So last year I did a list of the best and worst presidents for President’s day. Not much has changed in a year. I still
won’t rank Obama until he’s not in office (but I’m sure we can guess which end of the spectrum he’s going to end up on). So this year I thought we would look at some of the people who wanted the office but didn’t get it.
Now most presidents are forgettable at best (at worst the majority are terrible)…and the also-rans are worse for the most part. I went over the list. Seldom were there truly horrific candidates who were actually worse than the people they ran against. And only a few times has there been someone of real caliber who lost to a terrible president. Most of the elections can be classified as a race between Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber. Most of the 1800’s is just semi-useless politicians for all parties, neither worthy of praise or dishonor, and just because there are bad presidents in the1900’s, the opposition didn’t always run particularly good challengers. Still let’s look at some of the people who could have been president.
I will cover the two groups, the bullets we dodged in not electing truly horrific candidates, and the great candidates we should have elected if we had had any brains.
(A quick disclaimer I tried going through all the history books I had and what reliable web resources I could get but the fact of the matter is that history tends to ignore the losers so I wouldn’t call this a definitive list because I’m sure there are issues and character traits I just couldn’t find out about. It’s partly why the majority of the people on this list are from the last century, I know more about them…the other reason is that as we have gotten more towards a mob based democracy we’ve gotten a more erratic quality of candidate.)
Okay so here’s how I’m judging things.
1. Everyone on this list has not served as President. Yes we dodged a major bullet in getting rid of dim Jimmy Carter the 2nd time but we made the stupid mistake of electing him the first time and conversely another term of Quincy Adams would have been nice, but he served so he doesn’t get on this list.
2. They must have been better for the greatest that “never were” (and conversely worse in the “dodged a bullet” crowd) the person who did get elected. Whiny, idiotic, cowardly, and useless RINO John McCain would have been a horrific president, but disturbingly an even worse jackass got in. Conversely Charles Pickney, Dewitt Clinton, and Rufus King would probably have made excellent presidents but they all lost to good presidents so it doesn’t really count.
3. They must have actually run in the general election. Rudy Giuliani and Steven Forbes would have made great Presidents, but they didn’t get the nomination…and I just can’t open myself up to looking at all the possible primary and convention candidates, it was hard enough doing the research I had to do.
4. They have to have stood at least a semi-serious shot. I’m not going to count third parties that never stood a chance. Yes Ron Paul would have let the world fall to evil and Ralph Nader would have been dumber and more corrupt than even Obama but we were never in any real danger.
So let’s start with the worst presidents that never were, the “Dear we Dogde A Bullet Candidate.”
4. Strom Thurmond and George Wallace. Different elections but they’re terrible for similar reasons, namely that they were racist pieces of offal. Yeah I know it was a bit of a stretch that these idiots could win, but they did get further than they should have. The unlikelihood of them actually getting elected is why they’re this far down, despite how bad their presidencies would have been. Want to wonder what having racist idiots who believe in using big government to further their beliefs that people should be divided against so as to gain even more power for themselves…actually that’s not to hard to imagine what their presidencies would have looked like. (O ring any bells?)
3. Walter Mondale.
“My opponent will raise your taxes. So will I.”
Walter you sweet talker, be still my heart with your soft words.
Now, Mondale, VP for anti-Semitic trash, ran on a platform in 1984 of trying to destroy what recovery had started after his former boss, Jimmy “There’s never been an Islamist terrorist I didn’t support” Carter had done a swell job of destroying the economy. Remember that economic growth in the 90’s?…that was to a great degree because of the Foundation Reagan created. You would have had none of that if Mondale had been President. Remember that Soviet Union collapse?…would have eventually happened just not for several years more and unknown world destruction.
2. Al Gore.
Think of Obama’s economics mixed with having issued an unconditional surrender on September 11th…that he would
have sold the country to the Islamists…like he’s done with other things. Al Gore is so abhorrently immoral and unfit for dealing with foreign policy issues if he had responded by doing something other than attempting full isolationism after 9/11 (only to find that would have done nothing to stop the attacks) is he would have responded with the usual liberal overkill of striking everything he can…idiot probably would have launched nukes before we even knew who to blame. Yes I am saying there is a good chance Gore could have started WWIII, I really think he’s that dumb.
1. Aaron Burr. The man was one vote away from being president. He later was tried (and acquitted) of attempting a coup against the US government. He may have been
acquitted because of weak evidence, but no one in their right mind thinks this man wasn’t up to something. And anyone who is willing to commit treason against the US, kill Alexander Hamilton, and be someone so despicable that Hamilton would vote for his arch-nemesis Jefferson over Hamilton…yeah, that man would probably have ended the union in its early days.
Dishonorable mentions: Bob Dole (RINO), William Jennings Bryan (Populist hack), anyone running against Lincoln who would have kicked the can down the road even further, John McCain (yeah the other guy is slightly worse, but let’s be honest here RINO McCain would have done everything Barry did but the GOP would get the blame).
Okay so that’s the pack of losers we should be glad didn’t get what they wanted…now onto the men we should weep that didn’t get.
4. John C. Fremont. 1856. The first Republican candidate to run for President. None of Lincoln’s ambivalence about freeing the slaves (also none of Lincoln’s manic-depression). Yeah he would have also caused a Civil War (and 4 years earlier) but I can’t believe he would have done things as ineptly as Lincoln (I know it’s an anathema to say such a thing but Lincoln couldn’t pick a general to save his life, couldn’t keep his cabinet or party under control, had no understanding of economics. It’s truly a miracle we survived.) I’ve looked over this and in a lot of ways I feel a Fremont presidency (in great part to circumstance out of his control) would have resulted in a Civil War that was significantly shorter, and probably less disastrous for the US.
3. Wendell Willkie. 1940. A pro-business, anti-isolationist, anti-New Deal candidate. I don’t agree with everything he believed in, but he was running against FDR, the man who sent a boat filled with Jews BACK to Germany to suffer and die. Minor difference with Willkie compared to evil incarnate…oh, tough call. A lot of Willkie support was hurt by the isolationist faction of the GOP (sounds vaguely familiar). To top it off the character in the great film State of the Union was loosely based on Willkie, which just make me like him more.
What would a Willkie presidency have looked like? Well we still would have entered the war. He probably would have supported defeating the Communists in China after WWII ended (the benefits of that should be obvious) and hey there’s a fair possibility that he would have backed Patton’s idea to arm the Germans and head back in to take out Stalin (so the possibility that there would be no Communist or Fascist government after WWII). He was in favor of a world government body, but as president he probably wouldn’t have let it become from its inception the den of evil that it was and is. And that’s just on the foreign front. He would likely have dismantled much, if not all of the New Deal apparatus which would mean that we would have been in an even stronger economic position before we entered WWII and a significantly stronger position after it. Oh and he probably would have pushed civil rights even earlier than we did and we wouldn’t have had to wait for the Republicans in the 1950’s and 1960’s to do it (although Dems would probably still have taken the credit).
Would he have been conservative for my tastes on an objective level? No. But he was certainly more conservative than FDR and would have made a much better president.
2. Barry Goldwater. It should be obvious all the benefits here. Better economy. No War on Poverty, no slow down of the growth of the middle class, no welfare and Medicaid and Medicare driving us to debt. A capitalist Vietnam. A Soviet Union and China weakened even earlier. Oh and to top it all off, no Nixon. There are no downsides here.
1. Mitt Romney. This should be obvious. We have a treasonous, idiotic, tyrannical jackass in the office right now who dares to say we should protect our diplomats and intelligence officers overseas when he is the one who left them to die. We are hurtling toward major economic problems and the growth of tyranny abroad. Romney would have brought about an economic transformation that would have made Reagan look weak. He would have held the line on tyrants overseas and driven back those who would impose their will by force. The nation and the world would have been a better place with Romney, it will be a worse place with Barry. I don’t think there has ever been a clearer choice in this nation where the people made the wrong choice. This will be viewed by history as one of the dumbest moments in history. And it pisses me off that those of us who aren’t idiots have to live through the incredibly bad choices of those of us who are.