Nixon, Mon Amour

Never has treason been so sexy

Arian Kamel, Arts and Entertainment Editor

That’s it, I have had enough. I can no longer stand by and watch as students continue to criticize and bully François Legault. The truth has been staring us in the face this whole time, but we’ve been too distracted by violent video games and metal music to care. The charismatic Legault reminds me of another great man, one that came into my life all those years ago as a small child in Iran.

It was not until one fateful morning, spent with my only childhood friend, a battered copy of The Fountainhead (extended Marxist edition), that I stumbled upon a force beyond any comprehension. A life-size cutout of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon, abandoned in a sea of blooming red tulips, unfettered by society’s malignant whims. Fate had brought him to me. Up until that point, at the ripe age of seven, my primary influences had been Lazy Town’s Robbie Rotten, Arthur’s Buster Baxter, and of course, Thomas Sowell. Oh, how foolish was I!

Like a fish to water, I quickly took to learning more about this intoxicating figure, trying to understand what made him tick. Where did he come from? What did he stand for? What was his stance on that damned gold standard? Waffles or pancakes? I wanted to breathe him in. All questions that I myself had wrestled with up until that very point.

Mainstream media is often quick to criticize great men. What lies behind their constant obsession with Nixon’s supposed crimes, rather than his tremendous victories, is political opportunism. This is the same corrupt coverage that haunts our precious premier Legault. The mainstream media isn’t sleeping, it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, and fighting to sully his good name. For these reasons, I shall shine a spotlight on the radical, leftist media’s blatant lies for you today.

Richard Milhous Nixon, or Dick as I like to call him, possessed an uncanny grip on the pulsing heart of the most powerful nation on the planet, demonstrating great girth and vigour––this explains why his opponents could not help but call him a ‘knob.’ Sure, he did not have Reagan’s charisma or Kennedy’s looks, but he did have the Sisyphean persistence of an efficient bureaucrat.

Among his many accomplishments was establishing the Environmental Protection Agency, thawing two decades of frigid animosity with China, and enforcing the desegregation of Southern schools, to name a few. And let us not forget his initiative to abandon the notoriously volatile gold standard, single-handedly saving the American economy from relentless inflation. It would not be an exaggeration to say that, without Nixon’s tough choices, the U.S. would be in shambles today, with a shattered public image and rampant institutional racism to add. What an unforeseen nightmare that would be!

“When Alexander (The Great) saw the breadth of his domain he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer."
- Hans Gruber, Die Hard

Nixon is the ideal politician, a stance I’ve reiterated ever since my primary school days. Back then, when my contemporaries doodled silly flowers and uninspired cubes during our boring math lessons, I etched magnificent portraits of a shirtless Nixon lying atop a bear-skin rug with a fireplace glowing behind him, fuelled by American democracy and freedom. My math teacher, Mrs. Banaei, told me to apply myself, but I didn't know how to explain to her that I already had, to something much greater.

Whenever I have faced a tough choice in my life, when disaster seems all but inevitable, I repeat four letters to myself: W.W.N.D. What Would Nixon Do? Take, for example, when my ‘friend’ Amir Ali tried to ruthlessly steal my blue raspberry freezie in the second grade. I reacted proportionally by bombing his family home, and then mustard-gassing his neighbours just to cover all my bases. After all, if world governments are any reference, the Geneva Conventions are mostly suggestions.

Now, it would be irresponsible of me to leave some of Nixon’s more prominent critiques unaddressed. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: The Watergate scandal, the Nixon administration’s break-in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the ensuing cover-up attempt. As I’ve explained to my therapist every week for the last six years, it was not his goddamn fault! Nixon was a notoriously trusting man (why else would he wiretap himself?), too pure for his time, really the Princess Diana of Washington. So why must he be blamed for the misdeeds of those beneath him?


Other critics might also reference his sabotage of peace negotiations for the Vietnam War in 1968, all so he could end the war himself once he won the presidential election (even though the conflict ended two years after he left office). Well, certainly, more traditionally-minded political theorists may view treason as a detractor. These are fools. If a leader is unwilling to spice things up, to plunge their country into further chaos and warfare, then do they really care? Treason is healthy for a democracy, and by poking holes in different institutional vulnerabilities, Nixon led the way for lawmakers to patch them up, in fact strengthening U.S. foreign policy.

It makes me nauseous to even mention it, but some historians have even stooped so low as to use this tantalizing juggernaut's own words against him. Nixon is often indicted on one of his most famous quotes: “Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” But people often forget that tone can completely change the meaning behind any message.

In order to better understand the sweeping temperament across McGill campus toward Nixon and to make some headway in repairing his image, I set out to interview different students on campus. Of the first six students I interviewed, none of them cared––four ran away, one called campus security, and one tripped and is currently in critical care. However, lucky number seven––a completely random McGill student, I must remind you––agreed to have his words published.

In an interview with The McGill Tribune, this completely random student, William Rantala, U2 Environment, commented, “Ari, are you still talking about Nixon? What’s wrong with you? I don’t understand how you’re still a student, I’ve never seen you go to class. You need to pay rent, you’re two months beh….” At this point Mr. Rantala became unintelligible, so I shall spare the readers from his horrid screeches.

Stemming from the campus’ mixed reactions, it became apparent to me that greater, even supernatural measures were sorely needed to correct students’ misconceptions. If my pleas for reason have proven unconvincing until now, dear readers, then the only logical next step is to contact the ghost of Richard Nixon himself. For this very reason, I reached out to almost a dozen psychics and spirit mediums from respectable online communities.

Among the many candidates, only one appeared to be of reasonable skill and mind, and also happened to message me back. This savant, who for the sake of this article wishes to remain anonymous (for national security purposes), taught me far more than I could have ever imagined.

Interview Transcript with Medium #14

Just to clear any doubt, are you accredited by any institutions?

I think, what’s important to know, there are so-called institutions who try to legitimize people, but with this type of thing…you’re either born with it or not. Like, I never attended any school or anything, but you know my grandma had the gift and ever since… like I know, I know what I know. And I take it very seriously.

What is it that you know?

I can, and I don’t want to get all ‘sixth-sense’ with this, but I can speak to dead people. I have a spirit guide, and you can tell when someone’s a charlatan when they claim their spirit guide is, like, a famous person. Someone like Cleopatra, you know… but my spirit guide is a small child from Edwardian England who died when he was around nine years old. I’ve known him for as long as I’ve been alive.When I was younger, I thought he was my imaginary friend. I speak to him, and he speaks to the dead people for me. It’s a little bit like a game of telephone, but I trust him.

What’s the spirit medium’s name?


Edward, the Edwardian child?

Yes, exactly. It was a common name.

So, this medium speaks to ghosts?

Well, I don’t like the term ghost. A ghost would be a member of the afterlife who lost his way back into our realm and, as a result, is accessible to us. And that’s not what we’re dealing with here. But in cases like this, we’re talking about someone who is on another plane. I prefer the term long-lost friend.

For a start, what was the president thinking in this image?

Sorry, it’s gonna take a minute. To me at least, from my psychic senses, he seems contemplative. I would say he seems a little lost. Obviously, he’s eating, and so he’s not hungry. But more than anything, he seems alone.

But is there not another person in the image?

Well alone… more spiritually.

In any case, what does President Nixon wish to say to all of his detractors?

The impression Edward is getting is that he knows he made a mistake. I think he’s definitely reflected in the afterlife. I think he has a lot of regrets. The way he thought about certain people and, like, groups of people, now that he’s in the afterlife, he and they have come to terms. Him and various communities.

Does the president regret ending the gold standard?

You know, I think in hindsight, no. It’s a part of his legacy he’s very proud of and… in fact he wished he went further. Edward seems to be saying NFTs a lot, so maybe that’s something.

To close it off on a high note, what advice would the president give to current world leaders?

That’s not really what I do here.

Despite Nixon’s hesitancy to advise modern leaders, thanks to this enlightening interview, I hope that you, my dear readers, can finally see Nixon from my perspective. Nixon, and our very own Legault, are playing a very complex game of politics, a game for the greater good. For the sake of clarity, I will attempt to explain their thinking through a brand-new field of political theory.

My magnum opus, really the perfect political stratagem, will be simply known as new-pseudo-post-meta-Nixonism (NPPNM), or moral calculus for short. Moral calculus theory, which I invented during a 24-hour coke-fuelled Wolf of Wall Street marathon, can be summed up using the famous axiom ‘the end justifies the means.’

“Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
- Richard Nixon

To start off light and frisky, moral calculus begins with tapping into fear. It’s especially effective if the fear revolves around polarizing the dominant cohort of your population, because who else is going to vote for you? Nixon did this brilliantly by exploiting the deep-seated, racism-driven fear and anxiety in Southern white communities, and the Republican party has been in his debt ever since. Our own local Quebec government is just as wise, seeing as public policy and election cycles have been driven by the plight of the white, settler Quebecois identity. Fuck the 16-hour hospital wait times!

Where moral calculus truly shines is in its use of archaic good-faith laws. Remember, if certain legal protocols were inscribed decades ago, or maybe even centuries if you’re lucky, under completely different circumstances, then they’re ripe for exploitation. Nixon, using executive orders, sent secret bombing operations to Cambodia, completely decimating innocent populations while attempting to keep Congress in the dark. But anyways, it was smarter to keep those top-secret plans locked within the circle of a few trustworthy individuals in his cabinet, like Henry Kissinger. Now, the Quebec government is not as extreme or directly violent in their motives, but their methods are even more effective. Section 33, also known as the notwithstanding clause, means the Canadian Charter of Human Rights is nothing more than a stern shake of the head. If history has shown us anything, only brilliant free-thinkers dare go against such corruptible forces as the law.

“[Section 33] was inscribed in the Canadian constitution because Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau needed the support of the premiers,” said Éric Bélanger, a political science professor at McGill, in an interview with the Tribune. “Many of the premiers were reluctant of Trudeau’s charter because they feared that, with it, Canada could become a government by the judges. The provincial premiers wanted to make sure they retained control over policy decisions.”

To wrap moral calculus up, with a pretty bow on top, all you need to do is combine its first two components. After all, peanut butter and jelly are pretty great by themselves, but together they are oh-so magical. These archaic laws are perfect for targeting marginalized groups, from Ukrainian war refugees to disabled people, so your fearful base can finally celebrate their crushing dominance. Forget about Nixon, Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) are the naturals here: Bill 21 and 96 violate the human rights of religious minorities and anglophone residents alike. Not to worry, though, as François Legault just swept his way to re-election.

“Bill 21 addresses any kind of religious clothing, but the most visible ones are the ones from the Muslim religion,” Bélanger commented. “At its basis, it’s a fear of disappearance on the part of the French-descending population in Quebec.”

Now, you may be asking what moral calculus has to do with morality, or even calculus, and that’s where the beauty of the theory lies—nothing. Like a politician kissing a baby’s forehead, it’s but a masquerade for a semblance of legitimacy. And as long as their hidden intentions serve the desires of the larger demographics, whether it’s infringing on the rights of Indigenous groups by the U.S. in the 1970s or by Québec in recent years, moral calculus will be every politician’s best friend, especially Legault. If only Nixon could see us now!

“ "I love you," "I'm proud of you," "I forgive you," "I'm grateful for you." That's what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”
- Fred Rogers

Illustrations by Mika Drygas, Design Editor