Somewhere in my book collection and not immediately available to hand I have a copy of Arthur Woodstone’s 1970s book ‘Nixon’s Head.’ The single review of this on the Amazon website (where it’s available for 0.01p) as I recall accurately sums it up “Superb book, albeit of its time, which is based on the statement: 'I think anyone who wants to be president should have his head examined' (Averill Harriman, 1970). Woodstone conducts an arms-length psychological analysis of Richard Nixon based on his speeches, public statements and conduct etc. The reader can almost taste Woodstone's mounting horror at the sheer lunacy and palpable madness of Nixon's public pronouncements. I don't think it would spoil the ending for readers I if were to say Woodstone's conclusions tend to suggest Nixon was as mad as a bag of spanners.” (Credit: ‘Casual Observer’ 2007).
Now in the wake of the latest explorations of the madness of the current ruler in the White House (ref. Bob Woodward’s latest blockbuster and an anonymous op ed in the New York Times) I imagine a sign appearing on the Oval Office door: ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps.’ We know of course that pyschiatrists shouldn’t pronounce on the mental health of people they have not directly had the opportunity to diagnose, but isn’t it time to waive the rule in the case of the ‘Leader of The Free World’?
If only Nixon had had the opportunity to Tweet, his tenure may have been truncated sooner. “F*****G BAD! They’re all lying C***S! I’LL GET THOSE B******S! S**T FACED MOTHERF*****S!”
One hopes that one day in the not too distant future we will have our Trump tapes. I suspect if such exist and they are made public our esteem for Nixon will rocket up, for in comparison to Trump Trickie Dickie was not an entire intellectual write off. But having said that, I would be the first to queue up for John Adams’ forthcoming opera Trump in North Korea. It would of course play to more packed houses than any presidential-themed opera before or since, including Abe Lincoln or Barack Obama to mention but two. Or the other 43. Yeah, and Hamilton as well.