Donald Trump specializes in offending just about everyone in one way or another, yet despite his narcissistic, brash, and sexist actions, he is still not the worst POTUS ever.
Sadly, there are a fair number of presidential candidates who rival our current president for unpopular or unethical actions. Some of these presidents, while popular or well-supported at the time, proved to be at least as controversial as Donald Trump.
So who to pick first? Let’s focus on the man responsible for the infamous Trail of Tears, Andrew Jackson, the president currently on the twenty dollar bill, soon to be replaced there by Harriet Tubman. The Trail of Tears was the forcible relocation of several thousand Cherokee Native Americans from their lands east of the Mississippi River. According to PBS, thanks to Andrew Jackson, “the migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.”
So far, despite Donald Trump’s immigration ban for refugees from seven predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern countries and on refugees from Syria, no one has been displaced from their homes nor killed due to our current president’s actions. No treaties have been broken with Native American tribes which have resulted in death, destruction, and despair.
Surprising to some people (but not to some of my acquaintances in the South), Abraham Lincoln is a worthy candidate for a president worse than Trump. Under Lincoln’s leadership, the South seceded from the United States, resulting in one of the bloodiest wars for Americans in history. Furthermore, while Lincoln may be known as the Great Emancipator, the fact is, the Emancipation Proclamation (an executive order) left nearly one million African Americans as slaves, as it did not cover states not in rebellion. The Thirteenth Amendment (which outlaws slavery in the U.S.), was not ratified by the states until several months after Lincoln’s assassination.
Up next, we have Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democratic president. While parties argue the merits of Roosevelt’s New Deal and whether or not it revitalized the American economy during the Great Depression, at least it was an effort at improving the lives of Americans. What puts FDR on the list of terrible presidents is his actions regarding Japanese Americans during World War II. Executive Order 9066 forced over 100,000 Japanese American citizens into internment camps where many were forced to remain for the entirety of the war. The Supreme Court upheld Order 9066 through constitutionality challenges.
Despite accusations Donald Trump intends to create a Muslim registry or ban all Muslims from America, so far, only the immigration ban on seven countries previously targeted with immigration limitations passed by Congress during Obama’s presidency has taken effect.
Watergate, the namesake of all major scandals over the next few decades. “____-Gate” is often the given nickname of any major legal controversy significant figures are involved with. And we have President Richard Nixon to thank for that. After a break-in (not hack) at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Nixon and his administration attempted to cover up for and hide the regime’s involvement in the crime. It led to Nixon’s eventual resignation.
And finally, “I did not have sex with that woman” President Bill Clinton. Regardless of one’s political views or stance on various things, one thing is for sure: Clinton got away with perjury. In the impeachment proceedings, not a single Democrat voted against Clinton, albeit, that is no surprise considering how much support Donald Trump, also accused of involvement in numerous sexual scandals, has received from his own party members. Clinton makes the terrible president list because he perjured himself and got away with it.
Any other terrible presidents to add to the list? Tell us what you think and who you think of as the worst presidents in history in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]