PostHeaderIcon Picking The Worst

For some time now I have been pondering the idea of making my own list of the 10 worst presidents in the “modern era” which, for me, starts in the late 1800’s with the advent of the progressive movement.

Let me tell you, this is no easy task as the last 100+ years have seen some of the worst presidents one can imagine. Or, looked at another way, perhaps the growth of power of the federal government and the concentration of power in the executive branch merely magnifies the effect of a bad president? I suspect a combination of both. While our federal government has grown by leaps and bounds, the people’s toleration for corruption has grown apace. I suppose corruption is like most any evil… one grows increasingly hardened to it much like hands that work hard grow callouses to help protect them from further harm. Except that, growing virtual callouses on our sense of ethics does nothing to protect us from further harm. Indeed, it has just the opposite effect.

In producing my list, I tried to consider both apparent or implied intent on the part of the presidents as well as measurable results. Following are my choices, from 10th (least worst) to 1st (worst of all), along with some of the major reasons for my placement:

Number 10: Herbert Hoover
→ Incompetent
→ Misguided attempts to “manage” the economy fueled the Great Depression, setting the stage for a resurgence of the Progressive movement

Number 9: George W Bush
→ Marginally Competent
→ War Monger
→ Expanded the Scope and Power of Government
→ Out of control Spending

Number 8: Bill Clinton
→ Corrupt
→ Dishonest in every respect
→ Violated the Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ Dishonored the Office of President

Number 7: Theodore Roosevelt
→ Started the Progressive movement
→ Allusions to Dictatorship
→ Expanded the Scope and Power of Government

Number 6: Richard Nixon
→ Violated the Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ Tolerated corruption among his close associates
→ Dishonored the Office of President
→ Misguided attempts to “manage” the economy set the stage for more power in the Progressive movement

Number 5: Jimmy Carter
→ Total incompetent
→ Socialist
→ Tolerated corruption among his close associates
→ Brought Dishonor to the entire Nation

Number 4: Lyndon Johnson
→ Violated the Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ War Monger
→ Socialist
→ Corrupt
→ Expanded the Scope and Power of Government
→ Out of control Spending

Number 3: Franklin Roosevelt
→ Violated the Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ Extreme expansion of the Scope and Power of Government
→ War Monger
→ Only his death prevented a Dictatorship (violated the 2 term tradition set by Washington)
→ Progressive & Socialist
→ Out of control Spending

Number 2: Woodrow Wilson
→ Extremely anti Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ Extremely racist
→ War Monger
→ Allusions to Dictatorship
→ Progressive & Socialist
→ Expanded the Scope and Power of Government

Number 1: Barack Obama
→ Extremely anti Constitution despite an oath to protect and defend it
→ Extremely racist
→ Probable Marxist
→ Openly stated desire for Dictatorship
→ Expanded the Scope and Power of Government
→ Out of control Spending
→ Most corrupt administration in the modern era
→ Dishonest in every respect
→ Probably ineligible to hold the office of President

As you can easily see, violations of the Constitution, Dictatorial Aspirations, Expansion of Government, War Mongering and Excessive Spending were very high on my list of negatives. I see these, whether taken individually or in combination as the root cause of the decline and impending fall of the United States of America.

While all of the men on my list (and others not on it) are obviously flawed in many ways, some of this must be expected. Without boundless ambition and a greatly inflated ego, what person would consent to do what is necessary to gain and execute the Office of President? Indeed, it is no secret that most of the modern Presidents who rank high in moral and ethical attributes were “accidental Presidents” – that is, Vice Presidents who inherited an office they most probably could never have been initially elected to.

At the end of the day, I think this says more about the electorate than the elected. Each and every person on the list above was known (or could have been known) to be exactly what they were and are before being elected. And, after achieving office and making clear what attributes they brought with them, most were re-elected (or probably will be) despite their negatives.

I will close by offering another list. This one attempts to rank the major elements of our Government, from least worst to most worst in terms of performance (sorry, I cannot bring myself to use the word “best” in any reference to our Government):

Number 4 (least worst): The Judicial

Number 3: The Executive

Number 2: The Legislative

Number 1 (most worst): The People

This leaves my at the same conclusion I always reach: A stupid, uninvolved, dependent electorate CANNOT be successfully self governing. I do not expect to be around for the eventual rebuilding of America but, I hope that those who inherit this task will finally figure out some way to fairly distinguish between the “Makers” and the “Takers”, between the “Responsible” and the “Irresponsible” and then take steps to ensure the voting franchise is extended only to those in the first groups. In the end, “universal suffrage” produces only universal suffering.

Think about it. And, please offer your comments on my list, what/who you would change and why.

Troy L Robinson

2 Responses to “Picking The Worst”

  • PDM says:

    You forgot to include Lincoln. He neglected States’ rights of secession and ballooned Federal powers, while starting a war to end slavery when almost every other civilized nation was able to do it peacefully.

  • Troy says:

    While I don’t disagree with you, Lincoln fell outside my arbitrary time frame. The period just before, during and just after the Civil War could provide a top 10 list on its own.

    The surprising thing you discover when you start trying to rate our presidents is how precious few good ones we have had. It is a credit to the Founders that they set up a system that worked so well for so long despite the poor quality of our elected officials.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Troy

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