Forever 1968

The social and political forces unleashed that year are acting on us still.

My two literate and thoughtful sons complain that I’m always invoking the sixties to explain today’s pathologies. I hope they now see that events have caught up with the argument. The headlines in the New York Times on the morning after the first evening of the GOP convention exclaimed, IN TRUMP’S VOICE, IT’S A NEW NEW NIXON. The “News Analysis” piece quoted Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort explaining that Nixon’s 1968 acceptance speech “is pretty much on line [sic] with a lot of the issues that are going on today.” Imitating Nixon, Trump has billed himself as “the law and order candidate” who represents “the silent majority.” But Monday night’s WWF-style introduction of the candidate had a campiness that would have made Nixon cringe.