Monday, March 02, 2009

Nixon on Archie Bunker, Gays, and Marijuana

This is hilarious, if you can forget for a moment that this man was President of the United States and that tens of millions of Americans probably still agree with him. But we're supposed to believe opposition to gay marriage has nothing to do with homophobia. Uh-huh.



Via Andrew Sullivan.

Here's a partial transcript I found:

Then, inexplicably, Nixon turns to a prime-time show he had just watched on CBS and how they "were glorifying homosexuality."

"A panel show?" asks Ehrlichman.

"Hell, no," responds Nixon.

Haldeman knows to what his boss refers. "No, it's a regular show. It's on every week," says Haldeman. "It's usually just done in the guy's home. It's usually just that guy, who's a hard-hat."

"That's right, he's a hard-hat."

"He always looks like a slob."

"Looks like Jackie Gleason," says the president of the United States.

Haldeman, playing amateur TV critic, assists with word that "he has this hippie son-in-law and usually the general trend is to downgrade him and upgrade the son-in-law, make the square hard-hat out to be bad."

"But a few weeks ago," he continues, "they had one in which the guy, the son-in-law, wrote a letter to you, President Nixon, to raise hell about something. And the guy said, `You will not write that letter from my home!' Then said, `I'm going to write President Nixon.' Took off all these sloppy clothes, shaved and went to his desk and got ready to write his letter to President Nixon. And apparently it was a good episode."

"What's it called?" asks Ehrlichman.

" `Archie's Guys,' " says Nixon, referring, of course, to "All in the Family."

"Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter," Nixon relates. "The son-in-law apparently goes both ways. This guy (enters). He's obviously queer, wears an ascot, but not offensively so. Very clever. Uses nice language. Shows pictures of his parents. And so Arch goes down to the bar. Sees his best friend, who used to play professional football. Virile, strong, this and that. Then the fairy comes into the bar."

Nixon feels compelled to tell his chums: "I don't mind the homosexuality, I understand it . . . Nevertheless, goddamn, I don't think you glorify it on public television, homosexuality, even more than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses. But, goddamn it, what do you think that does to kids? You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that so was Socrates."

"But he never had the influence television had," Ehrlichman says, apparently referring to Socrates.

"You know what happened to the Romans?" says Professor Nixon. "The last six Roman emperors were fags. Neither in a public way. You know what happened to the popes? They (had sex with) the nuns, that's been goin' on for years, centuries. But the Catholic Church went to hell, three or four centuries ago. It was homosexual, and it had to be cleaned out. That's what's happened to Britain, it happened earlier to France."

"Let's look at the strong societies," says Nixon. "The Russians. Goddamn, they root 'em out. They don't let 'em around at all. I don't know what they do with them. Look at this country. You think the Russians allow dope? Homosexuality, dope, immorality are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the communists and left-wingers are clinging to one another. They're trying to destroy us. I know Moynihan will disagree with this, (Atty. Gen. John) Mitchell will, and Garment will. But, goddamn, we have to stand up to this."

"It's fatal liberality," declares Ehrlichman, ever the sycophant.

"Huh?" says Nixon.

"It's fatal liberality," says Ehrlichman. "And with its use on television, it has such leverage."

Nixon asks Ehrlichman to consider northern California. "You know what's happened."

"San Francisco has just gone clear over," says Ehrlichman.

"But it's not just the ratty part of town," says Nixon. "The upper class in San Francisco is that way. The Bohemian Grove (an elite, secrecy-filled gathering outside San Francisco), which I attend from time to time. It is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd. I can't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco."

Nixon finishes things off by turning into an observer of ladies' fashions.

"Decorators. They got to do something. But we don't have to glorify it," says Nixon. "You know one of the reasons fashions have made women look so terrible is because the goddamned designers hate women. Designers taking it out on the women. Now they're trying to get some more sexy things coming on again."

"Hot pants," says Ehrlichman.

"Jesus Christ," murmurs the president.

12 comments:

Holy Hyrax said...

>But we're supposed to believe opposition to gay marriage has nothing to do with homophobia. Uh-huh

Yes, you do. Unless you also want to believe that every opposition to something Israel does stems from anti-semitism. But if its easier for you to believe in your own fanciful slogans rather than truth, than go for it.

Jewish Atheist said...

Unless you also want to believe that every opposition to something Israel does stems from anti-semitism

I think a better analogy would be believing that every opposition to Jews being allowed to marry stems from anti-semitism.

Holy Hyrax said...

And yet, what possible reason other than anti semiticism can there be? I mean, i guess you will try to kvetch something here, but be a bit realistic.

Jewish Atheist said...

And yet, what possible reason other than anti semiticism can there be?

For what? Opposing Israel's actions?

Holy Hyrax said...

no, for your example

Holy Hyrax said...

My point simply being that if you accept dubious intentions for any sort of opposing view point, than you might as well take it all the way for everything across the board.

Kylopod said...

I think many people who oppose gay marriage do so out of simple conformity to tradition. As Melissa Etheridge put it, it often has to do with fear of change rather than hatred.

The word homophobia suggests a pathological fear of homosexuals, and that may be too extreme a judgment to apply to everyone who has misgivings about granting rights that have not existed before.

It's a little like the word "bigotry" itself. By common convention, "bigotry" is a blanket term for prejudice. Yet when you call someone a bigot, it tends to conjure up someone who froths at the mouth, and that isn't a fair judgment of everyone who carries prejudices.

Similarly, the word "homophobe" tends to conjure up some Bob Dornan type who obsessively attacks gays, rather than someone who has simply absorbed societal attitudes that inspire some resistance to changing our laws to allow gays to marry.

The bottom line is that I don't think it is helpful to throw around the word "homophobia" in this instance. In our society, many people perceive that getting accused of biases regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation is tantamount to being called either a Nazi or the Second Coming of Archie Bunker. This makes it hard to discuss the subject in an open and honest manner.

Jewish Atheist said...

HH:

My point simply being that if you accept dubious intentions for any sort of opposing view point, than you might as well take it all the way for everything across the board.

But it's by far the most obvious explanation here. It used to be that opponents of gay rights were open about their reasons, as Nixon was. Now that's not PC anymore, so you hear all these opponents of SSM say that they're for civil rights for gays and that they love the sinner but hate the sin, etc., and we're supposed to just take their word for it?

Let's say a country or a club had rules excluding Jews. At first, they're straightforwardly antisemitic. Later, antisemitism becomes unacceptable, but they come up with other reasons. "Oh, we're not against Jews, it's just that we support traditional membership guidelines." Etc. Come on, who are you fooling?


Kylopod:

The word homophobia suggests a pathological fear of homosexuals, and that may be too extreme a judgment to apply to everyone who has misgivings about granting rights that have not existed before.

Maybe it's not the best word, but it's still appropriate. It may not have been 100% accurate to call everyone who opposed desegregation a racist, either, but it would have been ridiculous to pretend that opposition wasn't predicated primarily on racism.

Holy Hyrax said...

>But it's by far the most obvious explanation here.

>Now that's not PC anymore, so you hear all these opponents of SSM say that they're for civil rights for gays and that they love the sinner but hate the sin, etc., and we're supposed to just take their word for it?

You think people that hate care for PC???? Did you see what happened outside of the Oscars and what signs were being held. Trust me, people that hate gays, make it known and don't are to be PC about it. That doesn't mean you should not trust those that don't hate them, but don't want them marrying. You have a right not to agree with their conclusions, but the next logical step to that is not homophobia. I think that is one of the greatest issues with the left. Always haveing to pull out their favorite deck of cards, if you know what I mean.

>Let's say a country or a club had rules excluding Jews. At first, they're straightforwardly antisemitic. Later, antisemitism becomes unacceptable, but they come up with other reasons. "Oh, we're not against Jews, it's just that we support traditional membership guidelines." Etc. Come on, who are you fooling?

1) I don't care if CC exlude Jews, so it wouldn't really bother me
2) I would first have to hear their reasons right? I mean, seriously, you can't just create an example and me not able to listen to the actual reasons behind it. Could be that they simply want a christian group with the same values. Then, I wouldn't think its anti semitic. But if they allowed others in except for Jews then that reason is out the window.

C. L. Hanson said...

Re: This is hilarious, if you can forget for a moment that this man was President of the United States and that tens of millions of Americans probably still agree with him.

So true!! This made me laugh, but it's actually not funny how many people (including people in power) seriously think this way.

asher said...

Never knew Nixon had it so right about that terrible show "All In the Family". For those of you who don't remember it, the son-in-law who had this stereotypical liberal point of view on everything was always right and Archie was seen as a baffoon. Even though Archie accepted the son-in-law to live in his home with his married daugher while the guy went to school and was otherwise a leech. Norman Lear
"developed" this show from a British import and molded it to shape his view of what politically correct tv ought to be.
I only watched the show for about 1/2 a season (it was mid-season replacement) because the plots each week were so predictable and the constant use of Meathead, Dingbat and Little Girl were just too repetitious for me. Oh...did I mention I was 14 at the time?

Anonymous said...

We need a good leader like Richard Millhaus Nixon again. A real President.

: )

Cheers