Heavy metal is to suburban white boys what the delta blues is to black folks. I realize that’s not the most contemporary analogy but Donald Trump isn’t the most contemporary guy; neither am I, for that matter. Last night GOP headbangers served up a program of red meat to their base that was rotten to the core and laced with maggots. I’m not sure when the maggots went flying into the arena but it may have been when Mayor 9/11 did his Mussolini impression; complete with broad, mugging facial expressions and flicks of spittle at the corners of his mouth. This tweet sums it up rather nicely:
I have long maintained that the *real* patron saint of the modern GOP (I know that’s an oxymoron) is not the superficially sunny Ronald Reagan, but the master of political gloom and doom, Richard Nixon. Tricky was one of the most successful politicians in our history before his spectacular fall; tying FDR’s record for most times on a national ticket with five. Tricky had a genuine chip on his shoulder and genuine resentment of the elites of his day. In contrast, Trump has an ersatz chip on his shoulder and is a fake man of the people.
In a campaign known for the audacity of mendacity, I have to give Paul Manafort credit for admitting the Nixonian nature of their enterprise:
In a startling disclosure on the first day of the convention, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, declared that the candidate was using, as the template for his own prime-time speech accepting the Republican nomination, Nixon’s convention address 48 years ago in Miami Beach. “If you go back and read,” Mr. Manafort said at a Bloomberg News breakfast, “that speech is pretty much on line with a lot of the issues that are going on today.”
Mr. Trump himself, in an interview, drew explicit comparisons between his candidacy and Nixon’s, and between the current political climate and that of the United States in 1968.
“I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first,” Mr. Trump said recently. “The ’60s were bad, really bad. And it’s really bad now. Americans feel like it’s chaos again.”
Remember when the Insult Comedian allegedly went Celebrity Apprentice on Roger Stone and fired his ass? Manafort is one of Stone’s closest associates and Roger’s paranoid fingerprints are all over the hate fest that was the first night of the Trumpvention. Roger Stone is a notorious Nixon idolator. Who else would have this tattoo?
Fear has long been a key component of Republican Presidential campaigns. I thought it had reached its apex in 2004 with the Bush-Cheney “we’re all gonna die if you vote for Kerry” sleaze fest. They really should have used this Sixties anti-war classic with new lyrics. Talk about expert hippie punching.
Now that I think of it, Trump thinks we’re all fixin’ to die and he made that infamous joke about Megyn Kelly on the rag, so perhaps they can steal from Country Joe who stole from Kid Ory. (I’ll leave the plagiarism kerfuffle to Athenae. She nailed it.) Team Trump should just do it and threaten to sue Joe McDonald back to the Stoner Age if he objects. Btw, my friend and neighbor, Justin Zitler, represented Kid Ory’s heirs in an ultimately unsuccessful plagarism suit against Country Joe.
Back to the Trump-Nixon connection. The Insult Comedian declared himself the “law and order candidate” last week but it’s hard to imagine him following in Tricky’s footsteps. The 1968 Nixon campaign was tightly controlled and scripted to keep Tricky away from the press except when it was on his own terms. Nixon was a highly disciplined candidate who stayed on script and abhorred any spontaneity. Does any of that sound like Donald Trump? The man who called Bill-O during his own convention? Additionally, Nixon was qualified for the job and knew how to dog whistle. Trump has no qualifications whatsoever and plays his bigotry on a Sousaphone. He’s loud, flashy, and brassy. Nixon would be appalled by Team Trump’s rank amateurism. Here’s how some wise ass put it on the Tweeter Tube:
Trump is just nuts enough to try and one-up one of the worst photo-ops in political history. Everything he does is the best and biggest, after all…
I am firmly convinced that the only way to deal with events like the first night of the Trumpvention is with humor. This is, however, deadly serious stuff, and last night was like a glitzy Vegas version of the Nuremberg Rallies. Some people respond to fear and vote accordingly. It’s the responsibility of decent Americans to go to the polls to ensure that Donald Trump will not be the first Insult Comedian elected President. I don’t care if, like me, you’re voting *for* Hillary or it’s a clothespin vote: Trump is an unstable, erratic man with a short attention span who might start a war on a whim. Don’t give him the chance.