by Bob Sparrow
This week we will, or already have, decided who will be our next president, or perhaps more accurately, decided who we want to keep from being our next president. In a desperate move to help us all to feel better about our new president-elect, I thought I would look at the ‘character’ of some of our past presidents, who had the huge advantage of not living in this era of ‘social media’ where everyone carries a camera and bad news travels at the warp speed of the Internet.
- As it turns out our founding fathers weren’t without their flaws, both Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, in fact Jefferson was more than a groper, he fathered six children with slave, Sally Hemings – that would have been a little difficult to keep off the TMZ network today!
- Lincoln, who is often revered as our best president, seemed to think of himself above the law as he single-handedly suspended habeas corpus (the principle that someone under arrest can’t be held for long without being brought before a judge), shut down opposition newspapers and jailed their editors, conspired to establish a
military government in Washington DC and used military force to keep the Maryland legislature from meeting so that it couldn’t vote on secession. I suspect that WikiLeaks would have had a field day with old ‘Honest Abe’.
- Teddy Roosevelt’s lust was of a different sort, he lusted for war. His imperialism and racism can be summed up with the following quote from him, “All the great masterful races have been fighting races,” he claimed. To fellow Anglo-Saxons, he said, “It is wholly impossible to avoid conflicts with the weaker races,” and added, “The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages.” I’m guessing that Hitler was a big fan of Teddy.
OK, that takes care of Mt. Rushmore, but there is plenty more . . .
- Benjamin Franklin was careless with secretive documents that ended up in the hands of the enemy – a British
secret agent. But he swore that those documents only contained information about how he was going to fly a kite to invent electricity and Chelsea’s wedding.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was known to lie a lot (What? A politician lying!!!) He was in terrible health, which he kept from the public, he was said to have liked Stalin too much and he had Soviet spies in his cabinet and didn’t really care, family members enriched themselves by his being in office, the New Deal actually slowed the recovery from the Great Depression and, among other things, he was accused of trying to seize control of the Supreme Court. Gosh, he could easily get elected today!
- The list of sleazy presidents is too long for this blog, but here’s a few of the all-stars:
- John Tyler – fathered 15 children with two different wives and had several more with his slaves; in November 1836 he became the Whig’s party president ‘erect’.
- Andrew Jackson invited prostitutes to the White House Christmas party – I’m sure he just wanted to make sure that there were plenty of Ho Ho Hos to go around!
While Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton are considered modern history’s best-know presidential horn-dogs, Lyndon Johnson, who called his naughty bits ‘Jumbo’, was worse than either of them. Both Grover Cleveland and Warren Harding were also known to have a number of dalliances while in the ‘oval orifice’.
- It is well known that FDR and Eisenhower (at least while a general in the army if not while president) had mistresses while serving in ‘pubic’ life.
There’s more, lots more, but I think you get the point. So while you may think that we’ve reached new lows with this year’s two candidates, it’s actually just politics as usual, so we’ll be just fine. There now, don’t you feel better? Yeah, me neither!
Even if this didn’t make you feel better, why not SHARE it, maybe it will help a friend with pre or post-election blues.