I had a moment.
I watched part of an unrelated documentary on Netflix talking about the civil unrest we have in the nation. It was pretty interesting, and talked about how politics have turned into a bunch of dog whistles targeting certain groups, and so on. It never makes the connection to Trump, because that’s not what it was about, but I did.
It’s shocking how similar Trump’s campaign is to Nixon. It makes so much more sense that “Make American Great Again” is trying to rewind the clock to the 1960’s, a Nixon presidential era. I wasn’t even born, not for another decade; and as I often say, “if I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me.” I’d imagine for many “young” (i get to be young in this topic!) voters, they probably don’t make the connection either. It also might explain why Trump pulls in a very specific demographic who may have seen Nixon in a brighter light for his time.
Trump is ripping every single page out of Nixon’s playbook. The “law and order” rhetoric that focuses on ghetto’s, the public opinion of civil rights while also procrastinating on desegregation until the courts forced his hand. The only difference is that I look at Nixon’s policies today and they sound more Democratic than any Democrat in my voting age; and he was Republican. Trump is 70 now, which would place him early in his voting age in the mid to late 60’s when Nixon was a household name; especially among white collar workers. I don’t know if it’s ever been asked but I can only imagine he has a certain admiration for that time and maybe even Nixon himself. Trump was a young 20-something who’s dad paid a doctor to help him dodge the draft. He was in the height of the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll of his life.
Maybe it’s not that Trump is as completely inapt as most would believe; maybe he’s just stuck. He wouldn’t be the first person stuck in what may have been some of the better years of his life, like some armchair quarterback talking about his high school football days, or some prom queen who never did anything with her life. Those years were probably good to him; not for a vast number of Americans, but to him, they were great years.
At the end of the day I don’t know if Trump is the monster that the modern-day super liberals make him out to be. I think he’s just a dirty old man who can’t let go of a time when life was good to him. That doesn’t really excuse him, but I don’t think he can change, he’s too old to give up the dream now. Some people would rather ride or die and I think Trump is going to ride this life out the way he came into it; living a life where the rules that govern you are slightly better if you are white, and a lot better if you are rich, and untouchable if you are rich and white. He doesn’t know any other life so he plays the drum to the only tune he knows, his 20-something’s.
I’m still not voting for the guy, but part of me might pity him more than vilify the dated lens through which he see’s the world. I’d like to think that Trump might someday see that time has changed and the world has moved on without him, but money cures many wounds, including ignorance. He has never suffered a hardship that cut so deep that it has changed his outlook on life and he never will at this point. The torch will be passed to his children and I can only hope they don’t carry the same antiquated beliefs that left Donald looking like a drunk at a crashed wedding and someone mistakenly gave him the microphone… He’s not drunk though, he’s just been living under a gold-plated rock.
I feel sorry for Donald Trump.