Nixon redux

Posted on 31 Jan 2017 at 10:39am

We will prevail

John Nelson | Special Contributor

 

Jon Nelson

I listened to NPR the other day as a reporter interviewed a Trump supporter from upstate New York who was enthusiastic about Trump’s executive order banning certain Muslims from entering the United States.

The reporter asked the man if this ban didn’t run counter to our Constitution’s protection of religious freedom, run counter to the idea that this nation encourages and embraces diversity of faith. His response was that Americans believed in Jesus and those Muslims shouldn’t be allowed here if they believed in “Allah.”

I was struck by this. How many more believe as he does? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?

What has this country become? How can so many believe what is essentially un-American?

I was so discouraged.

And then I remembered.

I was there in the 1960s and ’70s: Nixon’s Silent Majority. Those millions were for the war in Vietnam, against civil rights, against women’s rights, and against gay rights.

And they were wrong. Every single one of them was wrong.

So I don’t care how many support Trump. They are wrong, every single one of them. And just like those in the ’60s and ’70s, history will judge them so.

What does this mean for me and you?

No matter the size of the opposition, no matter that they are in power, we will prevail. Because this country was founded on dissent and because dissent is healthy and inevitably leads to needed change, we will prevail.

P.S. The paranoia which was pervasive in the Nixon administration is the same paranoia which infects the Trump administration.

Case in point: Nixon hated the media; he railed against the press, in part because he knew they were telling the truth about him and he couldn’t stop them. He was fixated on them, he was sure they were out to get him so he vilified and made them scapegoats.

Trump has simply taken a page from Nixon’s playbook. The sad but good news is that just like the Nixon administration, the Trump administration is doomed.

Jon Nelson is an attorney in the DFW Metroplex and a cofounder of the LGBT rights organization Fairness Fort Worth.

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