I was a wee lad when Watergate dominated the news. I came of political age reading Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72".
It's all ancient history now. A weird time. It kind of set the template for me, in terms of political culture, and maybe pop culture too. HST was a real hero to me. A drug-crazed journalist obsessed with the Dark Prince of America: Richard Nixon.
Today I see echoes of Watergate and Nixon in the Russian Hack and Trump. In both cases the initial event was a burglary of the DNC headquarters. In 1972 burglars cracked a lock, in 2016, Russian hackers cracked a computer.
Nixon and Trump have lots in common too. Paranoid: they see enemies in every corner. Insecure: they seem to share the feeling they just aren't good enough, not like those establishment folks who will never give them the respect they deserve. Vindictive: they both seem to want to win and even the score, always.
Nixon, of course, was a smart, experienced politician, a man who knew how to conquer and divide folks to his electoral advantage. Trump is an experienced, multi-bankrupt con-man, who built his brand empire on a hill of sand, but he too is good at playing on folk's hatreds and perceived slights. Pricks and kicks are all Trump feeds on - the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune.
Nixon's "Watergate" played out like Shakespearean tragedy - deeply flawed man, rises to the pinnacle of power, wins in a landslide against George McGovern, brought low by his own deep flaws, resigns in disgrace less than 2 years later, declaring "I'm not a crook!"
Trump - it's a dark comedy. And the Russian hack is not a little story floating around on the back pages of the Washington Post, no, already this little hack/burglary is front page news in all the major papers. A bi-partisan committee of Senators are on the case.
Trump hasn't even been sworn in yet, and already he's squirming around like a clueless buffoon. He's out on a limb against the President, CIA, FBI and Senators & Congress folks. Trump has decided to throw in his lot with Putin & Russia. Stunning. Weird. You wonder does he owe money to Russian Oligarchs? What is he hiding on his tax returns?
I do sort of wish HST were around for this one. The dark circus is back in town. How long before this "winner" turns into the big loser we all know is his grand destiny? I'm guessing this all comes to a head in less than a year.
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