While recently watching a documentary about President Richard Nixon it was jarring to see how much has changed, but also how consistent the leftist narrative has remained for over 50 years.
Nixon came into office on the heels of the tumultuous 1968 presidential election, which featured riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where demonstrators protested American involvement the war in Vietnam. It was also interesting to watch video footage of the protests being broken up by Chicago police in light of the current restraint police officers show in dealing with rioters burning and looting American cities over the past weeks. While the fires and demonstrating seemed similar to recent events, the police response could not be more different. Chicago police were accused of brutality for restoring order in 1968, while police appear to be largely absent in riots taking place in 2020. Like today, police in 1968 were also demonized by Democrats and blamed for the violence committed by leftist protesters, a narrative supported and repeated by major media as fact.
While major media were less openly partisan 50 years ago, there was an unmistakable acceptance of Democratic narratives and thinly veiled attacks on Republicans under the guise of reporting. The pretense of objective journalism was largely dropped over the course of the Nixon presidency as Democrats sought victory by sowing division, attaching the Vietnam War to Nixon and finally using the burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building as a scandal to harangue Nixon into resigning from office. The accusations against Nixon associates seems remarkably quaint in light of revelations of corruption in the Obama administration.
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Lois Lerner's weaponization of the Internal Revenue Service against groups suspected of opposing Obama's agenda, Hillary Clinton's "unintentional" felonies as secretary of state, the Obama FBI's admitted use of false evidence in the secretive FISA court to obtain warrants to wiretap the Trump campaign as well as hack Trump computer systems and the revelation of direct participation of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other high-ranking administration officials in directing the prosecution of incoming National Security Adviser Mike Flynn all make the Watergate scandal seem trivial. But major media, who roiled the nation from 1972 to 1974 by joining with Democrats to pursue alleged corruption by Nixon associates, all but refuse to even report on bombshell reports of corruption in the Obama White House.
The Watergate scandal not only revealed the naked partisanship of major media, it also created the blueprint for Democrats and their media allies to attack Republican presidencies and for reporters to become famous. Since Watergate, Democrats spend every effort either looking for a Republican presidential scandal, trying to twist innocuous events into scandals or just making up a scandal and hoping some tidbit of opposition research will turn up something that can be said to confirm the accusation. Accusations against President Trump of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice fall into this last category. For the impeachment fiasco Democrats stretched the bounds of absurdity with their "obstruction of Congress" charge in trying to conjure up grounds to impeach President Trump.
To be fair, Republicans have tried the Watergate tactic of constantly accusing Democratic presidents of scandal, but without any success, because they never had major media support to amplify their allegations and lend authenticity to convince the American public it was legitimate. Instead, big news outlets shielded Bill Clinton and Barack Obama from these sorts of sniping accusations by pointing out how dishonest and partisan they were. Which was mostly true, but ironic, since big media has chased the holy grail of another Republican presidential Watergate scandal and the fame and fortune it would bring to the liberal journalist who could break such a story.
It is likely the repeated failure of the Democrats' decades-long strategy of alleged scandal and outrage to dislodge President Trump, or even inflict any real damage in polls, has caused them to elevate rhetoric and policies surrounding coronavirus and implicitly sponsor the violence and destruction taking place in Democrat-run cities.
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It was interesting to step back in time to see news reports from the 1960s and '70s and watch the die being cast for the future of American political discourse. Major media manipulation of the public, Democrats moralizing, Republicans on defense, Democrat mobs rioting and complaining of police brutality … 2020 is simply a more intense and more sophisticated evolution of political discourse that has served the left so well over five decades. There is an unknown element in our current national convulsions, though. What will happen if President Trump is reelected in November despite the left's total-war against him? Impeachment was their nuclear weapon, and it blew up in their face, just like everything else they tried. Liberals are now in uncharted territory with intentionally shutting down the economy and allowing occupation of a city, defunding or disbanding police departments and un-checked criminal terror. What other national emergencies remain to which the left can escalate?
The more things change, the more they stay the same. But nobody ever says they wish we could have a campaign season like 1968 or the national trauma of Watergate. Instead, we are re-experiencing that turbulent era on steroids.