“Let me try to bring some clarity to this deliberate confusion,” [Muskie] said. Democrats wanted security against lawlessness too, but Democrats also thought you deserved economic security. The Republicans? “They oppose your interests” and “really believe that if they can make you afraid enough or angry enough, you can be tricked into voting against yourself.”[…] The debate wasn’t between right and left, but between “the politics of fear and the politics of trust. One says: You are encircled by monstrous dangers. Give us power over your freedom so we may protect you. The other says: The world is a baffling & hazardous place, but it can be shaped to the will of men… “
Ehrlichmann added that, after all, “Politics is the art of polarization“.
For those of you too young to remember, Muskie would go on to lose the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 for, essentially, being branded by the media as a girly-man.
All else is commentary.