How Donald Trump wins

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Writing in part from personal experience, Rollie Atkinson compares the pro-Palestinian protests today to the antiwar and counterculture protests of fifty or sixty years ago.[2]

I remember President Nixon pretending to ignore us — except he couldn’t.[3]

Atkinson doesn’t say so, but my bet is that Joe Biden is in the same position. Unlike Lyndon Johnson, Biden has not stepped aside. He is now clearly seen by pro-Palestinian protestors much the same way kids of the 1960s and early 1970s saw Richard Nixon, who succeeded Johnson and seemed to be lying about getting us out of Vietnam.

Nixon won in 1968 and was re-elected in 1972 in part with a backlash to the antiwar and counterculture movements[4] that spawned neoconservatism.[5]

I know I grew up thinking of Nixon as the epitome of evil. I was wrong, profoundly wrong. I would say that every president since has been at least as bad and most, if not all, have been worse.

But Nixon did, eventually, secure “peace with honor.” It was a sham, of course, as the North Vietnamese took over the South soon after the U.S. pulled out. But it was enough of a fig leaf that Nixon could pull out. (Saigon fell in 1975, under his successor, Gerald Ford, after he had resigned due to the Watergate scandal.)

We don’t know if Biden will eventually bring Binyamin Netanyahu to heel and I believe he must if he is to have any hope of winning the election this November, but he still shows no sign of doing so as Netanyahu reiterates his intention to cross Biden’s alleged “red line” with an invasion of Rafah.[6]

There is some suggestion that, just as with the antiwar and counterculture movements of my childhood, today’s protesters are unhappy about much more than Gaza, that complaints about a number of issues the Democrats have responded inadequately to if at all will be part of what’s driving these protests.[7] If that proves true—my inclination is to think it will—Biden will be in for a very rough campaign. I don’t even see how he hangs on, let alone wins, and Donald Trump should be much more grateful to Palestinians than he is.

I cannot condemn Biden harshly enough. I’m not yet forecasting a Trump victory this November—this remains awfully hard to imagine—but this situation is very bad and I’m getting a lot closer.

Deutsche Welle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” Cable News Network, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux
  3. [3]Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux
  4. [4]Ellen Schrecker, “The 50-Year War on Higher Education,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 14, 2022, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-50-year-war-on-higher-education
  5. [5]George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
  6. [6]Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/; Paul Ronzheimer and Carlo Martuscelli, “Netanyahu vows to defy Biden’s ‘red line’ and invade Rafah,” Politico, March 10, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/israels-netanyahu-says-he-will-defy-bidens-red-line-and-invade-rafah/
  7. [7]Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

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