Different Standards for Different People in America

Courtesy of Vince (Flickr CC0)

Different Standards for Different People in America: I Give You the Rosenbergs, Nixon, and Trump

History proves that most of our nation’s presidents were below average. I’m being kind. However, in 1971 a political move by both parties that offered America some terrible presidents who should not have been celebrated, Washington’s birthday, February 22nd, and Lincoln’s birthday, February 12th, were combined into one holiday honoring all presidents “Presidents Day.” I continue to object to this change, knowing that some presidents caused more harm to our nation than good. Becoming the President of the United States is an honor and a duty, not a reason for praise and distinction.

This made me think about a reality that every American should think about. Politicians and the media continue to set separate standards for different types of people and at different times in our nation’s history. I present three examples, two of which were presidents and two others who were seriously punished for their crimes, while the presidents were not as I write this story.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953. They had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage and sent to the electric chair. Treason was the most serious federal crime which could be committed by any man or woman in the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and others incited fear, hatred, and violence against any American who might have been a communist sympathizer. Not until 2010 did America experience such extremism until the TEA Party, created by billionaires, infiltrated the GOP.

Courtesy of National Archives and Records (Picryl PDM)

During their trials, the prosecution made special efforts to vilify Ethel Rosenberg. Allegedly, the couple sold nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, and she was described as “a woman who loved communism more than her children.” She was also accused of being the “mastermind” of the operation.

“Ethel was killed for being a wife. She was guilty of supporting her husband,” Anne Sebba, author of Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy told reporters. And for that, the 37-year-old mother of two young children had five massive jolts of electricity pumped through her body. Her death was so brutal that eyewitnesses reported that smoke rose out of her head.

The prosecutor was the infamous and controversial Roy Cohn.

For over two decades, the media and both political parties described Richard Nixon in ways that made him appear to be the worst president in our nation’s history. This was the reaction to the burglary at the Watergate Hotel. One of the occupants was the Democratic National Committee. On the evening of June 17, 1972, a number of Nixon’s aides stole information related to the upcoming election. Two years later, Nixon resigned in disgrace.

What was purposely ignored by the media were his many accomplishments. History will prove that he was more successful than any Republican president since Teddy Roosevelt and remains so today. Here are just a few of Nixon’s many accomplishments for his country’s people.

  • In 1973 he ended the draft.
  • He helped create and fund the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.
  • He began the war on cancer by signing a bill to give 100 million dollars to cancer research.
  • He created Title IX to protect collegiate women athletes.
  • Nixon initiated and oversaw the peaceful desegregation of southern schools.
  • He established diplomacy between America and the People’s Republic of China.

The list goes on and on, but some Americans continue to place Nixon at the top of the list of worst presidents. They ignore George W. Bush, who lied about the reasons for invading two sovereign nations, and whose fiscal policy nearly caused a second depression. They also refuse to recognize the fact that Donald Trump killed thousands of Americans for failing to lead the fight against the pandemic and organized, planned, and executed a failed coup on January 6, 2021.

This brings me to a larger exposé of Trump.

Like the Rosenbergs, Trump stole nuclear secrets, but as I write this, nothing has been done; he remains a free man. Regardless of the severity of his crimes, he will likely not be tried and therefore not executed as were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Trump’s “standard” has been to ‘give him a free pass.’ I continue to believe that he will not be fairly punished for his many crimes. Here is a list of just a few, some large and some small, many of which have been totally ignored by the media. However, each is significant when fairly evaluated.

  • In the biggest act of nepotism in history, he appointed family members to his White House staff.
  • He attempted to ignore the fact that Russia was heavily involved in the 2016 election, and one of the reasons he won the Electoral College
  • He called Neo-Nazi protestors “very fine people.”
  • He issued a “Muslim travel ban.”
  • In an effort to increase his personal wealth by using his status as the president, he doubled fees at his golf resorts and encouraged foreign dignitaries to stay at his Washington hotel.
  • He attacked late Senator John McCain for being captured.
  • He withdrew our country’s involvement in the Paris Accord, denying the dangers of climate change.
  • He was impeached twice for cause and exonerated without a fair trial.
Courtesy of White House (Picryl PDM)

There were many, many more, but no one will forget COVID or the Insurrection.

I would list his positive “accomplishments,” but there were none.

Hypocrisy has become part of our nation’s standard operating procedure in the 21st century. This is the century in which I believe the United States of America will no longer exist unless there is drastic and immediate change.

The government of the United States of America is broken beyond repair. Professional politicians lost their concern for our nation’s people years ago. There is no hope without drastic change, and the 545 men and women in Washington will never face the truth. They are worthless.

Vote all incumbents out of office and send a message to every politician that we are no longer going to allow ourselves to be used and abused by those we elect to serve us. Term limits in the legislative and judicial branches are a must.


By James Turnage, Novelist


The Guardian: The Rosenbergs were executed for spying in 1953. Can their sons reveal the truth? By Hadley Freeman
Richard Nixon Foundation: Richard Nixon’s Top Domestic and Foreign Policy Achievements
Indy100: The 55 worst things Trump did during his presidency; by Moya Lothian McLean and Greg Evans

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Vince’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image by National Archives and Records Administration Courtesy of Picryl – Public Domain License
Second Inset Image Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian Courtesy of Picryl – Public Domain License

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