Comparing Richard Nixon and Donald Trump can’t properly be done in a short letter-to-the-editor, but when I review the Watergate era with all-things-Trump, I consider how each man got elected.
Nixon rode a wave of anti-Vietnam War sentiment and watched the Democrats self-destruct over internal strife, and Trump, despite losing the popular vote, won enough states to claim the White House electorally. Having a polarizing opponent like Hillary Clinton didn’t hurt.
A key figure in this discussion is Tennessee U.S. Sen. and Senate Watergate Committee member Howard Baker. Well respected in the Senate, Baker persuaded Nixon to resign from office. That couldn’t have been easy; both were Republicans.
I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find a modern-day counterpart to Howard Baker. Only the late John McCain comes to mind, perhaps Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
With the recent insurrection hopefully marginalized, I wonder if Romney could be today’s Congressional voice of reason as Baker was in the 1970s. That could complement Joe Biden’s effort to establish unity from the White House.
You might not like Mitt Romney, or feel particularly nostalgic about Howard Baker, but something about 1970s government worked that isn’t working today.
We can disagree on other things, but for now, can we accept Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Mitt Romney as our unofficial happy medium? Surely we can agree on something.