My head is going to pop off like a dandelion’s if I hear one more fresh-faced newscaster wax philosophic on how Donald Trump represents a true break from the political rules of old. True, Donald sealed his fate with last week’s hot mic, but the scandal, however salacious, is hardly new.
I know Twitter limits you to 140 character per missive, but come on; just a little institutional memory, pretty please.
God knows I’m no historian. But I can at least (vaguely) remember events in my life. Your own life span should be grounds for a hint of historical context. And there is much to contextualize here, just as there was a half century ago.
Consider Barry Morris Goldwater Trump beta: also a Republican, a businessman, rich and nasty as hell. Like Trump, he despised what America had become. Namely, less white. He would earn his fame by filibustering and voting against the Voting Rights Act — and taking a shellacking in the presidential race by a guy who wasn’t even sure he wanted the job.
As Trump will in a month.
This will likely come naturally, as the Donald and his ilk choke on his own vitriolic bile. But just in case, all historians and the Clinton campaign need do is look at the Democratic advertising strategy of Lyndon Johnson. Like Clinton, he was ahead in the polls.
But there is an important stratagem here in Johnson for Clinton: Don’t take your foot off an opponent’s neck. Johnson, for instance, was worried of an 11th hour rally and, not wanting to risk a GOP resurrection, sprang an attack campaign that created the modern template of American politics.
Johnson approved “Daisy Girl,” one of the most terrifying and effective political ads in political history. Sure, it was alarmist, sensational, and had no real basis in fact.
But at least it kept a nut from learning the nuclear ATM passcode.
Clinton would be well-served to follow Johnson’s lead. While her lead in polls (if they can be trusted; who under 40 even uses a home phone?), now is the time to break into the Secretariat Stretch, finishing off the Republican Party as it lurches in Tea Party/Trumpian death throes spasms.
Maybe she could even find this guy, if he’s not dead from cancer. The parallels are frightening. He even kind of looks like Trump, if a world away in logic. But it would be a kick to Trump’s slats, which is apparently the only place Donald can feel.
No one enjoys negative ads.
But it’s a lot better than negative nuts.