Are we re-living 1968?
I’ve been thinking about this as Minneapolis has started to burn over the police killing of yet another black man. 1968 also was a presidential election year, one marked by a great deal of unrest. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, as was Robert F. Kennedy about two months later. Riots broke out across some American cities. College students protested against the Vietnam War. The 1968 Democratic convention was a hot mess. All of which allowed Nixon to run on a law-and-order platform. He won against former VP Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota (ironically) winning 44 percent of the popular vote. George Wallace was the third candidate in that election who did good job of stirring up the pot.
Fast forward to 2020. The pandemic has denied the president the opportunity to run for re-election on a good-times platform. Over 100K people have died of COVID-19, and more to come. The economy has tanked. Tens of millions of people are unemployed. BUT there’s always the law-and-order card that pits the races and socio-economic groups against each other. It’s pitch perfect for the GOP. Don’t do it, America.
˜˜María T. Padilla, Editor
This commentary begins a series of posts originally published on Facebook. Comment originally was posted May 29, 2020.