" Like so many of my generation, I accepted the Cold War as a fact of life.But the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the cascade of events that resulted in the demise of the Soviet Union two years later caught nearly everyone unawares.
" Like so many of my generation, I accepted the Cold War as a fact of life.But the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the cascade of events that resulted in the demise of the Soviet Union two years later caught nearly everyone unawares.My mother and father were never told or asked for any kind of consent to have this done to them.
The point of this story is not to argue that these behind-the-scene actions affected the outcome of the 1968 contest.
The Vietnam War and public disillusionment with Lyndon Johnson took care of that.
Believing that Hubert Humphrey would never initiate World War III and fearing Nixon was too staunch an anti-communist (and a scoundrel besides), Dobrynin told Humphrey that the decision-makers in the Politburo looked favorably upon him and he offered to help the cash-starved Democratic campaign.
Humphrey refused, saying it was "more than enough for him to have Moscow's good wishes." After the ballots were counted and Nixon finished a hair's breadth ahead of Humphrey, the Kremlin sent a secret missive via Kissinger congratulating Nixon.
But Kalugin did not speak for a unified Soviet leadership.
The Soviet ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin, already had done some politicking on his own.Session VI Seeing Red: The Cold War and American Public Opinion by John Kenneth White Department of Politics, Catholic University of America Washington, D. Introduction Life is lived forward, but understood backward. Both the Czech invasion and the Brezhnev Doctrine met with widespread condemnation. The power brokers in the Kremlin were taking their measure of the candidates, trying to determine which one could best manage the superpower relationship. Only a month before the Soviet Union had invaded Czechoslovakia, ending Alexander Dubcek's brief experiment with "socialism with a human face." After Dubcek's ouster, Communist party chief Leonid Brezhnev enunciated the "Brezhnev Doctrine," the guise under which the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics could correct its fraternal neighbors by military invasion whenever they deviated from Moscow's hard-line. But behind closed doors another "campaign" was taking place. Nixon, were energetically making their appeals for public support.They established a back-channel to the Nixon campaign, using Harvard University professor Henry Kissinger as an intermediary.Through a series of letters addressed to Kissinger, Nixon was informed that Brezhnev and the KGB would welcome his election.Political Scientist Louis Hartz once hypothesized that Americans were so ideologically straight-jacketed that a philosophy that did not espouse individualism, equality of opportunity, and freedom would be seen as alien.Alexis de Tocqueville held a similar view, writing in Democracy in America (1835): "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." In 1848, Lewis Cass, the Democratic nominee for president, told a Tammany Hall audience that he was "opposed to all the isms of the day. communism and socialism, and Mormonism; to polygamy and concubinage, and to all the humbugs that are now rising among us." As the decades passed and with no end of the Cold War in sight, communism became the antithesis to the American creed. Communism violently opposes democracy and the democratic way of life." These views were shared by the vast majority of Americans.That drastic step was electing Richard Nixon president.While Kalugin thought Nixon "unpredictable," he also believed that Nixon's long-time anti-communism might be the needed catalyst "to improve relations between our countries, for no one would ever dare accuse Nixon of being soft on communism." Cloaked with a veil of secrecy, Kalugin and his KGB colleagues spun a web of intrigue.