AMERICAN NOTES: A Choice, Not an Echo

Richard Nixon is sometimes given to hyperbole—as when he proclaimed his New American Revolution or said after the first moon landing, "This is the greatest week in the history of the world," a claim that slighted certain events like the birth of Christ. At a press conference last week in the Oval Office, the President declared that the differences between himself and George McGovern this year presented American voters with "the clearest choice in this century."

The claim was only moderately extravagant. On defense, on foreign policy, on most economic assumptions, in...