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COLUMN ON NIXON RIGHT ON MARK

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Let me be a lone voice in the wilderness in defense of Dennis Lythgoe's column on Richard Nixon. I've always been bothered by the attitude so prevalent that when someone dies he/she suddenly becomes perfect. Au contraire. This is true neither of us nor of those in power. The dead person is still the same person.

Nixon, apparently, was always a little shady. When he ran for governor of his own state, the people rejected him. My uncle in California said people wouldn't vote for Nixon because they remembered too many of his questionable dealings. As for the Checkers speech, those who thought that was honest and sincere may make good judges for the best-acting Oscars.As for not speaking ill of the dead, how many of the letter writers now see Kennedy or Johnson or Roosevelt or Ted Bundy or Hitler, for that matter, as having done no wrong? The thing these people don't understand is that Lythgoe is a historian. Having majored in history, I can, perhaps, better see where he is coming from. It's the job of the historian to look at the past, recent as well as distant, and not only see what happened but why it happened.

I have a feeling that in years to come, we'll all see Nixon in a truer light. Then let the letter writers, as well as Lythgoe, write again. You may be surprised how much differently you see things.

Shirley G. Ruth

West Jordan