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Why Richard Nixon Should Be Your Dystopian President

Illustration for article titled Why Richard Nixon Should Be Your Dystopian President

The latest Futurama movie, The Beast with a Billion Backs, found Richard Nixon's head still president of an increasingly crappy Earth, and Nixon will again take the highest office in next year's Watchmen. In fact, if there's a vaguely dystopian alternate history or future, chances are there's a Nixon to run it. But as our nation gets more presidents under its belt, another politician may challenge Nixon's supremacy as head of unhappy states. But our 37th president will not relinquish his title so easily. After the jump, read Nixon's track record and see why you should reelect him president of your dystopian America.


He Runs the Conspiracy

Most presidents are content merely to sit in the pocket of the shadowy conspiracy that rules the country, vetoing an anti-corporate bill here and issuing the occasional questionable pardon. But Nixon is no one's henchman. When he wants JFK gone, he takes the Comedian to Dallas and gives the order himself. When the Secret Empire framed Captain America for murder in its plot to rule the United States, Nixon wasn't some mere co-conspirator. He was the guy with the number one printed on his freaky black hood.

Illustration for article titled Why Richard Nixon Should Be Your Dystopian President

He Repealed the 22nd Amendment

Why have a president when you can have a dictator? The 22nd Amendment just makes the US Constitution overlong and difficult for schoolchildren to memorize. Fortunately, Nixon realized that once you've got superheroes and secret police on the payroll, you don't need term limits.

He Won Vietnam, Twice

The Vietnam War had raged for ten years by the time Nixon took office in 1969. But he realized something his predecessors did not: an atomic superman trumps guerilla warfare. With the aid of Doctor Manhattan, Nixon handily ends the conflict in a mere three months. Apparently it doesn't take, because he uses far more mundane means several years later in Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas, bombarding the irrigation facilities in Hanoi and Haiphong and forcing a surrender of the North Vietnamese forces in 1974. The result of this victory, however, is not peace and prosperity, but an advanced arms race and at least eight more years of Nixon.


He Battled Philip K. Dick

In 1974, the entity VALIS, which might be God, told writer Philip K. Dick that Nixon was the leader of an oppressive empire comprised of three great superpowers. Since then, Dick and Nixon have warred across the universes, from Dick's own Radio Free Albemuth to Paul McAuley's "The Two Dicks," with Nixon suppressing subversive literature as fast as Dick can compose it. Dick finally dies at the beginning of Michael Bishop's Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas, but his ghost takes on the task of bringing down Nixon's fascist rendition of America.


He's Unstoppable

Nixon is nothing if not resilient. Lose the presidency? Run for governor of California. Lose the gubernatorial race? Run for president again. Accused of taking illegal campaign contributions? Assure the public that your daughters really love that dog.

Illustration for article titled Why Richard Nixon Should Be Your Dystopian President

Not even death can stop Nixon. Despite taking a bullet to the temple following the events of the Secret Empire, he manages to win reelection in 1976, 1980, and 1984 in Alan Moore's history. He even manages to claim victory in the 3000 election thanks to the technology that keeps heads alive in jars and a disenfranchised robot voting bloc. When you install Nixon, you get a leader that lasts.


Other candidates may try to wow you with their corporate interests, shady backroom dealings, and public scandals, but only Nixon has an unmarred record of dystopian success. So the next time you need a leader for your warring, fascist, or just plain broken down American nation, think Richard Nixon.

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@Berd: Actually it was Reagan in Dark Knight Returns.