahagan Douglas, film actor Melvyn’s socialist wife, in 1948.  He had called her The Pink Lady—pink down to her underwear.  (Nixon, alas, didn’t know when to stop.)  They resented him for helping to expose...

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