Donald Trump has found a new role model for his White House bid: Richard Nixon. The presumptive Republican nominee will invoke the former president's 1968 convention address as the basis for his own speech.
"The Nixon 1968 speech — if you go back and read that speech — is pretty much on line with a lot of the issues that are going on today. And it was an instructive speech," Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, said at a Monday breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News, The New York Times reports.
"I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first," Trump said in a recent interview. "The '60s were bad, really bad. And it's really bad now. Americans feel like it's chaos again."
The Times points out that while Nixon ran for president of a country that was 90 percent white, Trump is running at a time when over 30 percent of voters are likely to be minorities. Nixon also ran at a time when one issue, the Vietnam War, was of overriding importance for most voters, according to the Miller Center.
"We extend the hand of friendship to all people. To the Soviet people. To the Chinese people. To all the people of the world," Nixon said at the convention, stressing his policy of "winning the peace" in Vietnam. "And we work toward the goal of an open world, open sky, open cities, open hearts, open minds."
Despite Nixon's stance, his campaign privately asked the government of South Vietnam to reject peace talks with the North days before the election, when he was virtually tied with his Democratic opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
"We see Americans hating each other, fighting each other, killing each other at home," Nixon said in his acceptance speech.
Jeff Greenfield, former Robert F. Kennedy campaign aide and political columnist, says Trump is misleading voters by comparing the current climate to 1968.
"The country seems to be in a pretty unhappy mood, so even if law and order may not be the direct answer, there's a sense of conflation," Greenfield told the Times. "The loss of jobs, the sense of cultural unease or upheaval, the sense that things are falling apart in some way."
For instance, as the "law and order candidate," Trump claims "crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse," but according to the FBI,
violent crime has steadily decreased since the 1990s. In 2014, the violent crime total was down 7 percent below the 2010 level, and 16 percent below the 2005 level.
The Washington Post reports
that the number of police officers killed in the line of duty has steadily decreased, from an average of 101 cops killed per year under President Ronald Reagan to an average 61 per year under President Barack Obama.
"To those who say that law and order is the code word for racism, here is a reply: Our goal is justice — justice for every American," Nixon said in 1968. "If we are to have respect for law in America, we must have laws that deserve respect. Just as we cannot have progress without order, we cannot have order without progress."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.