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The Nixonization of Donald Trump


The Nixonization of Donald Trump

John Feffer

The comparisons are multiplying. There was Trump’s appeal to the “silent majority” during the presidential election, his later adoption of the “mad man” theory in his foreign policy, his possible taping of conversations, his arm-twisting of top officials, and his all-around involvement in the scandals enveloping his administration.


Sadly, The Empire is vastly less progressive now.


This author says that in the aftermath of Watergate that the country turned to the left. I don't remember that but then I did not plow through the arcane minutiae and self serving data of government puzzling out when foreign policy decisions were being fought out between officials and the ruling power elites.

I think that microscopic attention to individuals and presumbably what they write and say to other conservatives has resulted in a too narrow sense of history. I am sure that the details and quotes are all correct but I think their importance is magnified by hindsight. In other words a so and so said something but it was only years later when that person came into greater prominence that their words seemed so adroit.

My recollection of the aftermath of Watergate was mostly Ronald Reagan to be honest about it. I liked Carter but OPEC took him down. I remember how people dropped away from activism professing exhaustion after the war was over. Maybe in the corridors of power and in the pages of their subsequently published accounts (seriously who exactly actually reads these things?) the world looks different. Yes Kissinger but who has ever read Wolfowitz? This author and those he cites obviously have read him and others of that ilk.

Except for the militancy of gay rights dealing with the murderous Falwellian apathy towards those dying of aids, the Left left it to government to rein back the intel community (looking at data collection and such these days we can see how that turned out) and basically pretended that they had become the establishment for the sake of their kids. Lol. Them's were the days >>> "You know I protested too when I was young. I've done that gig and now I want that Mercedes! Maybe I'll try diesel?"

After Watergate and Nixon there is a very long stretch that leaned to the right that only ended at Occupy Wall Street for most Americans. By then people were beginning to hunger for some good old activism of their own in the face of Bush/Cheney, immense tax cuts for the rich ($$$ two trillion+) Forever War (isn't it though) in the Mideast and the bank bail outs/foreclosures on the homeowners debacle.

I don't remember that the country went left but I suppose conservatives saw things that way. They always do though.

After Watergate, I remember that the country went to sleep and then leaned comfortably to the right until the economic rug was pulled out from underneath their lives when they lost pensions and benefits, lost good paying jobs to overseas, saw the rich get immense tax cuts while the country (the taxpayers) borrowed to pay for it.

I remember that we started to awaken with Occupy and that despite Obama's betrayal of his promises that the Leader Trump has shaken America to its corrupt core and set millions of feet to marching in protest.

I don't think that those feet will sit down again, not soon, maybe not ever due to the impending Climate Chaos.

I will say >>> Under Trump...the country turned left!


The key election was 1964 when Johnson defeated Goldwater. That made the right wing realize that they had to do much more in order to gain power. Subsequently lots of money started pouring in to set up right think tanks, etc. All this money and work finally paid off for the right when Reagan was elected. Since then the right wing machinery has only grown and now dominates talk radio and they have their won TV cable channel, Fox News. The reason a large part of the country turned right was because of all the effort of the right wing. Bill Clinton was only able to overcome this by adopting a few of their policies. Barack Obama also was able to overcome it by at least not completely rejecting the views of the right. To me the idea of a new progressive party that will amount to something is a fantasy. The numbers are not there. Much of the country is on the right, particularly in rural areas and the ex-burbs, the majority of the Democratic party is center left. Progressive play an important role in forcing the agenda to the left but I do not see a bigger role emerging at this time.


As a well informed twentysomething US citizen during the seventies perhaps I must have blinked and missed the moment when "the country turned to the left" ?

Only by today's standards could POTUS Ford be credited with a few centrist actions including 1975 SCOTUS appointee John Paul Stevens who ended up being the most progressive justice at the time he retired from SCOTUS in 2010. Ford did sign the act that created Conrail, a 1976 gubmit takeover of six bankrupt northeastern railroads that should have been Obama's model for breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks in 2009. The Viet Nam pullout was already in the works prior to Nixon's resignation.

Ford lost to Carter in 1976 not because "the country turned to the left", but because the gubmit was still accurately compiling stats like inflation and unemployment, all of which reflected poorly on the party in power. While granting amnesty to those who dodged the Viet Nam draft, establishing more national parks than any POTUS since TR, and promoting renewable energy were Carter's most centrist actions, ending New Deal regulations addressing securitization of mortgages (sans any meaningful regulation of the process) was the slippery slope that launched three decades of "deregulation" that enabled the 2008 meltdown.

Anybody who wasn't locked in a closet during the 1980 POTUS election would have had to be delusional to concur that "the country turned to left after Watergate".


I disagree for the simple fact that much of the country doesn't vote.
Are the non-voters right or left? We really can't say but we can say they aren't active supporters of the right or left.


The real comparison between Nixon and Trump (besides them both being obnoxious personalities despised by the news media) is that they are both being undone by a fifth column within their own party and staffs. Watching "All the President's Men" shows just how much the team of Woodward (who himself was an Intel asset) and Bernstein were dependent on this fifth column for the leads that enabled them to keep their story alive. Nixon then led to Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

This make me wonder not only how long it will take for the Deep State to dump Trump, but what sort of miscreant they will bring in to replace him.


There is no point in even bothering to read an article that has no idea what the frig happened after Watergate.

The country moved to the LEFT? Really? You mean the conservative Carter who started deregulation and funding Al Quaeda and tax cuts? You mean the Reagan/Bush years? You mean the DLC taking over the Democratic Party and purging the Left? You mean Clinton?

What the frig do you mean?

Nah, I won't bother. It's a waste of time. ::rolls eyes::