On pages 36-37 of Nixon's Shadow: The History of An Image, David Greenberg describes the phenomenon of Nixon-hating in the 1950's:
liberal Democrats blazing the way, many Americans came to regard Nixon
as a singularly dark and dangerous presence in national life. And while
the hatred had an ideological component, there was far more to it.
Nixon's detractors viewed him as categorically different from other
partisan foes. 'All the time I've been in politics,' Harry Truman told
his biographer, 'there's only two people I hate, and he's one.' Adlai
Stevenson said Nixon was the sole public figure he ever 'really loathed'
and once, upon hearing Nixon's name at a party, exclaimed, 'Please!
Not while I'm eating!' Eleanor Roosevelt, a biographer wrote,
considered Nixon 'the politician she most detested.' Dean Acheson
thought just two or three others as odious. Averell Harriman once
stalked out of a swanky Georgetown dinner party----the kind where
Democrats, Republicans, and reporters normally mixed with
ease----because he spied Nixon sitting nearby. 'I will not break bread
with that man!' the diplomat boomed before exiting. And John F.
Kennedy, speaking to The New Yorker's Washington correspondent Richard Rovere, called his 1960 presidential opponent a 'son of a bitch' and a 'bastard.'"
Why was Richard Nixon so despised? Nixon asked Monica Crowley this question, according to Monica's second book about Nixon, Nixon in Winter.
Nixon believed it was because of his role as a Congressman in exposing
Alger Hiss as a spy for the Soviets, for Hiss was a darling of the
liberal establishment. But David Greenberg does not buy that, for
Greenberg says on page 44 that "many liberals and journalists had sided
with" Nixon on the Hiss case. Stephen Ambrose a couple of times in his
Nixon trilogy (particularly volume 2) takes Nixon to task for his
persecution complex, arguing that Nixon brought some of that persecution
Greenberg goes into the antagonistic view of Nixon
held by many 1950's liberals. According to a number of 1950's liberals,
Greenberg narrates, Nixon was unprincipled and shady, and also
dangerous because he could exploit the mass media (i.e., television, as
in his Checkers Speech) to sucker the masses. They regarded Nixon's
common-man persona as phony. They noted that Nixon was a ruthless
campaigner----perhaps "demagogue" would be an appropriate word for how
they characterized his campaign strategy. They didn't think that Nixon
was genteel or personable enough. And yet, they still regarded him as a
more sophisticated version of Joe McCarthy.
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