Trump May Compare Himself to Nixon in 1968, but He Really Resembles Wallace ~ NYT

The president has employed the same kind of inflammatory language as George Wallace did in the 1968 campaign. Richard Nixon ran that year seeking the middle between the Alabama governor and Hubert Humphrey.

merlin_173083644_3e48281a-77b9-44a3-8f72-b2a4725177ac-superJumbo
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

But if anything, Mr. Trump seems to be occupying the political lane held that year by George Wallace, the segregationist former governor of Alabama who ran as a third-party candidate to the right of Nixon. While he does not share Wallace’s extreme positions, Mr. Trump is running hard on a combative pro-police, anti-protester platform, appealing to Americans turned off by unrest in the streets.

Mr. Trump’s talk of “shooting” looters, his bellicose denunciation of “thugs” and “terrorists,” his threats to unleash “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” and his vow to call in troops to “dominate” the streets all evoke Wallace’s inflammatory language more than Nixon’s that year. Mr. Trump has offered little empathy for the goals of peaceful protesters against racial injustice, emphasizing instead the sporadic looting and violence even as he has sought to discredit the victims of police brutality.

From the safety of his fortified White House, Mr. Trump has recirculated a Twitter post by a commentator saying it “sickens me” to suggest that George Floyd, the black man whose death under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis two weeks ago touched off protests around the world, be considered a martyr. And on Tuesday, he advanced a conspiracy theory aired by a broadcaster who has done freelance work for a Russian propaganda unit that implied with no basis in fact that a police assault on an unarmed protester in Buffalo was somehow a “set up.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

That sort of approach goes way beyond the 1968 campaign when in fact Nixon ran in the middle between Wallace on the right and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, on the left. While Nixon spoke out strongly for law and order, he also spoke in favor of civil rights and preached the need for unity under a campaign slogan of “Bring Us Together.” While he condemned riots and student protesters, he marched in the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and lectured suburban audiences on their obligations to help the underprivileged.

“Nixon, a really shrewd political strategist, believed that the way to victory was through the suburbs where Wallace’s raw and often violent rhetoric alienated moderate Republicans,” said Dan T. Carter, a professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and a Wallace biographer. “He sought to carefully balance his rhetoric between supporting law and order and condemning violent protests and riots while expressing concern about the conditions of black Americans and supporting peaceful protests.”

 

 

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s