Much has been said lately about how vile our Presidential Candidates are this year. While I do agree that our candidates this year are pretty vile, I would like to remind you that our Presidents aren’t exactly Boy Scouts. Although this note from President George H.W. Bush was extremely thoughtful and caring, this act is one of the exceptions to the American Presidents as Bad Hombres rule.
Here’s a list of US Presidents for the last 100 years and at least one bad thing they’ve done. I admit, most of these acts are foreign military escapades that could have been argued were done as preemptive strikes to keep ourselves or our allies safe, but they still didn’t end well.
Woodrow Wilson: Pushing for the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act, segregated federal government, and permitted forced sterilization
Warren G. Harding: Issuing executive orders that allowed Forbes to embezzle hundreds of millions of dollars from World War I veteran funds
Calvin Coolidge: Limited immigration from Europe, allowed Nazism to rise, and stood by while Great Depression started
Herbert Hoover: Authorizing Mexican Repatriation, a forced removal of Mexican immigrants, in response to the Great Depression
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Ordering the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Harry S. Truman: Dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing as many as 200,000 Japanese civilians
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Authorizing the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government, destabilization of Cambodia, and overthrow of democratically elected Guatemalan President
John F. Kennedy: Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, FBI investigating MLK Jr, Vietnam, and Marilyn Monroe
Lyndon Johnson: Escalating American involvement in Vietnam, invasion of Dominican Republic, giving aid to Guatemalan government death squads, and overthrow of Brazilian democracy
Richard Nixon: The secret bombings of Cambodia and Laos and Watergate
Gerald Ford: Supported Indonesia’s invasion and massacre in East Timor
Jimmy Carter: Started the Contras in Nicaragua and began screwing up in Iran
Ronald Reagan: Lebanon policy which led to Lebanese civil war, and Iran Contra Affair
George Bush: Aided Guatemala military’s killings of Mayan population
Bill Clinton: Sanctions that killed over 1M Iraqis, and Lewinsky
George W. Bush: Invading and occupying Iraq
Barack Obama: FBI and IRS oppression of political opponents and massive expansion of killings through drones