The Worst Presidents the USA has ever had (so far)

The CEO in Chief of the USA

Donald Trump is now well and truly sworn in and already doing everything he seems to think he has to in order to “Make America Great Again”, which seems to involving lots of weekends off on the golf course and managing to enrage many different groups with the amazingly sound actions he had already taken as soon as his fake tanned backside sat down in the oval office. These groups range from women's rights movements to entire countries the USA is allied with or have trade deals with, and more recently, Putin. Oh dear...... And these actions include signing legislation to make abortion illegal, and tearing up agreements signed by Obama because…. They were signed by Obama.
It looks like he’s set to be considered one of the worst presidents of the United States by many, before he’d even had a week in office, with various protests made before he was even sworn in and the turnout to his inauguration being one of the lowest ever. Unless you believe in Alternative Facts, in which case Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Jesus of Nazareth and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, and his turnout to his inauguration was attended by everyone in the world.

Not the Fonz
With all this in mind, I’ve found myself asking the question, “Could Trump really be the worst President the USA has ever had?"
And "Who is currently considered to be the worst?" And "What would Trump have to do to become number one? After all he loves a challenge.” A few hours of research later, and here’s five of some of the worst offenders, as determined by various polls found online. And what they did to get on this list might very well determine if Trump will knock any of them off it - short of sending a few missiles at them.
Now worst can be a subjective term, in this case it’s ranging from general incompetence and political cluelessness, to being ineffectual leaders and negotiators, or even just hated by the masses. So the next time you hear an Obama hater describe the first black president as being the worst president ever, run these names by them to see if they stir any recognition into them.

5. William Henry Harrison, The 9th President, who served for a period of about a month from March to April 1841.
Image result for William Henry Harrison
A Manly Man.
He was also the last president to have been born as a Britain subject and also the oldest elected to the presidency until Ronald Reagan's election to office and more recently Trump himself. He was also the first American president to die while in office.
Thankfully not from terminal kinetic lead poisoning like Lincoln and JFK. A former military officer who had retired to his farm until he was requested by the Whig party to run for the presidency to replace the Democrat president Martin Van Bruen. Harrison had been described as a backwoods man, and wanted to show he was still very much the man he was when he became the hero of Tippecanoe. When he took office he decided to not wear an overcoat or a hat on what was described as a very cold and wet day, and rode in on horseback rather than take the closed carriage he had been offered. In these same weather conditions he stood and made a two hour speech, consisting of 8445 words. And this was after it had been edited down. He then rode on horseback through the streets and later that same evening attended three separate balls. All of this is often considered to be the reason he took ill, but he was sworn in on March the 4th, 1841 and only became ill with pneumonia on March the 26th. He died nine days later and his vice president John Tyler took over, serving one term. It’s purely for the reason that he served so briefly that Harrison ranks so highly as one of the worst presidents, he simply had no time to really achieve anything while in office, and what can you do in only a month? Trump seems to have taken that as a challenge. His death did trigger a crisis in the constitution, something that would remain unresolved, until over a century later. Does that count as an achievement?

4. The 29th President of the US was Warren G. Harding, serving from March 4, 1921 until his death in 1923 and at the time he was actually a very popular president.
Image result for Warren G. Harding
This is a man that has a
certain air of dignity.
It wasn’t until after his death that various scandals that took place while he was in office were revealed, and his standing dropped faster then Wylie Coyote when the smoke’s cleared and he’s realised he standing on nothing but thin air.
These scandals included affairs with various mistresses, an oil scandal known at the "Teapot Dome", and the results of placing many of his friends in federal positions. In the latter case, by all accounts, several did do their jobs very well, others were simply ineffective. Some however proved corrupt, with one director fleeing to Europe to escape charges but later returning for trial and prison time, while another was removed from office and later committed suicide. It’s not known how much of the corruption Harding knew about, but it is known he wasn’t involved in it.
It is perhaps his affairs that legitimately damaged his reputation the most. Studies of his letters to Carrie Fulton Phillips of Marion who he had a fifteen year affair with that ended in 1920, possibly show that she may have been the love of his life. But it’s his affair with his mistress, Nan Britton, that had the most dramatic impact, as she made claims they’d had sex in the white house with secret service personnel posted to divert any interruptions. No blue dress, no cigars that won’t light or saxophones were involved. As far as we know. The two even had a child together, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. Hardings family claim that he couldn’t have fathered any children due to a case of mumps as a child, but DNA tests in 2015 proved he was indeed the father.
What most likely did the most immediate and lasting damage were the books Masks in a Pageant by William Allen White and Revelry by Samuel Hopkins Adams. Both books were released shortly after his death and the writers make Harding out to be a weak, ineffective leader, and this is something that has stuck since. Perhaps with time and more thorough analysis of his actual time in office and confirmation of his achievements, he might have his reputation somewhat restored and be removed from this and other lists like it

3. The 14th President of the US was Franklin Pierce whose term as head of state ran from 1853 to 1857.

Image result for Franklin Pierce
The Dandy Man.
His term was perhaps cursed from the start as the train he and his wife and only remaining child were travelling on to his inauguration, derailed, his son was killed in the accident, leaving the couple now childless, and both suffered depression from their horrific loss.
His wife felt their sons death was a divine punishment for her husbands election to office, but Pierce was able to allude to the accident, stating "You have summoned me in my weakness, you must sustain me by your strength." Seeking to try to represent all the divisions within his party his cabinet consisted of members who had not supported him, he even spent several weeks trying to select people to fill the low level positions as fairly as he felt he could. This approach unfortunately fuelled the divisions further as cabinet members found they couldn’t get positions for their own allies. Often considered by many to be honourable and likeable and an able politician, but not able to act in a decisive manner, often changing his mind before settling on a course of action, and in some cases didn’t seem to understand the situation America was in at the time, which saw much division on various political, religious and social views. Many see his term and the actions he took or failed to take, as major factors that lead to the American Civil war. Beyond this, he’s rather removed from the American consciousness when it comes to recalling their leaders.

2. Andrew Johnson, was sworn in as the 17th president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and had served as his Vice President. Johnson was also a target for assassination on the same night, but his would be assassin decided to get drunk rather than do the deed.
The Scary Man.
Johnson was sworn in on the same morning Lincoln died from his wounds and had his first cabinet meeting that afternoon, asking all present to stay in their positions. As he was not elected to office he is sometimes seen as not having all the authority over congress that he should have had, even so he always acted in a very determined way. One of his first acts was to place a bounty on the Confederate President Davies, which gave him an image of being tough on the southern states, and even rejected the terms of an  armistice agreement that  General William T. Sherman had arranged with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston for the surrender of Confederate forces in North Carolina, as this agreement didn’t provide any freedom for the slaves. He also had all members of the plot to assassinate himself and Lincoln hanged, including his own would be assassin, as well as quite controversially at the time, a female plotter. He was impeached in 1868 due to a violation of the terms of office, and while this was quickly acquitted by the senate, he only narrowly avoid being convicted. He was considered to be a boor by some, and he was also noted for his stubbornness, a lack of flexibility, and being quick to make decisions without considering all the possible outcomes. He rarely if ever gave concessions, no matter how minor, and seemed determined to beat his opponents, leaving him blind to the needs of the country post civil war. These were all contributing factors that have lead many to declare him to be a poor leader, and his inability to prioritise the much needed reconciliation between the southern and northern states is a major demonstration of this. I suppose when you're following on from Lincoln, that’s a pretty tall hat to fill, and not everyone’s going to manage it. Johnson would return to politics in 1875, running for the senate again on several occasions, the last time was his only success but he died a few months later after suffering two strokes.

1. James Buchanan, Jr, a Democrat, and the 15th President from 1857–1861 and served until just before the start of the Civil War. Oh dear, that doesn’t sounds like a great start to any world leader’s CV.

Image result for James Buchanan, Jr
Did Jim Broadbent travel back
in time or something?
The war erupted just two months after he retired from his post as president and public service in general, and in fairness he had promised to only serve one term in any case. Though born in the north his views made many consider him to have a southern outlook, but despite this he had managed to make enemies on both sides and was never able to bring things to a peaceful conclusion. Hence the war. He was however still a skilled politician and had the times not been marked by the anger and division that was sweeping the nation at the time, he might have had far more success and be remembered more favourably. It’s probably these factors that guarantee him the very top position in a list no one would want to be on, for all time. In fact on his deathbed he felt history would vindicate him, but it’s very much the case that the opposite is true. It should be noted that the times Buchanan, Johnson and Pierce served as President were all difficult and trying times, and that’s just putting it mildly. With deep divisions both before and after the civil war and ongoing issues such as slavery combined with new found freedom for former slaves all contributing in various ways. These were times that would test the leadership skills of any person, and it’s hard to see anyone else doing much better.

Now this was all based on the results of various analysis of all the presidents to date, and only looks at five of the worst in no particular order. As such anyone could easily agree or disagree with this list as it’s all subjective. Polls conducted in 2005 by The Wall Street Journal found that while Democrats thought George Dubya Bush was the 6th worst president, Republicans found him to be the 6th best. Also a great many polls list William G Harding as the very worst president, and that seems to be based on his affairs and the actions of the people he put into high office, and some very one sided fictionalised stories, rather than the effect of his own policies. Other polls conducted with variously politically aligned professors mostly tend to show the same six names showing up at the bottom of their own rankings of great presidents, albeit in slightly different orders. Is there any other US Presidents you think should be on a top five list? Has anyone truly done worse than these five? Could anyone do worse? Let me know in the comments section, and please share this around so we can get some good old fashion discussions going.


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