Nixon-land Predate Nixon

I heard the author of NixonLand on the Rachel Maddow show offering up an anecdote about Richard Nixon.  When he was in college he tried to join a fraternity, but was basically laughed away as uncool and uncouth.  So he started his own competing fraternity, from which he launched into student president.  His great political and sociological insight was that there are more nerds or squares than cool people, and the former holds some amount of bitterness at the latter, and that’s how he proceeded in his political career to his “Great, Silent Majority”.

I thought this was familiar, and I thought “I know that story”.  Except then it dawned on me that I did not.  That the story I was more familiar with was Lyndon Johnson’s story.  In college, there was this highly non-partisan non-factional and cordial student group (might have been the student government?).  He then took it over, and proceeded to sow high levels of discord, made and destroyed enemies, helped those who gave him the power, and generally practiced and refined the art of Practical Amoral Politics.  As soon as he graduated, this student group kind of looked around, asking “What the heck was that all about?”, and went back to their pre-Johnson business.

More evidence that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were, in fact, the same person.

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