Richard Nixon Blogs From the Grave About the Gays on All in the Family

It’s rare that Queerty‘s obsessions overlap with those of Mr. Andrew Sullivan, he of the desire to see Sarah Palin’s medical records and the tortuously grandiose phrase, “Know hope”. But there is one small overlap on the Venn diagram of gay bloggers– and that’s an area we like to call “Richard Nixon.” Your editor is a Nixon fanatic– I’ve even been to the Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda (where, like a Simpsons joke, the Watergate exhibit was “under renovation”) and Nixon in China is my favorite opera of all time. Nixon is our nation’s lone Shakespearian tragedian, a conservative who by modern standards would be a liberal and a cultural touchstone a decade after his death, but what’s the real appeal?

Well, it’s the funny things he says on tape, of course! Take for instance, some Nixonian thoughts on All in the Family and The Gays.

What’s great about this clip isn’t that Nixon says he “understands” the gays (who he calls “queer” and “fairy” at various points), but that it is essentially a conservative blogger recap of an episode of All in the Family. Sullivan ought to be thankful Nixon is dead, because if Tricky Dick were still alive and kicking, you know he’d be running a blog called “Expletive Deleted” and kicking the pants out of poor old Sully.

The best bit of this (there are many) is when Nixon starts talking about how homosexuality destroyed the Greeks and says, “Aristotle was a homo, we all know that, so was Socrates” and then John Ehrlichman butts in saying, “But he never had the influence that television had” and Nixon mutters “Yeah” while he goes on about gay Roman emperors. God, I love that sonofabitch.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #andrewsullivan #richadnixon stories and more


  • MatthewScott

    Classic!!! Reminds me of the old guys around me when I was a kid! Ha! The sad thing is there’s still a few of those guys around with the same exact stereotypes. What the clip reveals is still true today: Those pointing the fingers have the most to hide.

  • John

    This guy sounds like my family, just spouting out incorrect facts and bullshit like they know what they are talking about…it’s funny and also sad to hear him go on and on about how homo’s ruin everything and actually believe it.

  • Emily

    I almost pissed myself laughing, when Nixon described the men as “two magnificent, handsome guys…”

  • 7SnowyNights



    Me: “But the point is, I do not mind the homosexuality. I understand it. Hell, back in college, this friend of mine, he was, y’know, [unintelligible] and-and strong and fit, just a beautiful man. And we experimented and whatever, and things happened, I remember one night where we, [chuckles], we, uh, we found this, this kinda skinny flashlight, and we took turns with the…

    [Everyone stares]

    …But, nevertheless…

  • Ali

    This is chock full of hilarity. Great clip.

    Nixon also has a theory of How Gays Destroyed the Roman Empire. And the British and French. But not the Russians. No, the Russians don’t tolerate the gays and the dope, according to Nixon, and that’s why they’re STRONG! Well, that’s the part of Stalin’s campaign to industrialize Russia that never made it into my history textbook.

    Nixon’s commentary on fashion is also pretty funny, because his theory that gay designers hate women and don’t always flatter them; this is a pretty bog-standard radical feminist argument that you’ll find often in the mainstream of feminism and of critiques of the fashion industry.

  • Ali

    Plus, check out his description of Freddy – “God, he’s handsome, virile, strong…” – it’s at the 3:00 mark.

  • getreal

    Can you imagine what that 14 minute beep covered. I’m dying of curiosity.

  • Sebbe

    Thanks Japh

  • rogue dandelion

    oh nixon!
    notice how he says about the boyscouts, “they all have tendencies” haha, maybe just in his recollection. I wish all of our presidents were taped- this stuff is gold.

  • michael

    Its amazing how easy it is for a simpleton to become the leader of a nation. Forward thinking, open minded people must be out there delivering the garbage and digging sewers because they sure don’t end up in roles of great leadership.

  • Slider

    As Japhy said, Nixon would be a liberals’ liberal by today’s standard. Nixon was a true Shakespeare character. A combination of dark, light, comedy, tragedy etc. I have read other books in which his comments on Gays (Believe it or not in Monica Crowley’s “Nixon in Winter” in which he indicated that he had no problem with homosexuality and the government should leave people to lead their own private lives as they wish.

    Nixon is a fascinating President….who as Japhy stated would be a liberal’s liberal given much of what he did in domestic affairs and in his China Policy, detente, disarmament, Middle East etc.

    That is separate and apart from Watergate, etc…but as Japhy said a fascinating study….he was a far ahead of his time in much of his foreign policy, never mind he gave us the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, called for nationalized health insurance, welfare reform, gave us the EPA, OSHA, Consumer Protection Laws, cancer research, pushed for welfare reform where people were given job training etc.

    As Japhy said, Nixon is a fascinating study….my bet is he was far accepting of Gays then many a liberal of his time….and in his last years in life he was…plus, in Nixon in Winter he ended up being a big fan/admirer of Hillary and Bill Clinton and was a private Clinton advisor on foreign go figure.

  • Slider

    Oops..I forgot to add, you know Japhy is correct when recently the likes of Ralph Nader indicated that Nixon ended up being a very progressive President in his policies and that Nixon was far more progressive then any of our current Presidents….who would have thunk it…but there you have it.

  • Sean

    Richard Nixon was an emotional basket case. He had no business being the President of the United States. You can judge his performance by downloading tapes of his Oval Office conversations from this web site:

    Contrast Nixon with Kennedy. You’ll hear JFK’s gay friend, Lem Billings, calling him up in the White House to make plans to socialize together. There’s also a tape in which the Governor of California Pat Brown (Jerry Brown’s dad) and Kennedy ridicule Nixon after his loss in gubernatorial race. It was clear to them that Nixon was a paranoid jerk. This should be clear to anyone who listens to what Nixon was going in the White House.

  • Jack

    I have to wonder if everything Nixon said in this conversation was all his own ideas. Most people forget that Nixon had Pat Buchanan on his staff as his speech writer at the time. And Pat Buchanans pet project was advising Nixon against any actions that might promote gay rights. I’m sure Nixon heard all of Buchanan’s arguments on the subject!

    Here is a quote of Pat Buchanan’s from about that time.

    “Homosexuality is not a civil right. Its rise almost always is accompanied, as in the Weimar Republic, with a decay of society and a collapse of its basic cinder block, the family.”

    Hmmm . . . sounds a bit similar to Nixons rant, doesn’t it?

    Pat Buchanan also ran for president and sought Nixon’s advice at which time Nixon said that he (Pat Buchanan) should stop vilifying various groups (gays) as it tends to alienate a portion of the people whose vote you’re trying to win.

    The 14 sec gap isn’t what people might imagine, the archives say that the gaps are made to protect the privacy of those who are still living. Moreover Nixon states that he doesn’t even want to shake the hands of groups from SF, not the sort of thing one can say with a straight face after making any kind of revelation.

  • Dave

    After listening closely to this recording several times I have to say that I cannot hear the word “it” as the YOU TUBE poster rmm413c has transcribed. I believe Nixon said “I understand and then the censors cut the audio there because he begins naming prominent homosexuals he was aware of in Washington. I think it’s very likely that what Nixon said went something like this, I don’t mind the homosexuality, I understand —- —– is a homosexual, ———- is a homo and so is ———, and they’re all good public servants, but nevertheless . . .

    This reasoning is consistent with the reasons that some of the outtakes were made, that being personal info regarding people yet living.

    Anyone who knows anything about Richard Nixon would know that he would NEVER disclose personal, sexual information about himself. NEVER!

    For him it would be tantamount to saying to a potential political enemy, and to Nixon EVERYONE had that potential.
    Oh, you have a gun there I see, here I have some bullets for you!

    Another mistake in this transcript is in the line where President Nixon recites the point in the TV show where Archie interrogates his gay friend. President Nixon actually says, “What’s this deal where you grasp him and PUT forth?” He did not say, “so forth” as the transcript reads. Put forth means to make an effort, which more accurately describes what Archie was wondering about. So forth is much more vague and indeterminate, like ect. This is splitting hairs, but it shows how a misplaced article or word can very much change the meaning and context of any written passage.

Comments are closed.