I have long believed that there have been many more gay politicians in higher office in America than we’ll ever hear about. First, because of the ongoing pointless bigotry against homosexuals and second because people’s sex lives, gay or straight, are their own damn business.
Be that as it may, according to a new book out in January, Richard Nixon might be joining Abe Lincoln and J. Edgar Hoover as two of the most prominent American men in politics to have carried on long standing homosexual affairs.
Longtime White House correspondent Don Fulsom’s new book Nixon’s Darkest Secrets suggests that the president and Charles “Bebe” Rebozo, a mobbed up fixer from Florida, had a long term affair that lasted all that way until Nixon’s death in 94’ with Rebozo by his side.
The two apparently used to vacation together a great deal, and were passionate about fishing and of course Broadway Musicals. These are the kinds of leaked stories that will guarantee a book getting some attention when it finally hits shelves in January.
But, if you step back a bit from the story how hard is this to really accept? Powerful politicians have affairs all the time, it didn’t just start with JFK. Also, we are talking about an era when it was much easier for a president to slip off into the night to do whatever he wanted since there was no 24 hour cable news, and the line between press and public office was much higher.
I can’t tell you if I believe Nixon was playing for the other team or not, but think of it this way: If it was revealed that he had a long term affair for years with a woman, a White secretary, a Black house keeper or whomever I don’t think anyone would be shocked. It’s not about the sex itself or the affair, it’s just a matter of what we’ve become used to accepting.
Dr. Jason Johnson, Politic365 Chief Political Correspondent, is a professor of Political Science at Hiram College in Ohio and author of the book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell. You can read more at www.drjasonjohnson.com or follow him on Twitter @Drjasonjohnson