In recent weeks, I’ve been compiling a list of frequent arguments that are being made to me on social media about the troubles of the current administration, thinking I would put together a blog about the daily reaction of President Donald Trump’s supporters, as backers of both parties do battle over the Trump Presidency.
And then an old column from Art Buchwald surfaced, with threads that were almost identical to today.
As a kid, I always enjoyed reading Buchwald columns; not only did they involve politics, but the way that Buchwald used humor to jab at those in charge was often enlightening.
On Twitter in the past few days, someone pulled up a Watergate-era column from Buchwald, which talked about the response of supporters of President Richard Nixon to the difficult situation facing the White House at the time.
“As a public service, I am printing instant responses for loyal Nixonites when they are attacked a party,” Buchwald wrote.
“Please cut it out and carry it in your pocket,” he added.
In this column from Buchwald, there are a variety of echoes of some of the current arguments that I see in response to current events of the day.
“Everyone does it,” Buchwald leads off with. That’s still accurate today.
The fourth item – “The press is blowing the whole thing up” – certainly is a reminder of how many people on the Republican side feel today about the news media, and their relationship to President Trump.
It wasn’t much different back in the Nixon years.
“The Democrats are sore because they lost the election” – the 2017 version from my social media comments is that Democrats are “butt hurt.”
“What about Chappaquiddick?” was listed several times, by Buchwald in this over forty year old column.
That reminds me of what I see almost daily from listeners and readers – ‘What about Hillary?’ or ‘What about Obama?’ doing certain things – those are frequent responses, along with a verbal back of the hand for the press corps.
“I am sick and tired of hearing about Watergate and so is everybody else,” was one Buchwald item from his old column.
This past week, I had a number of people tell me that they would no longer read my materials and follow me on Twitter or Facebook, aggravated by stories about the Russia investigation, and possible troubles for the Trump Administration.
“Damn Jamie, you sound as bad as CNN now,” one person wrote me last night.
“Yeah, why are the media repeating one fake story with unknown sources with partial facts and assumed lies so much?” another said to me on Facebook.
This old Buchwald column and the ready comparisons to today is not to say that Trump equals Nixon.
Instead Buchwald’s column is a simply a reminder that not much is new in Political America when it comes to how the arguments are made in the public square.
It is also a reminder that we have survived difficult times before in this nation – and we will survive this as well.