The Scene: The oval office of the White House, May 26, 1971. The President is in conversation with Art Linkletter, a radio and television host.
Nixon: …Radical demonstrators that were here the last, oh, two weeks ago. [unintelligible] They’re all on drugs. Oh yeah, horrible…
Linkletter: They sit down with a marijuana cigarette to get high.
Nixon: A person does not drink to get drunk.
Linkletter: That’s right.
Nixon: A person drinks to have fun… Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags. The last six. Nero had a public wedding to a boy. Yeah. And they’d [unintelligible]. You know that. You know what happened to the Popes? It’s all right that, po-po-Popes were laying the nuns, that’s been going on for years, centuries, but, when the popes, when the Catholic Church went to hell, in, I don’t know, three or four centuries ago, it was homosexual. And finally it had to be cleaned out. Now, that’s what’s happened to Britain, it happened earlier to France.
And let’s look at the strong societies. The Russians. God damn it, they root them out, they don’t let them around at all. You know what I mean? I don’t know what they do with them. Now, we are allowing this in this country when we show [unintelligible]. Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. Not if they can allow, not if they can catch it, they send them up. You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality in general, these are the enemies of strong societies. That’s why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff. They’re trying to destroy us…
I have seen the countries of Asia and the Middle East, portions of Latin America, and I have seen what drugs have done to those countries. Uh, everybody knows what it’s done to the Chinese, the Indians are hopeless anyway, the Burmese. They have different forms of drugs [unintelligible] China and the rest of them, they’ve all gone down… Why the hell are those Communists so hard on drugs? Well why they’re so hard on drugs is because, uh, they love to booze. I mean, the Russians, they drink pretty good.
Nixon: But they don’t allow any drugs. Like that. And look at the north countries. The Swedes drink too much, the Finns drink too much, the British have always been heavy boozers and the rest, but uh, and the Irish of course the most, uh, but uh, on the other hand, they survive as strong races. There’s another, it’s a very significant difference.
Nixon: And your drug societies, uh, are, are, inevitably come apart. They—
Linkletter: They lose motivation. No discipline.
Linkletter:You know I did a show—
Nixon: At least with liquor I don’t lose motivation [unintelligible]…
from the Oval Office tapes, excerpted by Doug McVay. See The Shafer Commission Report (1872)