Still, never is a long time, and the year 2020 has ultimately brought greater challenges than impeachment.(NPR)
I want to know the meaning of "never is a long time" in this sentence, thank you in advance!
[The article is talks about how Trump followed the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale who said that people could overcome anything through the "power of positive thinking"]
It was his [=Trump's] dogged insistence that there had only been ups and never any downs. He seemed to be demonstrating that an individual truly could ignore obstacles, defy norms and scoff at official rules and still succeed.
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Even impeachment was not a wall that stopped him but rather a hurdle he managed to clear — with the help of his party in the Senate.
Still, never is a long time, and the year 2020 has ultimately brought greater challenges than impeachment.
Quotation shortened to comply with our 4-sentence limit on quotation (Rule 4). Cagey, moderator
If "never" in "never is a long time" refers back to "never" in "there had only been ups and never any downs", then it does not make sense to me, because the past perfect "had been" looks backwards.
"Never is a long time" is usually used as a rejoinder to someone using "never" to look forwards, and it would make a lot more sense as a response to Trump saying "there will only be ups and never any downs".