The Assasination of Richard Nixon
The Assassination of Richard Nixon [R]: Living under a magical spell that falsely assures them that their wayis the righteous way whether they win elections with a small percentageof the vote, or lose elections with a sizeable percentage, Democratscontinue to oppose freedom while claiming to be courageously patriotic.That’s why on Inauguration Day their protests appeared to have beenorchestrated by inmates at an insane asylum.
It was in that climate that I saw The Assassination of RichardNixon, a glimpse into the shattered fantasy-ingrained psyche ofliberals.
The debut film by director Niels Mueller concerns the plight ofSamuel Byck, an office furniture salesman who has difficulty acceptingpersonal failures and being politically ignored. You see, his guydidn’t win, and Richard Nixon is still in office in 1974, a year ofunprecedented terrorism by the radical Left in this country.
Now we all nervously laugh at the casting of actor Sean Penn asByck, because its that irritable naivety that leads both men to rash,impulsive acts, whether it’s turning up the volume on stacks of TV setsat his furniture store, or raising objections to the war in Iraq beforethe first shot had been fired and Saddam was still siphoning off moneyto fund surgical torture. Penn is perfect for bringing Byck’sdisillusioned breakdown into focus for contemporary audiences, the sameas Michael Douglas’ dazed anarchistic performance in Falling Down,which Assassination reminds me of.
I knew the moment I saw Alexander Payne’s name listed as one ofthe Executive Producers that I was in for more than a cursory smear onNixon.
The revelation in this movie is that resentment rather than athirst for power is the motivation behind liberalism. It’s not thatthey desire the opportunity to change things, much less have theslightest idea how to do so; liberals just resent not getting their way.
We know Byck is liberal, and not only because he responds toRichard Nixon sour-faced and downtrodden. He’s liberal due to envy ofhis brother’s business, his best friend’s stable family situation, hiswife’s work ethic and because he sees himself as “the little man,”something he equates with slavery. He can’t grasp that “the little man”has more opportunity for affecting change in the policies that governand affect his daily life here in America than anywhere else on theplanet, at any time in history.
Byck sees, as do liberals, the President as “daddy,” the provider of all.
But it’s not the President’s fault that Byck can’t hold a job, orthat you won’t take a job that doesn’t appeal to your view ofself-worth.
The President isn’t to blame if nobody loves you, or if othersare happier than you are or have more than you have, or don’t have asmuch.
The President can’t take you by the hand and make you attendclass, or learn a saleable skill, or study for exams. He can’t make yousit down and pay attention and graduate.
It’s not up to the President whether you spend your money on ayacht, he can’t make you save more than you spend, and he isn’t aboutto steer you clear of bad investments. It’s not up to the President ifyou put all your retirement eggs in the Enron basket, or your IRA goesbust.
The President has not been hired to see that you receiverestitution for some perceived long-ago injustice that you haven’tsuffered directly because of.
The President was elected to lead, and those of us who voted fora second term, be it for Bush or Nixon, expect it to be that way.
Like much of today’s Left, in The Assassination of Richard NixonByck isn’t following – he fixates instead on Nixon as the embodiment ofdeceit, a sentiment nurtured by liberals who always resented and hatedRichard Nixon for bullying communists instead of rolling over for them.The muted, soft-sell propaganda of the early ’70s sought to hold upChina as our true menace. Nixon would have none of it, correctly seeingSoviet Russia as the only winner and profiteer out of World War II,handed victory thanks to Roosevelt at Yalta. Nixon wasn’t about todeliver Asia into their grasp and used China as a buffer. The Lefthated him for it as much as they hate the Bush Doctrine in Iraq formaking the world safer for capitalism.
Byck’s one of those guys who fantasizes Nixon taking crowbar inhand, slinking through darkened alleyways to Democraticheadquarters in the Watergate and personally prying open thedoor. Hoping to strike a blow against the Empire, Sam Byck plots to rama plane into the Nixon White House, as though that will wakeothers up to his personal disillusionment – kind of like layingdown in the street blocking traffic or refusing to spend money on Inauguration Day is supposed to somehow impact a Presidency??!
Liberals attending this movie will more than likely see thatByck’s insane, they just aren’t willing to take the leap neededto admit that they may be also. As history stands, Nixon avertedassassination only to fall victim to a coup d’etat perpetrated bya prevailing mindset that perverted laws to justify taking down aPresident.
Sam Byck wasn’t as alone as he thought.