In Honor of Presidents’ Day

Instead of my Top Five Greatest Presidents (which remain, in order, Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt and Truman), I present my Top Five Worst Presidents:

  1. James Buchanan: weak and vacillating, he came perilously close to treason as the Civil War broke out.
  2. Richard M. Nixon: Needlessly prolonged the Vietnam War, corrupted the White House to new heights, exploited racial and class divisions in the country that remain to this day. What’s not to hate?
  3. Andrew Johnson: prickly racist who condemned the newly-freed slaves to a century of serfdom and brutality.
  4. Warren G. Harding: corrupt and incompetent, formulated economic policies that led directly to the Great Depression.
  5. Andrew Jackson: set the pattern of relations between whites and Indians as one of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Note there are no recent presidents on either list. Despite compelling evidence that George W. Bush belongs at or near the top of this list, I remain firmly convinced that it requires a minimum of 20 years in order to properly evaluate a president’s ultimate legacy and place in history.


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