A look back at the 1968 election and the ways it can illuminate presidential politics today. Lawrence O'Donnell is the author of "Playing with Fire: The 1968 Presidential Election and the Transformation of American Politics."
O'Donnell said "we set in cement in 1968 the political divisions that we have now. And that cement has been hardening every year since 1968. We are living with the results of the divisions that were created in 1968, and they are now being pulled to even more extremes in our current politics."
O'Donnel said "the new task for American citizenship is to separate fact from fiction."
Historians conclude that 1968 presidential candidate Richard Nixon colluded with a foreign power, over the Vietnam War peace talks, to win the election. But he was impeached later for a burglary to hunt for the incriminating documents. The impeachment didn't happen until well into his second term.
O'Donnell is host of the MSNBC program "The Last Word," and was a producer of the award-winning television drama, "The West Wing."
He spoke November 15, 2017 at the Commonwealth Club of California. The moderator was John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle.
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