Nixonian Trump?: The Similarities and Differences between The Donald and Tricky Dick

Jose Perez and Robert F. Patton, Nixon/Agnew Coloring Book, 1969, David S. Broder papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

In a satirical take on the 1968 election, Jose Perez and Robert F. Patton produced The Nixon-Agnew Coloring Book, in which Hubert Humphrey in the form of a bird named “Hubird” narrated events and instructed readers on how to decorate the characters therein. Having lost to Dick Nixon in the ’68 race, Hubird admitted the new president had worked for it: “This is President Nixon. See him run, And run, and run, and run. He finally made it. Color him Patient.” Later in the book, Hubird basically calls Nixon a used car salesman, but you get the idea.[1] Nixon secured victory—301 electoral votes to Humphrey’s 191 and George Wallace’s 45, with less than 45 percent of the popular vote. In … [Read more...]

The GOP’s Confederacy of Dunces

ignatius reilly

Here are a few of the oft-repeated explanations for the rise of Donald Trump: racism; economic anxiety; his supposed outsider appeal; America isn’t great anymore. As the inside-the-beltway crowd and the media grapple with reasons why the Donald’s message (if you want to call it that) has resonated with millions of American people, it seems they are missing the point. The real story here – what Trump’s risible and horrific place in American politics truly reveals – is that a large swathe of Americans are deeply, deeply uninformed. Sure, it’s not the most popular thing to say, to point your finger at America and exclaim “you’re an idiot!” But, it’s statistically borne out, particularly on the … [Read more...]

The Walk of Shame: Voting for Newt Gingrich in 2012

polling place

Long ago, I was a registered Republican. I might have been a ride-or-die liberal, but I had the brilliant plan of voting in GOP primaries in order to throw the nomination to the wackiest, most fringe candidate—which, at the time, seemed to be Pat Buchanan. We’ve come a long way, baby! I never got the chance to do that, since a truly contested Republican primary never happened in my home state. By the time I moved to New York, I registered as a Democrat so I could intervene in the contest between Howard Dean and Johns Kerry and Edwards (the latter the most “john” of all). By 2008, Rush Limbaugh had caught wind of my original plan and advised his supporters to go vote in states where there … [Read more...]

Black History Month Part IV: Compton as bellwether for urban America

Kendrick Lamar performs a medley of songs at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTX273N1

Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright”, with its #BlackLivesMatter theme and political overtones, struck a chord with many viewers. In a night of standout performances including the Lady Gaga tribute to the late great David Bowie and the John Legend/Demi Lovato led multi-artist homage to the artistry of Lionel Richie, Lamar sent a clear message to viewers in an election year in which the African American electorate – both in the democratic primaries and general election – will exert a pronounced influence on the ultimate result. More so in regard to his second album, good kid, m.A.A.d.city, but to some extent his first, Section 80 as well, Lamar’s own … [Read more...]

Marco Rubio: The Eddie Haskell of Republican Politics

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (L) is interviewed by National Journal's Major Garrett during the Washington Ideas forum, at The Newseum in Washington October 5, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2S9FR

I didn’t really grow up in the South, but then again, neither did Marco Rubio. (As all good geographers know, Miami is officially somewhere in the Middle Atlantic, in an indeterminate and ever-shifting place between Metuchen and Washington Heights, like the island from LOST.) But we both know the quintessentially Southern importance of good manners and due deference to elders. Marco is the Student Body Vice President who comes over and charms your mom by saying, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Cummings. You have a lovely home.” Which is why he can’t really be brought to say a bad word about a certain Manhattan real estate billionaire—“I’ve made a decision here with Donald Trump, you … [Read more...]

Transforming the Military Amidst Austerity: The 1970s and the All Volunteer Army in Jennifer Mittelstadt’s The Rise of the Military Welfare State (Part I)

41Em05x84lL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

In 1974, in the wake of the nation’s retreat from Vietnam and the institution of the all volunteer military, President Gerald Ford and Congress agreed to end the long-standing G.I. Bill. It cost too much, critics suggested, particularly in an era of austerity. Moreover, veterans no longer needed it. In the context of a volunteer force, many argued, soldiers would make careers of the military and the adjustment to civilian life in peace time would not be so severe as to warrant the costly provisions of the bill. Needless to say, army leaders sharply disagreed, warning that the number and quality of recruits would decline. “I told you I could make the volunteer army work, but I never told you … [Read more...]

Dropping the Ball: The Problem With Sports Imagery in Political Campaigns

spiking the political football

The National Football League playoffs began this weekend, concluding with the Super Bowl on February 7th; conveniently sandwiched between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries. Competition and high drama are sure to ensue in each setting. The nexus between sports and politics is strong. For many, politics is sport -- complete with winners and losers. Yet, the stakes are so much higher in the political arena and unlike the NFL playoffs, over 200 million Americans actually get to participate in elections across the country. However, citizens are woefully ill-prepared to do so. Much of that blame is due to the candidates themselves and the simplistic imagery they use to frame policy … [Read more...]

Reagan Country in the Era of Donald Trump

Barry Goldwater Campaign Pamphlet 1965 courtesy William A Rusher Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Fifty years ago this coming November, Ronald Reagan emerged victorious over incumbent Governor Pat Brown in the 1966 California Gubernatorial race. Reagan trounced Brown by nearly one million votes, securing large majorities in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. Some 400,000 Democrats defected from their party to cast votes for Reagan, and he carried his fellow Republican candidates to office. “Virtually every GOP candidate for state and local office rode to power on his coattails,” wrote one of his most controversial biographers, Edmund Morris.[1] The 1966 gubernatorial victory set into motion what would be one of the most influential political movements of the twentieth … [Read more...]

Callbacks, Memes, & Guilty Pleasures: The Rest of the Best 2015

Dekalb County GA govt; but it looks so pure ...

"All we can do is stand and leer at the distance of another year." As 2015 comes to a close, ToM's writers provide that last, merciful blast of best of's from historical callbacks to new discoveries of older things, we aim to bring you info about life you really don't need. Charles Lee Best historical callback: The hysteria around terrorism and reactionary violence against Muslim-Americans  evokes the tragic case of Japanese-American internment, the struggles of inclusive citizenship and the troublesome notion of the permanent alien. Favorite discovery: Hassle-free membership plans at the YMCA (take that fancy gyms).  And modular synths.  But not necessarily together. [Editor's note: I … [Read more...]

Turkey Day ToM style: Food, Drink and Cultural Politics on Thanksgiving

berry-strike

So the last couple months haven’t been easy. International terrorism in Paris and Beirut along with the domestic variant in the U.S. (yes, shooting five people at a Black Lives Matter protest counts as does the slaughter of innocent church goers in Charleston, SC this summer to namely only two incidents), the first stages of a brutal (in nearly every way) 2016 election that promises to only get more debased, and well, Donald Trump. Be sure to throw in a depressing debate about Syrian refugees that seems like history is stuck in an endless hamster wheel of miserable repetition (see WWII and Jewish refugees and the Vietnamese in the late 1970s for two examples or you know the whole birth of … [Read more...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,375 other followers