1. James Buchanan (15th President)- Buchanan makes many people’s list for one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. He took almost no action in uniting the country over the issue of slavery. He also did not do anything about the Southern States seceding leading up to the Civil War. He had a very successful resume leading up to his Presidency: becoming a lawyer, being in the state legislature and U.S. Congress. With that being said, he was a let down in office.
Martin Van Buren (8th President): Van Buren became President during a hard time, but did nothing about it to fix it. In his first year of office, banks closed, inflation and unemployment grew. The Treaty of New Echota was ratified during his Presidency, leading to the removal of the Cherokee Indians.
Herbert Hoover (31st President): Hoover had many problems, but he came across mean and uncaring. Many blame him for the Great Depression. He lowered taxes to create more jobs, but he resisted any type of relief efforts. He also signed a tariff act that fueled international trade wars, which made the depression even worse.
George W. Bush (43rd President): When Bush took office, he inherited a $236 billion surplus and by the end of his Presidency he had a deficit. He cut taxes, mainly for the wealthy, which made our deficit go up even higher. He approved wars that were not necessary. He mismanaged the Hurricane Katrina response. Bush failed to supervise people who he trusted to run his administration, leading to his downfall.
Donald Trump (45th President): Trump is one of the most under qualified Presidents that this country has ever seen. He has split our country apart in many ways. His mishandling of the coronavirus, calling it a hoax, has led to many lives lost that could have been saved if he would have acted sooner. He almost no foreign policy experience, leading to several issues that would take me all day to explain. He attacks people by belittling them and is not a good role model for our country.
2. James Buchanan
President Buchanan was personally opposed to slavery but believed the Constitution allowed it. Therefore, he declined to do anything about the issue. Instead, in 1857, he supported the Dred Scott decision, which declared that slaves were not people or citizens but rather chattels or private property. When seven Southern states seceded after Lincoln’s victory in 1860, Buchanan stood by, did nothing, and simply waited for his term to end. When Lincoln arrived at the White House to take over the reins of government on March 4, 1861, Buchanan dashed back to his house in Pennsylvania where he spent lots of time defending himself from accusations that his refusal to take action helped cause the Civil War.
President 2: Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency only because President Lincoln was assassinated. He is widely considered one of the worst U.S. presidents. Johnson’s Reconstruction plan for the Southern states after the Civil War was lenient for the ex-Confederate States but did not help the newly freed slaves at all. In 1866, Johnson vetoed a Civil Rights Bill passed by Congress, an action that pushed federal legislators to a point where the House of Representatives impeached him for violating the Tenure of Office Act. He escaped conviction in the Senate by one vote. In his 1867 message to Congress, Johnson said, “Blacks have less capacity for government than any other race of people and when left alone show a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism.” Had it been solely up to Johnson, African Americans would have never gained citizenship or received the benefit of civil freedoms.
President 3: Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was a Northern Democrat with a Southern psyche. He laid the foundation for the Civil War by helping Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas ram through the proslavery Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The act overturned the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allowed Kansas to become a slave state if the settlers voted for it. Border thugs from the slave state of Missouri then swiftly crossed into Kansas to set up a proslavery government there, despite the strong objections of antislavery Kansans and Northerners. Pierce imbibed heavily as he ignored the conflict ripping Kansas apart. He did not run for reelection in 1856.
President 4: Donald Trump
Far worse is the human carnage. We already have more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Trump claimed on Feb. 26 that the outbreak would soon be “down to close to zero.” Now he argues that if the death toll is 100,000 to 200,000, higher than the U.S. fatalities in all our wars combined since 1945, it will be proof that he’s done “a very good job.” No, it will be a sign that he is failing, because the coronavirus is the most foreseeable catastrophe in U.S. history. The warnings about the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks were obvious only in retrospect. This time, it did not require any top-secret intelligence to see what was coming. The alarm was sounded in January by experts in the media and by leading Democrats including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden. Government officials were delivering similar warnings directly to Trump.
President 5: George W. Bush
Indifferent to detail, lacking in curiosity, and manifesting a strong penchant to delegate authority, George W. Bush failed to supervise key underlings with whom he entrusted the operations of his administration. As a result, and because his minions let him down, Bush didn’t modify his strategy in Iraq to take into account the insurrection there; he didn’t intervene to provide U.S. forces in the Middle East with needed vehicular and body armor which Congress eventually did; and he defended a sloppy federal response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. When Bush took office in 2001, he inherited a $236 billion budget surplus. When Bush ended his term, he left a $1.2 trillion deficit, a shortfall that was due in large part to his reluctance to control federal spending. Bush did not dispose of the “axis of evil,” a term he first used in his 2002 State of the Union Address. Also, after finding goodness in Vladimir Putin’s soul, Bush did little to improve relations with Russia. On the plus side, after September 11, 2001, there were no more attacks on Americans in the United States during Bush’s presidential watch.