Ike & Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage

I picked up Ike & Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage about a month ago and couldn’t put it down. It was a fantastic read that gives you a fresh look into one of the most fascinating and dysfunctional political marriages in American history.

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I understand that most folks don’t care about the science of politics. I love politics, government, etc. However, I would encourage you to read this book. The book does a marvelous job telling the story of the relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander during WW2 and 34th President of the USA) and Richard “Dick” Nixon (Vice President during Eisenhower and 37th President of the USA).

The book focuses more on Nixon than Eisenhower and you really see his anxiety and worry as the story weaves through years of their political marriage. Nixon always felt inadequate compared to Eisenhower. It seemed like he could never enjoy the success he achieved because of stress and worry over his future and living up to Ike’s expectations. He never felt Eisenhower trusted or believed in him. It drove him to an insatiable desire for political success.

 

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What captivated me was Richard Nixon’s insecurity and how it was magnified in the face of both victory and defeat. He was Vice President during the 1950s, some of the most prosperous years in American history. He was a US Senator in California before the post of Vice President. He lost his Presidential bid to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but later claimed the Presidency in 1968.

Nixon had the 1972 Presidential election in the bag, but he was so suspicious of his political opponents and anxious of his future that it led him to conduct all types of illegal activities. He abused his power and ushered in a new level of distrust Americans had in their government. He resigned in disgrace in 1974, the only American President ever to do such a thing.

What are the lessons to be learned from this book? I can think of five off the top of my head, but fear of the future is ultimately what I believe this book encapsulated. Nixon could never seem to enjoy his success. He was constantly striving to have power. It led him to do unimaginable things.

I struggle with fear of the future. It’s easy to worry what tomorrow looks like. I’ve also been the recipient of unbelievably cruel acts from someone who had an extreme fear of the future. Fear of the future destroyed the family dynamics I grew up with for most of my life. I read Luke 12 today and saw again how important it is to have a rich relationship with my Heavenly Father instead of the constant accumulation of wealth and pleasures. Jesus says,

And don’t worry about food — what to eat and drink. Don’t worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

Luke 12:29-31

Fear of the future leads to restlessness because it makes us dissatisfied with what we have and concerned about what everyone else is doing. It keeps us always hungering, searching and striving for the next thing to secure our future. We may not know what the future has in store, but we know the one who holds the future. He says not to worry. He says that he already knows our needs. I pray we would have faith in those promises and enjoy the lot we’ve been given.

 

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I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.  

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4 thoughts on “Ike & Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage

  1. Great post. I just finished my quiet time reading and highlighting those scriptures in Luke 12. Cool coincidence. Let’s seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness!

    CP

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. This writer, like a typical leftist isn’t able to digest alternative viewpoints, so he responds by blocking anyone who dares to question his leftist view of the world. So while this comment will not be allowed to stand very long I will argue your complete inane and specious comments about Richard Nixon.

    “We now know the complete history of Dick Nixon; he was so obsessed with his position that he assigned operatives/subordinates to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex.”

    The notion that Nixon was in any way behind Watergate is absurd. Nixon learned of the Watergate break in reading the morning paper in Key Biscayne. It was a side note on the morning paper that he barely paid any attention to. G. Gordon Liddy was an overzealous supporter of the President who orchestrated the Watergate break in against the Presidents knowledge. He was not associated in any way with President Nixon or the Committee to Elect the President (or as clever leftists like yourself called it- CREEP).

    “Nixon had the 1972 Presidential election in the bag, but he was so suspicious of his political opponents and anxious of his future that it led him to conduct all types of illegal activities.”

    Again you make an inane statement, void of any intellectual thought, and without any citations or facts. What illegal activities was he involved in oh legal scholar? This is another example of if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes true, which is what leftists like yourself are good at. At the very worst Nixon is guilty of lying. Name for me one US President who has never told a lie. And the lies Nixon told were with good intentions. The entire basis of the media pursuing Watergate was to undermine the Vietnam War. Nixon knew if they were successful it would undo all of the good that had been done in Vietnam, and he nobly did whatever it took to preserve the progress we made in Vietnam. When Nixon was forced to resign, President Fords hands were tied by a super majority Democrat Congress. The end result of the leftist policies was the US retreat from South Vietnam, in one of the most embarrassing military images for the US in the history of our country. As a result of this, millions were butchered in South Vietnam, with their blood on the hands of the Democrat party in the United States, and everyone responsible for Watergate.

    “He abused his power and ushered in a new level of distrust American had in their government. He resigned in disgrace in 1974, the only American President to ever do such a thing.”

    Again you state he abused his power, without any citations of facts. And will you leftists please give it a rest with the trite phrase “disgraced” President? Yes, Nixon is so “disgraced” much unlike Jimmy Carter who left our American hostages to rot in Irananian prisons. Nixon is so disgraced unlike your beloved President Clinton who committed perjury, suborned perjury, and embarrassed the nation with his disgusting behavior. And of course, so much unlike your dear beloved Lord and Savior Barack Obama, who is responsible for the death of American citizens in Fast and Furious. NONE of those actions are “disgraced.” The only action that could cause you to be disgraced in the eyes of the left is telling a lie to protect the lives of innocent American soldiers in Vietnam. How disgraceful!

    Again, I know this comment will not remain long, because that is the style of the left, but I just couldn’t sit by and allow your BS to be left posted without comment. Have a nice day!

    1. Gary,

      I am sorry for blocking you. That was not the right thing to do. I guess I got frustrated and responded in the wrong way. You were right. Part of that paragraph was inaccurate. I changed it. I am actually a conservative Republican and was just trying to share what that book meant to me. God bless you, brother. Please forgive me.

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