Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72: 40th Anniversary Edition

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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72: 40th Anniversary Edition

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72: 40th Anniversary Edition

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Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. You can't be objective about Nixon. The massive, frustrated energies of a mainly young, disillusioned electorate that has long since abandoned the idea that we all have a duty to vote. This is like being told you have a duty to buy a new car, but you have to choose immediately between a Ford and a Chevy. Richard Nixon could tell us a lot about peaking too early. He was a master of it, because it beat him every time. He never learned and neither did Bush the Elder.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

There was no time for scholarly details, and, besides, I have always believed that a man can fairly be judged by the standards and taste of his choices in matters of high-level plagiarism. The Hashbury is the Capital of the Hippies" (May 1967); republished in Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979), pp 392-394 Ah, fortune and fame shall follow me...and I shall dwell in the world of the chosen for a few moments of fleeting ecstasy; ere the seven burly lads turn into creditors and hustle me off to debtors' prison at last. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 is a 1973 book that recounts and analyzes the 1972 presidential campaign in which Richard Nixon was re-elected President of the United States. [1] Written by Hunter S. Thompson and illustrated by Ralph Steadman, the book was largely derived from articles serialized in Rolling Stone throughout 1972. [2] [3] Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl" ( Rolling Stone #155, (28 February 1974); republished in Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979), p. 49

On the concept of choosing a candidate based on their “electability”) “The argument was familiar. I had even made it myself, here and there, but I was beginning to sense something very depressing about it. How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame but “regrettably necessary” holding actions? How many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote FOR something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?” P. 44 it is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise,” Thompson wrote the month before the 1972 vote. “Our Barbie doll President, with his Barbie doll wife and his box-full of Barbie doll children is also America’s answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string-warts, on nights when the moon comes too close…” The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull's time — and the only real difference now, with Election Day '72 only a few weeks away, is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself. As a sort of embedded journalist with the McGovern campaign, Thompson shunned the idea of impartial reporting. Objective journalism, he argued, is a “pompous contradiction in terms.” After all, selecting sources and choosing verbs are subjective activities. Besides, Thompson reasoned, artificial objectivity blinded most journalists to the dishonesty of politicians like Richard Nixon, his main antagonist. By this reasoning, Thompson publicly declared his support for McGovern early in the primaries. This made him a pioneer in a type of journalism he dubbed “gonzo,” wherein he often exaggerated or even made up events to hit at some kind of deeper literary truth. As Frank Mankiewicz — McGovern’s campaign manager and a main character in On the Campaign Trail ‘72 — later said of the book, it was the “the least factual, most accurate account” of the election.This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed — for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it. Now. All political power comes from the barrel of either guns, pussy, or opium pipes, and people seem to like it that way. Describing the mood of the 2016 electorate, political scientists J. Sides and M. Teslter make an analogy to the 1953 film The Wild One:

I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a raving beast. For me, that week in Chicago was far worse than the worst bad acid trip I'd even heard rumors about. It permanently altered my brain chemistry… edit ] For me, that week in Chicago was far worse than the worst bad acid trip I'd even heard rumors about. There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. According to the Gallup Polls, however, the Underculture vote is building up a fearful head of steam behind Ted Kennedy; and this drift has begun to cause genuine alarm among Bigwigs and “pros” in both parties. The mere mention of Kennedy’s name is said to give Nixon bad cramps all over his body, such as it is. His thugs are already starting to lash Kennedy with vicious denunciations—calling him a “liar” and a “coward” and a “cheater.” On three measures of populism—national affiliation, mistrust of experts, and anti-elitism—Trump scored consistently higher in his rhetoric than any other candidate running in either the Republican and Democratic primaries (11).The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes and all his imprecise talk about “new politics” and “honesty in government,” is one of the few men who’ve run for President of the United States in this century who really understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon,” Thompson wrote. The surprise then is not that there was an opening for a populist candidate in this election cycle, but that it is a wealthy businessman who has become the voice of disaffected working class voters. Yet, for all of his flaws as a candidate, Mr. Trump has skillfully tailored a message that is striking in its populist appeal to working class voters. Every campaign seems to have a hotshot reporter and a campaign manager who recreate and replay the roles of Hunter and Frank Mankiewicz (Karl Rove has played the part a few times), and if this or that campaign’s staffers don’t come down to the hotel bar often enough for the chummy late-night off-the-record bull sessions that became campaign legend because of this book, reporters will actually complain out loud, like the failure to follow the script is a character flaw of the candidate.



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