Satire: Change the name!!!

Tyler Palicia

I say that we change the name of Washington and Lee University (did you see the headline?). However, in keeping with tradition, I believe that the school’s new namesake should also be a controversial figure whom many find offensive.

I propose that we adopt the name of the 37th president of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon. Don’t write it off immediately. A lot of deep, methodical thought went into this idea. 

Many believe that the school should cease to associate itself with the legacy of Robert E. Lee, a traitor to this country who defended slavery. Preservationists argue that removing Lee’s name from the school would break a long-held tradition. I’m here to say that, with Nixon, both sides can get most of what they want—just not everything. Call it a compromise.

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It makes a good deal of sense to name the school after Nixon—traditionally speaking. It’s hard to overlook how much he shares in common with Lee. For example, both men committed treason against the United States. Both men also served in the United States Armed Forces. This fact will go a long way in negating the treason.

The resemblances continue. For example, they both seemed to like mongering divisive wars that permanently scarred this country. Both men were also known to appreciate a good coup d’état from time to time—Nixon overthrew the Chilean government and Lee tried to do the same in a sizable portion of the United States of America. And let’s not forget their similarly infamous Southern strategies.

Both men had iconic nicknames. Nixon was known for conning people and dodging the ramifications, hence his nickname:“Tricky Dick.” Lee’s nickname was “Granny Lee” because of his lurid attraction to much older women.

On a lighter note, both men loved animals. Lee had a famous horse named Traveller, while Nixon had a beautiful dog named Checkers. Imagine hopping on Checkers every weekend to go to Windfall and drink a toast to ol’ Tricky Dick.

I could go on for another 10 pages about these uncanny historical crossovers, but I won’t. I have a feeling that you are already convinced and I don’t want to oversell. 

I’d be remiss if I neglected to point out the fact that these two men would have had their disagreements. Nixon, although far from perfect, had a decent civil rights record for a reactionary politician during his time—unlike Lee. While vice president, Nixon worked with Congress to institute the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

Now that I am certain you are on board with the name, let’s talk mascots. As you might have guessed, there is only one option. Just think, we’d be the first and only “Richard Nixon University: Home of the Tricky Dicks” in America. We can’t let this opportunity slip by. 

To fellow progressive members of the student body, staff, and alumni: we aren’t going to get Noam Chomsky University, so learn to settle. Just like we settled for Joe Biden. Call me self-hating, but I firmly believe that while “Richard Nixon University: Home of the Tricky Dicks” may not be the name we want, it’s the name we deserve. Trust me, this is for the best.

At the end of the day, at least the updated name will be less politically charged than our current name. The decision might even discourage the droves of deranged boomers—many of whom have no association with the school—from supporting us on their Facebook feeds alongside posts of casserole recipes and QAnon plots to arrest Dr. Fauci. A change might also throw the leftist Twitter mob off our scent for a while. Might be nice, that’s all.

I don’t see a single reason why we shouldn’t name our school after Richard Nixon. Do you?