The bizarre nostalgia of the 2016 election

For Trump, that probably means a period when America’s economy was manufacturing-based, not service-based. America and Russia were undisputed global superpowers, with the rest of the world too weak and poor to put up much of a military or economic fight. Paternalism was in vogue. Latinos made up only 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, not today’s 17.3 percent. Men were men, and hair spray contained ozone-killing aerosol. Trump’s critics, of course, are wont to suggest his nostalgia veers more toward the European fascists of the 1920s and ’30s.

When Clinton waxes nostalgic, it’s usually for the era bookended by Nirvana and the Backstreet Boys — when, not coincidentally, her husband was president. “You know, at the end of the ’90s, we had 23 million new jobs,” she said in a Democratic debate in March. “Incomes went up for everybody … Median family income went up 17 percent. For minorities, it went up even more.”…

Sanders, the 1960s radical, actually talks a lot about the 1970s. His policy agenda largely involves bringing to America the European-style government-sponsored health care and education enacted after World War II, but in his speeches he sounds almost wistful for the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter administrations.