Oh man. Those new Nixon tapes are priceless. “Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags… You know what happened to the popes? It’s all right that popes were laying the nuns.” Nixon seems to have earnestly believed that civilization was on the verge of crumbling under the influence of assorted evils, specifically homosexuals, Jews, homsexuals, marijuana smokers, homosexuals, communists, psychiatrists, and homosexuals.

Nixon’s take on the Archie Bunker TV series is especially entertaining. “Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter… The son-in-law apparently goes both ways.” Yes, Meathead, played by Rob Reiner. And another character, Nixon says, is “obviously queer. He wears an ascot, and so forth.”

More telling, his chat with the head of a presidential commission on drug policy. While the poor guy stammers, Nixon basically tells him to not recommend that marijuana be decriminalized. The happy ending, though, is that the commission ends up doing so anyway. If only otherwise hapless pawns lost in the political system had that kind of guts today.

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