Anti-Trumpians need to get over the “Trump is a fascist” hysteria. Trump is a neo-Nixonian (which is bad enough) not a neo-Nazi.
By Daniel McCarthy
The Richard Nixon renaissance is upon us. And it’s a comeback every bit as remarkable as Nixon’s return from the political wilderness to win the White House in 1968.
Late last month, Bob Dole wrote an essay arguing that “Washington could use a man like Nixon again.” This week, Pat Buchanan publishes a second memoir of his time with the 37th president, Nixon’s White House Wars. But the real Nixon revival isn’t in print. It’s in the Oval Office.
President Trump is easily the most Nixonian figure to inhabit the White House since Nixon himself. And under Trump, the Republicans are again becoming Nixon’s party. Look around you: The long idealized party of Reagan, this is not.
To understand the Republican Party of the last half-century, it’s helpful to draw a distinction between what’s “conservative” and what’s “right-wing.” Nixon, like Trump, was right-wing but not conservative — that is, neither of them cared a whit for ideological purity as a matter of principle. Trump, like Nixon, is no believer in small-government dogma. Nixon’s opening to China scandalized the conservatives of his time much as Trump’s “America First” language shocked the keepers of conservatism’s foreign-policy orthodoxy last year.