The deception started long before Donald Trump.
People are wondering out loud about the parallels between today's Republican Party and organized crime, and whether "Teflon Don" Trump will remain unscathed through his many scandals, ranging from interactions with foreign oligarchs to killing tens of thousands of Americans by denying them healthcare to stepping up the destruction of our environment and public lands.
History suggests -- even if treason can be demonstrated -- that, as long as he holds onto the Republican Party (and Fox News), he'll survive it intact. And he won't be the first Republican president to commit high crimes to get and stay in office.
In fact, Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president we've had in this country.
Since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961, six different Republicans have occupied the Oval Office.
And every single one of them -- from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump -- have been illegitimate -- ascending to the highest office in the land not through small-D democratic elections -- but instead through fraud and treason.
(And today's GOP-controlled Congress is arguably just as corrupt and illegitimate, acting almost entirely within the boundaries set by an organized group of billionaires.)
Let's start at the beginning with Richard Nixon.
In 1968 -- President Lyndon Johnson was desperately trying to end the Vietnam war.
But Richard Nixon knew that if the war continued -- it would tarnish Democrat (and Vice President) Hubert Humphrey's chances of winning the 1968 election.
So Nixon sent envoys from his campaign to talk to South Vietnamese leaders to encourage them not to attend an upcoming peace talk in Paris.
Nixon promised South Vietnam's corrupt politicians that he would give them a richer deal when he was President than LBJ could give them then.
LBJ found out about this political maneuver to prolong the Vietnam war just 3 days before the 1968 election. He phoned the Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen -- here's an excerpt (you can listen to the entire conversation here):
Some of our folks, including some of the old China lobby, are going to the Vietnamese embassy and saying please notify the [South Vietnamese] president that if he'll hold out 'til November the second they could get a better deal. Now, I'm reading their hand, Everett. I don't want to get this in the campaign.