Just Plain Dick
Richard Nixon's Checkers Speech and the 'Rocking, Socking' Election of 1952
The “rise” of the Tea Party has become one of the most exaggerated political stories in recent memory. The hullabaloo regarding the Tea Party reminds me of what a leading neo-conservative once said about the New Left, “What’s new isn’t new and what’s left isn’t left.” In other words, there isn’t much new about the Tea Party and their principles are not necessarily more conservative than orthodox Republicanism. Kevin Mattson‘s new book, Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech and the ‘Rocking, Socking’ Election of 1952(Bloomsbury, 2012) argues just that. According to Mattson, the infamous “Checkers Speech” established a rhetorical and political template for the New Right and today’s Tea Party. This book is funny, insightful and worth reading. Listen to the interview, buy the book, and tell a friend.