Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein for his ability to kill his enemies. He complimented Kim Jong Un, saying “you gotta give him credit.” He said that Bashar al-Assad is “getting an A” for leadership.Of course, the downside of that comparison is the Nixon was elected President. Twice.
But now we know who Trump is really modeling himself after: Richard Nixon. A conniving man who exploited people’s fears and divided our country for his own political gain. A dangerous and insecure narcissist whose lies and schemes were an embarrassment to his political party and to our country. A man whose actions threatened the foundations of our democracy.
Here's the thing, though. I can’t believe I’m saying this — but Donald Trump modeling himself on Richard Nixon isn’t fair to Richard Nixon. For all his many faults, Nixon at least understood the gravity of controlling our country’s nuclear codes. And despite Nixon’s very deep flaws, at least he had served his nation in World War II, in Congress, the Senate, and as Vice President. Donald Trump has never served anyone but himself.
And one of Trump's direct political mentors was the mob lawyer Roy Cohn. See:
- Olivia Nuzzi, Trump’s Mobbed Up, McCarthyite Mentor Roy Cohn Daily Beast 07/23/2016
- Trump's "Greatest Mentor" was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families Democracy Now! 07/05/2016
- Jonathan Mahler and Matt Flegenheimer, What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man New York Times 06/20/2016
- Michelle Dean, A mentor in shamelessness: the man who taught Trump the power of publicity Guardian 04/20/2016
- Michael Kruse, ‘He Brutalized For You’ Politico 04/08/2016
- Robert Sherrill, King Cohn The Nation 08/12/2009