From terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando, not to mention Paris and Nice, to mass police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the world seems to be spiraling out of control. The Donald Trump campaign has come to realize that the chaos afflicting the world will play neatly into its hands, as Byron York noted in the Washington Times. Trump is already calling himself “the law and order” candidate and has added “make American safe again” to his original slogan “make America great again.”

Richard Nixon faced the same challenges in 1968, a previous year when things seemed to have become unhinged, and exploited it to the full.

Like Nixon, Trump is presenting himself as the man who will end the chaos and bring back peace and calm. The betting is that despite the fact that the electorate is more ethnically diverse in 2016 than it was in 1968, the strategy will work. People want to feel safe rather than vulnerable no matter what their ethnic background is, people in high Crime neighborhoods even more so.

The sense of vulnerability, of people being victimized by a bad economy as well as violence that can spring from any corner, is driving the current election.

People don’t like that feeling and will vote for a man who will take it away.

The Hillary Clinton campaign is in a bad position in this environment. So far Clinton and her surrogates are excoriating Trump as a racist, sexist madman who will despoil the poor, starve children, and kill old people. They are using the playbook that worked for them in 2012 and 2008. The strategy may not work this time.

Individuals who vote for Trump know his personal shortcomings, albeit unfiltered by the hysterical rhetoric coming from his opposition, and don’t care.

Clinton, if she can manage it without alienating her base, has to tack back toward the center as quickly as possible if she hopes to win the election. She has to present herself as better and saner than Trump and therefore capable of imposing law and order on the world.

Considering past cases like Libya and Clinton’s record of lawbreaking when it suits her, that will be a tough sale.

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