President Donald Trump is increasingly following in the footsteps of President Richard Nixon as the Watergate scandal started to catch up with him in the early 1970s. Trump’s campaign and associates are under investigation by Congress and a special prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department, just as Nixon was — Nixon for political dirty tricks and internal spying during the 1972 election campaign, and the Trump campaign for possible illegal cooperation with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 U.S. elections.

Like Nixon, Trump blames information leaks and the news media for the election investigation rather than his own mistakes and poor decisions. Both blamed White House staff who they then fired. Nixon fired the special prosecutor. Trump is now making similar threats. Nixon lied to cover his tracks. Trump routinely resorts to lies, misinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories when the facts do not support his views or to divert public attention from the Russian investigation. So it is not surprising most Americans don’t believe him.

Rather than the famous “The Buck Stops Here” sign on President Truman’s Oval Office desk, Trump must have a sign on his desk that reads, “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here.”

Both fooled the American electorate, but ultimately lost their confidence. At the start of his second term in 1972, Americans gave Nixon a 68 percent approval rating, while Trump started in office with a 40 percent approval rating. Trump now has a 36 percent approval rating, according to the latest Gallop poll, the same as Nixon in August 1973, a year before to his resignation from office to avoid impeachment by Congress.

Trump, like Nixon, is his own worst enemy, but he will never admit it, and consequently will repeat his mistakes and continue to lie to the American public.

George Seel


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