By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag
The following is an OB Rag staff editorial from October 1973. It was published during the time of the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal. As Nixon didn’t resign until August 1974, there were fears of what he would do in the months prior to the resolution of the Constitutional crisis. In reading this editorial written 44 years ago, many of the themes resonate with us today.
tyranny at home …
We of the OB Rag staff are appalled at Richard Nixon’s latest moves at establishing one-man rule in America. Nixon has stepped outside the bounds of his constituted authority … again. He has usurped the powers of the courts by refusing to comply with a court order to release the tapes. More, he has fired the one man, Archibald Cox, who had the legal authority to investigate the White House’s involvement in Watergate.
By dismissing Cox and by forcing Elliot Richardson and Ruckelshaus to resign, Nixon has ripped away any remaining shreds of credibility that his administration has been able to maintain. Nixon himself has finally become for many the real American crisis…
Truly this country is closer to a dictatorship than ever before, or at least closer than ever within our lifetimes. What more need to be said or expressed than Richard Nixon must be impeached or removed if he will not step down. He and his entire government must go.
… For who’s to say than any domestic incident or any international crisis could not cause or allow Nixon to impose his rule over us even more. If it’s in his interests and in the interests of the corporations and people that back him, Nixon could attempt to suspend Congress or declare martial law. It’s not clear how far Nixon will stretch his definition of “national security.”
Congress has no recourse but to initiate impeachment proceedings against Nixon. As we go to press, initial reaction to these latest developments surrounding Nixon, the tapes, Cox and the courts are strong and widespread. Many, many people want him impeached. It’s no longer just the young, the poor and the minorities who are standing opposed to Nixon, Middle America, people who voted for him, are no calling for his downfall. Nixon has indeed brought us together – together against him.
Still we must be careful. We must not now allow the politicians to compromise and co-opt our feelings for impeachment. Election reforms by themselves will not prevent another usurpation of power such as Nixon has created. The whole question of Big Business’ role in the political system has to be dealt with. How can we ever have anything resembling democracy as long as multi-national corporations and wealthy power groups are allowed to manipulate the electoral process?
We, the people, should ensure that impeachment and conviction occur. We must do everything in our power, by writing Congresspeople, by forming citizen groups for impeachment, by organizing ourselves for this national crisis.
And at the same time, we must be prepared ultimately for the worst.
OB Rag staff box included:
Vicki, Kenny, Kathleen, Chuli, Bob, Bruce, Dennis, Dickie, Molly, June, Diane, Nora, Cat, Nita, Charlie, Pat, Bo, Mari, Jeane