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The so called president and the Non Speaker of the House

Lots of people love to prove how well informed they are by talking about Nixon’s “southern strategy,” but that is not quite right.

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The 1968 presidential election

Nixon actually pursued a border South strategy. He realized that a lot of southerners might be willing to abandon their historical loyalty to the Democratic Party given the right message, but that going after the deep South, where the die hard segregationists lived, would cost more moderate votes than it was worth. So he let George Wallace have Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, as he threaded the needle between Wallace on his right and Democrat Hubert Humphrey on his left.

Every Republican presidential candidate since Nixon who has won has used some version of this strategy — dog whistle racism to appeal to the “white supremacist” rump, combined with more moderate white voters who can comfortably ignore the relatively subtle racism. Until Trump. Trump went full racist, taking the Wallace position.

By impeaching him, Democrats could pull a reverse Nixon on Trump. The only apparent reason why they have not already begun impeachment is misplaced fear for the political consequences. They risk alienating their own base with this stupid move, but they’re too stupid to see that, it seems. Certainly, they have a pile of criminal activity to justify impeaching him as a legal question.

Here’s a new political analysis for them. Several authors have used the term, “chaos,” to describe Trump’s methods, his goals, or both.

There is no good reason to think that most U.S. voters want chaos. The threat of chaos is what Nixon was playing against when he claimed to speak for the “silent majority.” They were “silent” as compared to the people out protesting, whether African Americans protesting racial segregation or anti-war activists protesting the Vietnam War. Nixon calculated, correctly, it seems, that most people in the United States would respond well to an appeal from “normalcy,” to borrow the term Republican Warren Harding coined in 1920, after twenty years of progressive reform and World War I.

Democrats should use impeachment as a way to counteract the chaos that Trump threatens. They can use the threat of “chaos” to frame their inquiries into Trump’s many crimes, made all the more vivid against the backdrop of children in cages, suffering mistreatment, at the border, which looks distinctly chaotic.

Democrats can present themselves as the champions of law and order against the lawless Trump.

Democrats should impeach chaotic Trump.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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