Thursday, January 19, 2017

I linked to some Firing Line archived videos last week, so indulge me briefly as I link to a couple more.

There's a video of Buckley interviewing Nixon in 1967 here.  And Reagan in 1980 here.

Now, if you're a liberal like me, you tend to have a very dim view of these guys based on the kind of articles popular in liberal circles.

Nixon was a paranoid maniac who kept secret enemies lists and would often get drunk at night and make long rambling phone calls in which he said very compromising things.
Reagan, it is often said by liberals, was a dumb actor, who was in the early stages of dementia by the time of his presidency, and who was essentially just a puppet for the people behind the scenes.

I don't doubt any of that's true.  In fact some of it is a matter of public record.

And yet, when you listen to these guys being interviewed, they don't sound like ignoramuses.  They come off as being very articulate and knowledgeable.

I suspect back in the 1960s and 1980s you couldn't have won an election if you sounded like a complete ignoramus.

How far our country has fallen!

Upon reflection, I can think of at least one counter-example to my theory above that Trump represents an unprecedented degeneration in politics.
George Wallace didn't win in 1968, but he did much better than anyone ever thought he would.   And George Wallace was essentially the 1960s version of Trump.

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