Despite the massive anti-war protests staged by the Worst Generation, their takeovers of university buildings and their bombings of federal property to protest the bombing of North Vietnamese property, Nixon's Vietnam policy was apparently popular with normal Americans. In 1972, he won re-election against "peace" candidate George McGovern in a 49-state landslide.
In January 1973, the United States signed the Paris Peace accords, which would have ended the war with honor. In order to achieve a ceasefire, Nixon jammed lousy terms down South Vietnam's throat, such as allowing Vietcong troops to remain in the South. But in return, we promised South Vietnam that we would resume bombing missions and provide military aid if the North attacked.
It would have worked, but the Democrats were desperate for America to lose. They invented "Watergate," the corpus delicti of which wouldn't have merited three column-inches during the Clinton years, and hounded Nixon out of office. (How's Sandy Berger weathering that tough wrist-slap?)
Three months after Nixon was gone, we got the Watergate Congress and with it, the new Democratic Party. In lieu of the old Democratic Party, which lost wars out of incompetence and naivete, the new Democratic Party would lose wars on purpose.
Just one month after the Watergate Congress was elected, North Vietnam attacked the South.
Even milquetoast, pro-abortion, detente-loving Gerald R. Ford knew America had to defend South Vietnam or America's word would be worth nothing. As Ford said, "American unwillingness to provide adequate assistance to allies fighting for their lives could seriously affect our credibility throughout the world as an ally." He pleaded repeatedly with the Democratic Congress simply to authorize aid to South Vietnam -- no troops, just money.
But the Democrats turned their backs on South Vietnam, betrayed an ally and trashed America's word. Within a month of Ford's last appeal to Congress to help South Vietnam, Saigon fell.
The entire world watched as American personnel desperately scrambled into helicopters from embassy rooftops in Saigon while beating back our own allies, to whom we could offer no means of escape. It was the most demeaning image of America ever witnessed, until Britney Spears came along.
Southeast Asia was promptly consumed in a maelstrom of violence that seems to occur whenever these "Jeffersonian Democrats" come to power. Communist totalitarians swept through Laos, Cambodia and all of Vietnam. They staged gruesome massacres so vast that none other than Sen. George McGovern called for military intervention to stop a "clear case of genocide" in Cambodia.
Five years after that, Islamic lunatics in Iran felt no compunction about storming the embassy of what was once the greatest superpower on Earth and taking American citizens hostage for 14 months. To this day, al-Qaida boosts the flagging morale of its jihadists by reminding them of America's humiliating retreat from Vietnam.
In addition to being wrong about Ford's pardon of Nixon, liberals were wrong about a few other things from that era. Democrats haven't admitted error in rejecting Ford's pleas on behalf of South Vietnam because there are still dangerous foreigners trying to kill Americans. Nixon is safely interred in the ground, but the enemies of America continue to need the Democrats' help.