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America's Top Four Worst Presidents
To Be Fair
One usually allows Twenty Years to elapse between the day the Officeholder leaves office and the assessment. This is to allow all transient attitudes to disperse and historical considerations to take centre stage. However, one can not but reflect on the last person in this list, and feel a sense of certainty that he belongs here.
There have been 44 Presidents of the United States.
Grover Cleveland served as the 22nd and 24th; hence there were 43 different men who served as President.
William Henry Harrison, the 9th President, died after one month in office. It would be unfair to assess his incumbency, so the number drops to 42.
James Garfield, the 20th President was shot four months into his term, and died two months later, again, the briefness of his Presidency leaves more possibles than actuals, so the number drops to 41.
As Barack Obama has not completed his term, he can not be assessed, so that this list is made up of the 40 remaining Presidents of the United states.
The factors taken into consideration are:
1) Was the country in a worse state when the President remitted office?
2) How much corruption was permitted/encouraged during the Incumbency?
3) What is the historical effect of the policies of the President?
James Buchanan was elected in 1856. There had been rumours about his sexuality; but considering he has been held the worst President for over 100 years, one can appreciate why the Gay community does not recognise him.
Although he considered slavery evil, he did nothing to stop it, in fact, encouraged it. At his inauguration was seen speaking with the Chief Justice in such manner as it was clear to those at the time he was seeking to influence the decision in the infamous Dred Scott case.
Buchanan believed that the Constitution gave him, as President, no power to prevent states leaving the Union.
His indecisiveness, bad judgements, and what would be called waffling today caused greater dissension between the states then necessary and led directly to the Civil War.
Andrew Johnson was born in the south and grew up hating the Plantocracy.
It was personal.
He was poor, and his mother was sold him as an 'apprentice' (virtual slave) to a tailor. He ran away when he was sixteen. Johnson was a self-made man who rose to political prominence.
He was the only Southerner to remain in the Senate after succession. He was hailed as a firm believer in the Union. He was trusted by Lincoln who never realised that Johnson was not pro-union, nor anti-slavery, he was simply anti-aristocrat.
Andrew Johnson hated the southern elite with a passion and would do anything to destroy them, their wealth and their power.
When he became President, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln he tried to undo all the gains ex-slaves had made, as if the South had won the Civil War.
There were two impeachment attempts during the less than four years he held the office.
Playing Poker and Enjoying the Ladies
It was after he had been nominated by the Republican Party that his various affairs came out. The Republican Party paid one of his mistresses fifty thousand dollars to leave the country. She wasn't his only mistress, he had many, and it can be proven he paid child support to at least one of them.
It was 1921, height of Prohibition, when Warren would leave the White House, go across the road to play poker and drink. And he could drink.
His cabinet was made up of his corrupt friends. It was during his incumbency the infamous 'Teapot Dome' scandal broke.
He had a heart attack when it was exposed; (although some say his wife poisoned him). He died after two years in office.
He once said, quite honestly, "I am not fit for this office and should never have been here."
History will not be Kind
Attaining Office, despite losing the popular vote, it was the September 11th attacks which ended the questions as to how he gained the Presidency.
As he was seen as a Hawk and it was the time of Hawks, his approval rating skyrocketed.
The war against Afghanistan was acceptable and he smuggled an attack on Iraq by using Colin Powell to present false information about Weapons of Mass Destruction.
During his second term his incompetence was fully exposed; the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, the Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay imprisonments, and his economic policies which lead America into the greatest economic depression since 1929.
There Are Others....Of Course
These are not the only really bad leaders America has had. There are others whose historical significance is currently being reassessed; i.e. Woodrow Wilson who set back Civil Rights to the day before the Emancipation Proclaimation, Van Buren who presided over the Trail of Tears, among other debacles, and Rutherford Hayes who, like Bush, 'won' an election he had lost and was incredibly corrupt.