I firmly believe that no one is purely good or purely evil. The presidents job must be insanely difficult. The stress of the decisions they must make even with the BEST advisors would drive me over the edge. I googled ” Presidents BEST and WORST moments” . I wasn’t looking for anything overly political slamming one person or defending another. I was just looking for some facts. Here is what I found. I think it was from USA Today.
Author’s note: Yes, I know there have officially been 45 presidents. See below for the commander in chief who messed up the numbers.
The bad ones
44. James Buchanan – Didn’t believe black people should be allowed citizenship. Also did nothing to prevent the Civil War, which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people. If his own mother saw him walking down the street, she’d punch him right in the nose.
43. Franklin Pierce – Remembered for 1.) trying to expand slavery into Kansas and Nebraska; 2.) nothing else.
42. Andrew Jackson – Slave trader. Slaughterer of Native Americans. On $20 bill!
41. William Henry Harrison – Died after 31 days in office. Tried to officially legalize slavery in Indiana when he served as governor of the territory. Known by nicknames “Old Tippecanoe,” “Hot Rod.”
40. John Tyler – After his presidency, he was elected to the Confederate Congress. Like if the “Independence Day” sequel featured Bill Pullman running for mayor of Mars.
39. James K. Polk – As a 10-year-old, he had surgery for bladder stones. His only anesthetic? Brandy. That’s pretty cool, but he also supported slavery.
38. Zachary Taylor – Body was exhumed in 1991 after a theory surfaced that he was poisoned because of his anti-slavery stance. He owned slaves, too, but felt icky about it. Back then that made him a progressive.
37. Andrew Johnson – Slave owner. Was tasked with healing the nation after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Responded by getting impeached.
36. Millard Fillmore — Once belonged to the Know Nothing Party, a political organization built on hatred of Catholics and Irish immigrants. Somehow that’s the second-worst thing he did. Also supported returning slaves to their plantations. (Man, a lot of these guys supported slavery.)
35. Donald Trump – At least he doesn’t support slavery.
34. Richard Nixon – Fascinating and brilliant man who obliterated any chance of us ever trusting the federal government again.
33. George W. Bush – Started wars and stood by as the economy disemboweled itself. In a few years, when we’re fighting off radioactive slug monsters for half-eaten cans of pinto beans, we’ll remember him fondly.
32. John Adams – Thought it should be illegal to criticize the president. If elected today, he would imprison half of all Facebook users.
31. Warren G. Harding – Used his power to enrich oil companies. Patron saint to all current politicians.
30. Herbert Hoover – Once ordered the U.S. military to attack a bunch of World War I veterans, a story that is somehow true.
The mediocre ones
29. James Garfield – Shot six months into his term. Died after his surgeons failed to wash their hands. Went on to inspire a famous comic strip: “Cathy.”
28. Gerald Ford – Did great Chevy Chase impression.
27. Bill Clinton – Walking personal disaster with a shady political legacy. Still one of the more likable Democrats.
26. Chester A. Arthur – Had the same facial hair as Lemmy from Motorhead.
25. Martin Van Buren – Fighting to end slavery? Great! Forcing Native Americans off their land? Not great at all.
24. George H.W. Bush – Until he died he Could probably still beat you up.
23. Jimmy Carter – Was a very nice man and therefore unqualified to be president.
22. Rutherford B. Hayes – Had great beard. Truly the hipster of the 1870s aristocrat crowd.
21. William McKinley – Never climbed Mount McKinley.
20. Grover Cleveland – Only man to be elected to non-consecutive terms (thanks for messing up the numbers on this list, G.C.). Took four years off in between to travel through Europe and find himself.
19. Benjamin Harrison – Former Indiana resident! Fought for black voting rights. Utterly forgotten, should be remembered.
18. William Howard Taft – Last president to consistently wear facial hair, at least until the Dwight D. Eisenhower Mutton Chop Debacle of 1954.
17. Lyndon Johnson – Champion of Civil Rights. War-criminal-esque bungler of Vietnam. Picked up his beagles by their ears; did the same thing to Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
16. Calvin Coolidge – His refusal to regulate Wall Street may have partly led to the crash of ’29. But hey, he also kept his mouth shut most of the time, and that’s such an endearing quality these days that I’m surprised I didn’t rank him No. 1.
15. Harry S. Truman – Lost 1948 election to Thomas Dewey in a landslide.
14. Dwight D. Eisenhower – When people say “Make America Great Again,” they’re talking about returning to the Eisenhower administration of the 1950s. And why not? It was positively utopic – unless you were black, Hispanic, LGBT or a woman.
The good ones
13. Ulysses S. Grant – U-S-A! U-S-A!
12. Woodrow Wilson – Maybe I should put his wife, Edith Wilson, here instead. She basically ran the executive branch after Wilson had a stroke in his second term.
11. Barack Obama – You’re probably mad about this.
10. Ronald Reagan – Great Communicator. Pioneer of greedy-Wall-Street implosions. Beloved by current-day politicians he would probably hate.
9. John F. Kennedy – American icon whose death hurled the country into a dank darkness from which it still hasn’t crawled. His life was cut short before he could truly achieve greatness / screw everything up.
8. John Quincy Adams – Better than his dad.
7. James Madison – Owned slaves. But he basically wrote the Constitution, so people conveniently forget about that.
6. James Monroe – Owned slaves. After Jefferson and Adams, he was the third president to die on the Fourth of July – none of which, surprisingly, from fireworks accidents.
5. George Washington – Owned slaves. Father of our country. Had wooden teeth, horse hair, bionic limbs that gave him supernatural jumping ability.
4. Theodore Roosevelt – Davy Crocket killed a bear when he was only three. Teddy wondered what took him so long.
3. Franklin Roosevelt – Piloted America through the Great Depression and World War II. Remembered by conservatives as filthy communist.
2. Thomas Jefferson – Basically one of the most fascinating Americans to ever live. Stratospheric genius. Hypocritical slave owner.
1. Abraham Lincoln – An American saint. I’m tempted to write “if you don’t like Lincoln, you can get the hell out,” but he would hate that statement because it goes against everything the country he saved stands for.
Topping this list with Lincoln is like ending a rundown of “best hamburgers” with filet mignon. He was too good for us and we didn’t deserve him.
We probably don’t deserve this country either, but we’re lucky to have it. Let’s not make the same mistake we did with Lincoln.