“A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.”
“Why are Nigerians among the most successful Americans? What privilege did they have? What privilege did Koreans have to make such success in one generation?”
“Yet for all his self-pity and sense of persecution, on at least one occasion Nixon showed a striking degree of self-knowledge. In a conversation with an aide in the early weeks of his exile, Nixon reflected on what had brought about his downfall. He said to the aide, ‘What starts the process are the laughs and snubs and slights that you get when you are a kid. But if you are reasonably intelligent and if your anger is deep enough and strong enough, you learn that you can change those attitudes by excellence, personal gut performance, while those who have everything are sitting on their fat butts.’ He had appointed tough guys as his aides, he said, because he wanted people around him who were, like him, fighters. He went out for high-school and college football, and the fact that he had no real athletic ability ‘was the very reason I tried and tried and tried. To get discipline for myself and to show others that here was a guy who could dish it out and take it. Mostly, I took it.’
And then Nixon recognized the danger of such an approach to life: ‘You get out of the alley and on your way.’ At first it was easy. ‘In your own mind you have nothing to lose, so you take plenty of chances. It’s a piece of cake until you get to the top.’ Then came the danger. ‘You find that you can’t stop playing the game because it is part of you … So you are lean and mean and resourceful and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipices because over the years you have become fascinated by how close to the edge you can walk without losing your balance.’
‘This time it was different,’ the aide responded.
‘Yes,’ Nixon replied quietly. ‘This time we had something to lose.'”