In The American Spectator, David Keltz outlines a Nixonian strategy for success that could be applied to Trump’s campaign today. He writes (abridged):
Biden is still leading in virtually every head-to-head poll with Trump, including a recent Fox poll that showed him ahead by 12 points.
This brings us to the 1972 Nixon campaign, which saw him defeat George McGovern in a landslide in which he carried 49 out of 50 states, won 520 electoral votes, and took home 60 percent of the popular vote. Yet the road leading up to that victory was not easy for Nixon. His greatest obstacle consisted of figuring out how to control civil unrest that swept across major cities and college campuses, and determining the best course of action to end the unpopular war in Vietnam, which was becoming known as “Nixon’s War.”
Just two months before the election, only 35 percent of the country supported the war. Meanwhile, as protests erupted across the country, including in the nation’s capital, Nixon watched as an American flag outside of the White House was torn down and replaced with a Viet Cong flag, while protesters chanted, “Smash the State.”
On April 30, 1970, in response to anti-war protests, Nixon delivered a speech defending an incursion of American and South Vietnamese troops into Cambodia. He sought to win the support of the public by aligning himself with soldiers and patriots, who were fighting against communism, in stark contrast to those who caused violence and destruction and burned American flags:
Nixon’s law-and-order approach appealed to many Democrat voters who were not on board with rioting, looting, and the burning of buildings. The same could be true of Democrat voters today, many of whom do not support defunding the police.
This election is Trump’s to win, but it is getting late, early.
David Keltz is a speechwriter in the Executive Branch and the author of Media Bias In the Trump Presidency and the Extinction of the Conservative Millennial.