(CNN) — “Beware the fury of the patient man.” — John Dryden
In January, 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was pledging to take over Palestine. In the United States, a “sensational new RCA Victor Star,” just days away from cracking the music charts with his first hit, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was touring with Hank Snow and the stars of Grand Old Opry. Norma Jeane Mortenson was preparing to change her name.
Also that month, a fresh-faced U.S. senator gave Richard Nixon an autographed copy of his second book, “Profiles in Courage”.
In that best-seller, John F. Kennedy applauded leaders with the courage to represent “the actual sentiments of the silent majority of their constituents in opposition to the screams of a vocal minority.” That “silent majority” was a constituency neither Nixon nor the country would forget: Fifty-six years later, Mitt Romney is counting on it to win the presidency.