Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How 2016 Is A Mirror Image Of 1968

If anyone remembers the break-down of the New Deal Coalition back in 1968, then get ready for a rebooted version this year. Think of Donald Trump as the fill-in for George Wallace, Ted Cruz as Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Bernie Sanders as Eugene McCarthy and Hillary Clinton as Hubert Humphrey.

Now suppose that Cruz were the GOP's nominee, just like Hillary would be for the Democrats, and Trump ran, via as an independent or 3rd-party. Think of the outcome, we'd have Ted in the White House succeeding Barack Obama. The reason I'm saying that Cruz could end up being our President is that Trump would only be successful in potentially syphoning off would be votes for Hillary or Cruz all across the country.

In this analogy, we can see why Donald Trump will not cease to use overt bigotry as a campaign strategy as it's absolutely working for him. Trump's tapped into a very deep White rage that's been simmering under the surface since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, especially in many parts of the South, Great Plains and both the Mountain & Pacific West. This White rage is much worse than the Black rage we've seen over the past couple of years. These folks want to be free enough to shout out their bigotry at the top of their lungs and feel vindicated that they don't have to hide their true beliefs.

It's also easy to see why Ted Cruz's holding his cards close to him. He knows that he can pose as the savior of the state from all the violence and lawlessness caused by both Trump and the Democrats (the same as the Law and Order platform Richard Nixon ran on 1968). But remember, Cruz would like nothing more than to implement Law and Order, via racial conservatism.

In Bernie Sanders' case, it's real easy to see how he's a reincarnation of Eugene McCarthy. Bernie's been crusading against the sheer inequality of opportunity for everyone regardless of background (be it race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc.), and also excoriating the recklessness of both the political and economic establishment. Like McCarthy, Bernie's calling for a dramatic overhawl of many governmental policies and also blasting the establishment's disregard for the real costs of war.

As for Hillary Clinton, she's the re-embodiment of Hubert Humphrey, who has the support of the establishment, but no support from the base. Many of the same voters who would likely turnout for the Democrats would end up staying home. That's exactly what happened in 1968, and what's about to happen if Hillary's nominated now in 2016.

There's one thing we need to bear in mind, unless we want a new version of Kissinger-esque offensive realism, we're better off not repeating the same mistake we made 48 years go.

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