Saturday, March 12, 2016

THE 2016 RACE SEEMS LIKE THE 1968 RACE WITHOUT NIXON

I'm watching all the craziness out there -- the Chicago rally canceled by the Donald Trump, allegedly in response to police concerns about protests, although the police insist that the Trump campaign never consulted them and that unrest there was under control, and now the cancellation of a Cincinnati rally followed by disruption that reached the stage at a rally in Dayton:



It feels like 1968 -- but not completely. Yes, Trump is running as an opponent of protesters who are a mix of young whites and non-whites -- but the 1968 candidate Trump resembles is George Wallace, not Richard Nixon. Trump isn't appealing to a plurality of white America with this. Hell, he's generating despair within his own party. And I do mean despair; really, watch this brief video of Marco and see how drained and miserable he seems:



There are establishment Republicans as well as Democrats and lefties expressing horror at what's going on in Trump World. Trump isn't assembling a coalition of right-centrists and angry populists, the way Nixon did in '68; he's spurring both his supporters and his opponents on to violence, like Wallace.

This seems like a rerun of '68 if it had been just Wallace versus Hubert Humphrey. Hillary Clinton has a lot in common with Humphrey: Democrats have been in the White House for eight years, as in '68, and, Hillary, like Humphrey, is the heir apparent who's been a party stalwart for years but is not widely loved. Like Humphrey, she seems out of step with left-leaning voters on key issues. What was up with her praise for Nancy Reagan on AIDS, followed by a reference to last year's Charleston shootings that also missed the mark?





Nixon was what we'd later call a triangulator, the candidate who talked about law and order, but not in as inflammatory a way as Wallace, the candidate who alternated coded appeals to white racists with appeals to old-guard establishmentarians, the candidate who rejected the peace movement but claimed to have a secret plan to end the war. A lot of this was fake, but it was skillful needle-threading, and it got him elected.

We don't have a candidate like that now. I could imagine Mike Bloomberg watching all this and rethinking his decision not to run, even though he's not what voters want, and I wonder whether John Kasich, running with the backing of the GOP establishment on a third-party line, would have a shot, given how many voters, including some Democrats, now believe he's a nice, harmless moderate.

Nixon was a terrible person who won at a bad moment. I don't really know who'd be the appropriate candidate at this moment. But I don't think a candidate analogous to Nixon will run. I think Humphrey vs. Wallace is what we're stuck with.

17 comments:

retiredeng said...

It seems that next Tuesday has become much, much more interesting.

Victor said...

And the level of violence at Trump events keep escalating.

I hope I'm wrong, but soon people may very well start getting killed.

Feud Turgidson said...

Yesterday I said 1964. Today Steve M says 1968. But both are so 20th Century. By Millenial Math, does 1964 + 1968 = 2016?

Feud Turgidson said...

I despair of the pivot.

Ten Bears said...

Nobody has been tear-gassed. Shot with bean-bags or firehoses, night-clubbed or stomped by a horse. This ain't shit.

It'll get uglier before it gets pretty.

Feud Turgidson said...

10B, So at least we've got all that to look forward to. ~ Not Carl Spackler

mlbxxxxxx said...

Wish my knees felt like it was 1968.

Feud Turgidson said...

...back, hips, eyes, balance, sleeping, eyes - the list, she goes on.

Yastreblyansky said...

My relatively liberal parents were from Minneapolis and had stirring memories of Humphrey the fiery hero of civil rights and labor. I think they ended up voting for him in spite of the war. Knowing what we now sort of know (that a deal with North Vietnam was virtually ready for signing but interrupted by Republican ratfucking), I wish he had won.

Clinton has a distinguished history too, unappealing as she seems.

Feud Turgidson said...

Yas, This is one of the things I don't get: she's got John Podesta listed at the top of her campaign. Is it that they don't ever talk, or she never listens?

For some reason, for as long as we've known her, she's got 2 ears but they only ever hear one voice.

trnc said...

The one who missed the mark regarding Clinton's Charleston comment was Chad Williams. The people there were attacked solely because of their race, and yet they forgave. Trump's supporters imagine they suffer horribly, often for no reason, and they continue to ramp up the anger. Clinton is right - the people in Charleston should be the model.

Unsalted Sinner said...

I don't know much about spells, but I think Theresa Williams should run for president.

Steve M. said...

Oops -- I just deleted her spam.

John Taylor said...

No matter how crazy Donald Trump gets, if he's nominated the rest of the Republicans will fall in behind. Because Hillary is the devil incarnate, of course.

CH said...

Agreed, John. There'll be no R party split of any consequence, and that'll be true regardless of whether Sanders or Clinton is the enemy.

Odie Jackson said...

Yeah the typical lefty purists. They're the ones who gave the election to Nixon in the first place by trashing Humphrey because he was a "sellout". These are the same people who gave us eight years of George W. Bush.

Ten Bears said...

Gosh Odie, I voted in that election, and I don't remember lefty purists giving it to him. I remember a stupid population that bought his election-eve "the war is over!" extra extra read all about it bullshit but I don't remember any lefty purists handing him a silver platter and saying "here you go dick!"