Any list that doesn’t have James Buchanan as the only thing between the Woodrow Wilson and the bottom is suspect.
Trump’s only saving grace is that he was too stupid and/or too lazy to set anything in motion. He could have done a lot worse if all the golf and T.V were not so distracting.
“Didn’t successfully start a Civil War. Yet.” Is a pretty low bar.
Grant’s scandals were largely overblown. He certainly wasn’t one of the greats, but he at least tried to do good after the Civil War. I blame his failings more on him being in way over his head (he was a brilliant military strategist but he really hated politics and politicians) versus being actively terrible like Trump.
Has there ever been a worse case of nepotism than the time Trump took Ivanka into talks with Kim Jong-Un, or when she tried to insert herself as a diplomat at the G20 Summit?
And no, I don’t mean JFK Jr. crawling around beneath the Resolute Desk.
Probably because of the greater importance that people are giving these days to the fact that he was racist as fuck versus the credit he is given for his ultimately failed attempt to encourage peaceful means for resolving conflicts between nations.
I’d like to note that Grant has moved up over the years quite a bit. He seems to have suffered as part of the South’s desire to deify Lee and conversely demonize Grant; Grant’s memoir is actually pretty amazing.
Also, this guy’s twitter feed documents all the ways the US has suffered, starting with Reagan’s presidency.
I was bearish on calling Trump the worst president ever for a long while. Clearly Trump was just terrible but you think about all the terrible things US presidents have done like the trail of tears, supporting slavery, lying to launch a foreign war, etc., and Trump just hadn’t done something that could be attached to that kind of horrific death, destruction and misery.
Then Trump politicized the public response to a pandemic likely resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. And that may end up just being the tip of the iceberg - the overall vaccination rate in the country isn’t high enough, and it hides that incredible regional disparity. There are areas with abysmal vaccination rates. It’s entirely possible that in a few months some high-Trump-support states (and even high-Trump-support areas of other states) are going to be hit by the delta variant harder than covid has hit before. Since these areas are disproportionately rural and rural hospitals have been allowed to rot for lack of government funding for years, the scale of covid death and misery may exceed anything yet seen.
If I were a historian I’d refuse to rank Trump, saying it’s far too early to tell.
One of my favourites that that median household income rose at like 3% to 3.5% a year from the 60s to Regan. Reagan got into office and that dropped to 1% or below and it’s just stayed there. Remember when Trump celebrated America having the highest median household income since like 2001? They were celebrating zero income growth for 17 years.
To be fair to Trump, a lot of presidential historians have something invested in their particular guy being “the worst” (because, for example, they wrote books declaring that in the title).
The worst thing he did was showing the GOP that being an outright fascist was a viable strategy for the party going forward. But he can’t get too much credit/blame for it, because he himself didn’t actually have to specifically do anything for that to happen.
Hard for me to think of any.
RFK’s appointment to AG was certainly motivated by nepotism, but at least he had some qualifications for the job. Hillary Clinton was involved in several high stakes policy efforts, but she had plenty of qualifications to be there beyond her surname.
Ivanka had literally zero foreign policy, public service, or diplomatic experience. Her only “qualification” was having Trump in her name. Same goes for Jared.
This comment is telling:
It certainly wasn’t for the lack of effort.
Also notable, before Reagan, graduate stipends were considered tax free, until Reagan signed the tax act of 1986, which considered them regular income. Because fledgling scientists/scholars/engineers making a pittance needed less money, but people like Trump needed more money so he could help society by running casinos into the ground.
- Edith Wilson ran the country after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke
And here’s a short history of it.
Hm. I would have said Andrew Johnson was the worst… But I also would have put Reagan much MUCH lower… I am just one historian, though, so this should tell you how generally conservative our field is… especially for fields like political or presidential history.
I love that William Henry Harrison is above Trump…
What makes Trump stand out to me is his complete lack of any positive qualities or redeeming features, either as a person or as a president.
For example, Andrew Jackson did plenty of awful things, but he was also a tremendously capable man, a driven and effective president, apparently a good husband and father, and personally quite fearless. You might hate him, but you could also respect him.
With others, like Reagan and W., again for all the bad things they did and the damage their presidencies caused, I can believe they at least tried to do what they thought was best for America, no matter how wrong they were, or how badly they fucked it up.
I can’t believe that of Trump, for even a second. He didn’t give a shit about America, or the American people, and was too stupid, ignorant, chaotic, and narcissistic to even be effectively selfish. His presidency was an absolute disaster, with the damage only limited by his utter incompetence and laziness, and the uselessness of his shambolic administration.
Based on the groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic, he definitely should’ve been ranked for enabling/trying that.