Nixon 2.0: What did Trump know and when did it know it?

It is sobering to wake up one morning and realize how little things have changed in 43 years.

What did he know and when did he know it?” When today’s news media pose such questions in their investigation Donald Trump’s role in rumored Russian meddling in our domestic affairs, it brings me back to the media questioning that forced the resignation of President Nixon in 1974.

And there’s more than the questions that are reminiscent of the Nixon era. Now, as then, the questions are being asked of White House incumbents against a background of protesters in the streets.

Something’s happening here.” Again. “What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Still. But it seems eerily familiar.

In the spirit of deja vu, maybe Me-TV should start supplementing its lineup of Baby Boomer favorites from MASH to The Twilight Zone with old newscasts of marches for civil rights, against the Vietnam War and archival footage of the Watergate hearings.

It could promote its new lineup on cable news networks’ coverage of protestors advocating for a woman’s right to choose, for a black life to matter and for the huddled masses to breathe free. And, inevitably, hearings for the impeachment of our so-called president.

The less cynical among us may take heart at the notion that the strength of our Constitution may prevail now, as it did with Nixon, to rein in the current rebel without a clue of how to govern in a democracy with no advisors who do.

Surely, they may hope, Trump will eventually push even the most partisan Republicans further than their constituents will tolerate.

But say he is impeached? What then?

Would a nation hopelessly divided between those who watch Fox News and those who don’t come together around a common vision of America?

Or would we settle in to that same whiplash partisan routine we’ve been in since Nixon:

  • Swinging from the political right which Vice-President Pence would certainly uphold should he succeed Trump; And then
  • Swinging to the left, should the Democrats move past Clinton corporatism and come home to their working-family roots.

It would be nice to think that, in time, the swings to either extreme would lose momentum, that we could whittle away at our differences and start to find some common ground. After all, if citizens of good will at ether end of the political spectrum are committed to forming a more perfect union, that should not be too much to ask.

But forgive me for getting ahead of history as it is unfolding.

Until there is consensus that Trump should go, I feel stuck in the past with little hope of breaking the cycle that will inevitably lead us back to the past.

Robert Douglas is a former union official and former business editor for the Palm Beach Post and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. You can contact him at, like him on on Facebook or follow him at RBDMediaDotCom on Twitter.