Richard Nixon’s 1975 Journal

I have always been a careful man
I am methodical
I choose my words with care
I know that some will misunderstand me
I know others will use my words against me
I know how these things work

I am not guarded
I believe in being frank
I write on long legal pads
I collect my thoughts
I say what needs to be said
I am the one who is writing
I am the man at the desk

make no mistake

I grew up in an American town
I walked its brown brick streets and sawdust floors
I stood outside the train station
I found a nickel under my shoe
I wanted to be a man in this town
I wanted to be the best man
I knew there could only be one best man

make no mistake

I have here a letter from a soldier in New York
101st Airborne, a veteran of Hamburger Hill
I get a lot of these letters
I read every one
I treat this as a duty
I respond whenever I can

I got back from the war all right
      [make no mistake]
living on the streets getting high in the towers
      [make no mistake]
the smell of airplane glue and cinderblock
      [make no mistake]
at the top of the stairs the emergency door was open
      [make no mistake]
on the roof the tags and condoms of left behind lovers
      [make no mistake]
I took out my toys and got off
      [make no mistake]
this was my body
      [make no mistake]
flung atop the needle headed city
      [make no mistake]
plunging into the open windowed skyline
      [make no mistake]
bombing into an all night coffin
      [make no mistake]
frozen with the untouched face of a child
      [make no mistake]

I will not be pitied
I am not a crook
I have no regrets
I face every crisis
I came to this job with eyes wide open
I remember my parents back in Yorba Linda
I saw my father sweating in the fields
I said to myself I can do better
I knew I could achieve something special
I set out to make a name for myself
I gave no quarter and expected none
I leave it for history to decide my fate

I want to thank everyone here tonight
I say carry on the fight
I wish you all the best of luck
I look forward to our future together
I am with you always
I will not be misunderstood
I will not be mistaken
I am Nixon

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