Richard Nixon, “The First Civil Right”, 1968

ImageRichard Nixon’s television spots during his 1968 campaign for the Presidency were among the most memorable in the genre. There was no pussy footing around with shots of the candidate in the bosom of his family or meeting constituents. A salute to the Odessa Steps Sequence in Battleship Potemkin, “The First Civil Right” featured still photographs of burning buildings, raging hippies, glowering riot police, bloodied protesters, and abandoned mannequins.

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Richard Nixon voice-over: “It is time for an honest look at the problem of order in the United States. Dissent is a necessary ingredient of change. But in a system of government that provides for peaceful change, there is no cause that justifies resort to violence. Let us recognize that the first civil right of every American, is to be free from domestic violence. So I pledge to you, we shall have order in the United States.”

Richard Nixon “The First Civil Right”, http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1968

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