Donald Trump is claiming to be the “Law and Order Candidate”. We’ve heard that before. In 1968, we had two “law and order” candidates … Richard Nixon (Republican Party) and George Wallace (American Independent Party). The third candidate, Hubert Humphrey (Democratic Party), was the then-current Vice President.
George Wallace ran in the 1964, 1972, and 1976 Democratic Presidential Primaries. He lost to Lyndon Johnson, George McGovern, and Jimmy Carter respectively. In all four Presidential attempts, his idea of “law and order” revolved around racial segregation.
Hubert Humphrey was elected Vice President under Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Just as Barack Obama inherited the mess that George W. Bush created in Iraq, Lyndon Johnson inherited the escalation of the Vietnam War from John Kennedy. That war consumed Johnson’s Presidency and eroded his popularity. When Johnson decided not to seek a second term, Hubert Humphrey ran in his place.
Richard Nixon won the 1968 election. He ran again in 1972 and won in the fourth largest landslide in our history. Only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia went to his opponent, George McGovern.
As President, Nixon’s foreign policy was fairly good. He travelled to China and opened a dialogue with a former reclusive enemy. He ended our involvement in Vietnam by declaring that we’d accomplished all that we had intended and leaving. (The world was “bigger” then. When Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese, they were content to take over controlling their country and forget about us.)
Nixon’s domestic policy left much to be desired. His idea of “law and order” was control. His “War on Drugs” sent arrests, convictions, and incarcerations to astronomical levels. His efforts to suppress dissent led to the Kent State shootings. The Watergate scandal drove him to be the only President to resign from office.
So here we are again … with another Republican campaigning as the “Law and Order Candidate”.
Never mind that this “Law and Order Candidate” implies that he wants to deport tens of thousands of people born in our country because their parents entered the country illegally. If you want to test the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, bring a case before the Supreme Court. If you want to abrogate the amendment, pass a new amendment. (The 21st Amendment reversed the ill-conceived 18th.)
Never mind that this “Law and Order Candidate” wants to ban all Muslims from travelling to the United States. That does technically follow the “letter” of the 1st Amendment to Constitution, but it violates the “spirit” of that law. Oh wait … he’s changed his mind … or has he?
Candidates who claim “Law and Order” make me nervous. Too often that phrase is a euphemism for “Control and Suppression”. Let’s just hope that shadow really is Batman …
… or, maybe, we’d be better off with the cat.