A Trump of 1968

Donald Trump’s team are busy digging the trenches to set up the base to try and drive his re-election bid in November. It seems they are modelling the design on the same foundation that the disgraced President Nixon did. Law & Order, Law & Order, Law & Order. Let the dog-whistling commence.

Source: NY Times

It is quite a strikingly brazen strategy from Trump, but if it worked for Nixon, surely it could work for him. The similarities between 1968 and 2020 are very clear. Pandemics, racial tensions, and social divisions polarising the nation led to President Watergate putting a Republican in the Oval Office and Trump is seeking to recreate this. On the face of it, its not a terrible strategy. Reaching out to the older, conservative demographic who will turn out in higher numbers and look to Trump protect the fact that America is changing. Extending the olive branch of protection to the silent majority of Americans in the face of ANTIFA looters and knee-taking insiders. 

But the fact is that Trump can no longer present the outsider image. He is just about as inside the establishment as it gets. The platform he used to get elected in 2016 is fast disintegrating. And the one marked difference between number 37 and number 45 is that Trump is the incumbent. Standing for change when you have been in office for 4 years is not a good look. Nixon projected the image that he could fix the instability caused by Democrats, but Trump is projecting the message that he can fix the mess he created. I broke it, I’ll fix it. It must baffle even the most circumspect onlooker as to how the Donald can run on the campaign of law and order given his total lack of regard for the law and stark inability to maintain order.

The steady hand comes from Biden. The fake tanned General Ursus is stoking a campaign that will throw stones at Biden’s longevity as a public representative to teleport voters back to the draining of the swamp. However, it seems Biden has refused to travel to Trump’s Britannia Stadium on a wet Tuesday night and has not got sucked into defending his record, but rather, risen above this and instead, is using his 44 years in public office to springboard his bid. A man once described as “the nicest man in politics” by senior Trump puppet Senator Lindsay Graham, a man who was best friends with the late John McCain and a man who is held in the highest regard by former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Biden is the candidate who can chip away at the wall of partisanship that Trump has worked so hard to build. The only wall he has managed to erect in his sorry 1st term. 

He is the one building the momentum. He is shaping this election, not so much based on a battle of personalities, but rather, a battle for “the soul of America”. Having previously been labelled as status-quo Joe, he has now “ripped off the band aid” and opened the door for institutional reform, something nobody would have envisaged when he first began his campaign. Biden is seeking to “heal the racial wounds” and looks likely to have a POC woman as his running mate whilst Donald hopes that George Floyd is proud of the unemployment figures. 

The polls are giving Biden a healthy lead at the moment, but that is to be expected. It will negatively oscillate from now until November, and one hopes that the deficit Trump currently faces will prove insurmountable. The election could well pivot on that silent majority of non-protestors that Nixon tapped into and cajoled to the ballot box. The question remains, is that same demographic more concerned about how damaging another 4 years of reality TV at their expense could be, or are they just too worried by the peaceful protests which Biden supports.  

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