Saturday, June 04, 2016

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

"But Reagan's and Trump's opposing styles belie their similarities of substance. Both have marketed the same brand of outrage to the same angry segments of the electorate, faced the same jeering press, attracted some of the same battlefront allies (Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Phyllis Schlafly), offended the same elites (including two generations of Bushes), outmaneuvered similar political adversaries, and espoused the same conservative populism built broadly on the pillars of jingoistic nationalism, nostalgia, contempt for Washington, and racial resentment. They've even endured the same wisecracks about their unnatural coiffures. 'Governor Reagan does not dye his hair,' said Gerald Ford at a Gridiron Dinner in 1974. 'He is just turning prematurely orange.' Though Reagan's 1980 campaign slogan ('Let's Make America Great Again') is one word longer than Trump’s, that word reflects a contrast in their personalities—the avuncular versus the autocratic—but not in message. Reagan's apocalyptic theme, 'The Empire is in decline,' is interchangeable with Trump's, even if the Gipper delivered it with a smile."

Frank Rich in New York compares Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump.

No comments: