For The Rag Blog, Mike Davis writes about Trump, zombies, and the specter of Nixon and Pat Buchanan. Read in partial below, in full via The Rag Blog.
I finally think I’ve understood why we’re so obsessed with zombies.
The discarded shroud, the rustling in the weeds, the vaporous apparitions seen from Pocatello to Lake Wobegone, the ghost army of admirers… we were forewarned that he was back but failed to pay attention.
On Halloween eve the “New” Nixon Library launched an expensive newspaper advertising campaign, inviting us to “discover how Richard Nixon’s legacy continues to shape our world.” He was the hero, the ads claim, who “protected the environment… desegregated schools, ended the Vietnam War.” “Buy tickets now,” the Library urges.
Almost 60 million of our fellow citizens have. Some have stood in line for decades, unsatiated by the Reagan and Bush years, waiting for a revenge that is colder and crueler. Others — cops, soldiers, vice-principals, frat boys, and traditional husbands — yearn for an old-fashioned Iron Heel that will keep the coloreds and women in line.
But tragically, many, rebuked and scorned by both Democratic and Republican elites, are simply curious about what’s inside of Pandora’s Box or, better, Nixon’s tomb. They’ll eventually discover, as did the mythic “hard hats” of the 1970s, that white nationalism is a final dose of poison for the Heartland, not Viagra for factory smokestacks.
If Trumpism seems too improvised and rough on the edges to constitute a real avatar of the Nixon coalition, I invite you to read the collected works of Pat Buchanan. For 40 years he has toiled to bring Nixon – or rather his own idealization of the essential Nixon (sans Kissinger) — back to life in a presidential candidacy based on nativism, economic nationalism, and neo-isolationism.
His own tries for the Republican nomination in the 1990s struck repeated sparks on the willing flints of Southern racism and Midwestern anti-Semitism, but his bigotry was too radioactive for the neoconservatives around the Bush dynasty.