Screamingly obvious isn’t it? And now brace yourself for a Blast From the Past !
April 28, 1971. During a discussion with Haldeman and Kissinger about an annual youth conference, the subject turned to homosexuality and society.
Nixon: Let me say something before we get off the gay thing. I don’t want my views misunderstood. I am the most tolerant person on that of anybody in this shop. They have a problem. They’re born that way. You know that. That’s all. I think they are. Anyway, my point is, though, when I say they’re born that way, the tendency is there. [But] my point is that Boy Scout leaders, YMCA leaders, and others bring them in that direction, and teachers. And if you look over the history of societies, you will find, of course, that some of the highly intelligent people . . . Oscar Wilde, Aristotle, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, were all homosexuals. Nero, of course, was, in a public way, in with a boy in Rome.
Haldeman: There’s a whole bunch of Roman emperors. . . Nixon: But the point is, look at that, once a society moves in that direction, the vitality goes out of that society. Now, isn’t that right, Henry?
Nixon: Do you see any other change, anywhere where it doesn’t fit?
Kissinger: That’s certainly been the case in antiquity. The Romans were notorious—
Haldeman: The Greeks.
Kissinger: —homosexuals. . . .
Nixon: The Greeks. And they had plenty of it. . . . By God, I am not going to have a situation where we pass along a law indicating, “Well, now, kids, just go out and be gay.” They can do it. Just leave them alone. That’s a lifestyle I don’t want to touch. . . .
Kissinger: It’s one thing for people to, you know, like some people we know, who would do it discreetly, but to make that a national policy . .
The subject soon turned to swearing in public.
Nixon: I mean, you’ve got to stop at a certain point. Why is it that the girls don’t swear? Because a man, when he swears, people can’t tolerate a girl who is a—
Haldeman: Girls do swear.
Haldeman: They do now.
Nixon: Oh, they do now? But, nevertheless, it removes something from them. They don’t even realize it. A man drunk, and a man who swears, people will tolerate and say that’s a sign of masculinity or some other damn thing. We all do it. We all swear. But you show me a girl that swears and I’ll show you an awful unattractive person. . . . I mean, all femininity is gone. And none of the smart girls do swear, incidentally.
And speaking of smart girls, and YMCA leaders –