American Tyrants: Four Presidents That Failed Us

Photo credit: House Divided Project (Flickr)

We’ve had some good presidents, and we’ve had some not-so-good presidents. These days, unfortunately, our position on either side of the political aisle convinces us that we can tell the difference.

There’s little question that President Obama has courted controversy for most of his time in office so far, the most recent example being his executive order on immigration. While we’re still awaiting the verdict of history, and I myself am stuck somewhere between calling him a tyrant and naming him a groundbreaker, I thought it might be time to get a little bit of perspective.

Which past presidents became famous for their administration’s failures? I’m not talking about the occasional scandal here and there; no, I’m talking about the U.S. presidents who left the whole country reeling with their terrifically bad decisions.

Below are four U.S. presidents who could be considered the worst of the worst. My essential criteria for determining this are simple:

  1. Their damage affected multiple facets of American society.
  2. They helped to destabilize trust in the U.S. government.
  3. The effects of their decisions lasted into the next administration.

Let’s get started, shall we?

#1: Jimmy Carter

No matter your party affiliation, paying obscene gas prices (and waiting in quarter-mile, bumper-to-bumper lines to fill up your DeLorean) was probably not one of your top-five favorite things in the world if you had a set of wheels in the 80’s. Needless to say, this certainly didn’t do any favors for the U.S. economy–and things got bad. Very, very bad.

But how did we end up in a prolonged Oil Crisis in the first place? And how did the oil investment playbook change as a result? Well, price controls tend to lead to shortages, especially on commodities. Gasoline is one such commodity. Carter, apparently, was not very good with things like economics, which is probably why he implemented the Marx Method of fixing a capitalist economy.

Then again, he also had issues with things like foreign policy, too (which was another reason why OPEC wasn’t doing us any favors on oil). Essentially, the Iranian Revolution could not have happened without Carter’s facepalm-worthy decisions – and to make a long story short, the Iranians decided to take 52 American hostages.

Say what you will about Reagan; at least he managed to get those Americans back on our home turf.

#2: James Buchanan

With some presidents, you have to wonder if they were just bad at their jobs or they were implementing the Joker method of fixing the world by watching it burn. With James Buchanan, I’m thinking he just ran for the presidency because he wanted to live in a white house. Either way, the U.S. Civil War began on his watch: When Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, his reply went something like this: “Do what you want.” Then he promptly abandoned the fort.

He also reacted largely the same way when an economic depression hit the country, called the Panic of 1857. Did he blunder by making some bad decisions in an attempt to fix it? Actually, no. In fact, he took virtually no action at all (or maybe he played a round of golf in Wheatland). Basically, the entire U.S. was going broke; and half the country was ready to split.

And Buchanan just did not want to be bothered by those things. He did, however, want to buy Cuba – and he was willing to mug Spain for it if they weren’t in the mood to sell.

Lucky for us, he practically gave his job to the next guy.

#3: Richard Nixon

Was he a crook?

According to him, the answer was no. As for the rest of the country, the answer was a clear and resounding: Yes, you’re a crook, Mr. Nixon. In fact, whenever you hear about any modern political scandal with the suffix -gate, it’s because of Nixon.

The Watergate office complex was the Democratic National Committee headquarters, and Nixon wasn’t fond of the Dems because, well, he was a Republican. So he decided to bug them, NSA-style, and then lie about it to the American people. Well, it didn’t take long for us to find out; but he quit before we could fire him. If only we had an Edward Snowden back then.

Basically, Richard Nixon might have single-handedly caused an entire generation of Americans to become politically complacent and completely distrustful of government. It even galvanized Congress into amending the Freedom of Information Act. The Watergate scandal is basically why we don’t have much faith in our fearless leaders anymore — and I can’t say I blame us, after realizing that the president was up to his neck in corruption.

#4: Lyndon B. Johnson

Johnson apologists may sometimes claim that his only true failure was the unrealistic scope of his ambitions. The truth is much simpler: Johnson was a failure because he had no idea how to follow through on his vision.

In 1964, Johnson delivered a speech about what he liked to call the “Great Society.” It laid out his plans for turning America into a place where we were free from poverty, racial injustice, and even boredom. It sounded like a fine plan, to be sure; but like those of too many politicians, it had little basis in reality – and was ultimately a failure.

His very obvious lack of direction also informed his disastrous handling of the Vietnam War; his plan began and ended with a vacuous mission statement about defeating the communists, but commenced without any obvious endgame in mind.

Arguably his worst failing, though, was his outright corruption. Johnson and his wife, thanks to close ties with then-FCC chairman Clifford Durr, managed to amass a personal fortune thanks to their television monopoly in Austin, Texas. What began as a simple purchase of station KTBC by Lady Bird Johnson in 1943 became instead one of the most egregious examples of an American politician using his position for financial gain.

The Takeaways

With the U.S. still reeling from some seriously stressful mid-term elections, it might be time to readdress the role of the average American citizen in government. It’s never been clearer that many of us don’t see past the red or blue or campaign banners when we pull the lever in the voting booth; we vote with our hearts instead of our heads, and we end up getting losers like these four gentlemen above for no other reason than because they’re not the other guy.

Barack Obama’s place in presidential history remains uncertain; but one has to admire his pioneering spirit, even if it’s legally ambiguous and perhaps ill-timed. To revisit the immigration issue for a moment, I do mourn for a country where the president takes action on his own; but considering how many other immigration bills have been in a holding pattern for years, it’s time something was done.

No matter what you have to say about our president, one thing is clear: for examples of truly failed presidencies, we need only look backward in history – and sometimes it’s not that far back at all.

Photo credit: House Divided Project (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Pipeline Politics–Why The Democrats Will Lose

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Talk about being in the middle of Middle America.

This week, I’m in bitterly cold Nebraska — Omaha, to be exact — visiting with my wife Colleen’s family.

On Tuesday night, I watched the Die-hard Democrats in the Senate stop a bill to force approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry oil from Canada and Montana and North Dakota to the refineries of New Orleans.

The proposed $8 billion shortcut across Nebraska and other Red States is a big deal.

It makes economic and environmental sense for their citizens and for all Americans. But of course, that hasn’t stopped the pipeline from becoming a political cause celebre for liberal Democrats and their narrow interest groups.

President Obama, Senator Reid, and their whacko pals in the environmental lobby have managed to delay the Keystone XL’s approval for six years.

But they better celebrate Tuesday night’s buzzer beater while they can. Their one-vote “victory” in the Senate is the last time they’ll be able to get away with their screw-you attitude toward voters.

The Keystone XL will get the green light as soon as the Republicans who were elected in the midterm elections start running things in Congress next year.

Watching the Die-hard Democrats in the Senate vote against the pipeline was creepy. It reminded me of the spiteful thing President Carter did in 1980 when he was blown out of office by my father.

As the 1980 election returns were coming in from Back East, my father was taking a shower and getting ready to go to dinner in L.A.

Polls were still open in the rest of the country, but Jimmy Carter already could see the landslide coming. At 6:01 Pacific time, he called my father to concede.

Giving up so soon — and thereby discouraging many Democrat voters in the western time zones from going to the polls — made the Reagan avalanche even worse.

Republicans took control of the Senate, 53-46, picking up 12 seats.

Carter knew what he was doing. He was an outsider who never worked well with his party’s Washington insiders.

Insisting on conceding so early, despite advice from his advisers and the pleas of party leaders like Tip O’Neill, was Carter’s way of punishing the Democrats who ran Washington.

I think Senate Democrats were acting like Jimmy Carter on Tuesday when they defeated the pipeline vote.

It’s inevitable that the Keystone XL pipeline will be built. Harry Reid and his gang of obstructionists know that.

But they voted against the pipeline anyway, even ignoring the small chance that a pro-Keystone vote might have saved Mary Landrieu’s Senate seat in Louisiana.

Democrats flat didn’t care. The pipeline vote was their final act of spite. It was a last-minute kick in the teeth of Red State voters for electing so many Republicans to Congress in the midterms.

I believe it was President Obama who famously said to Eric Cantor after re-winning the White House in 2012 that “elections have consequences.”

Obviously, you were right, Mr. President.

But seeing Democrat Senators stick it to the American electorate on the pipeline, and watching you desecrate the Constitution to push your immigration agenda, has made me realize something.

When you and the Democrats win an election, America suffers. And when you guys don’t win an election, America suffers just as much.

For the last six years, voters have been playing in a lose-lose game. But for the next two years, things will be different. Because, thank God, elections do matter.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Jimmy Carter: Government Shouldn’t Force Churches To Marry Gay Couples

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Former President Jimmy Carter took a break from building houses for Habitat for Humanity in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to talk with the local ABC-affiliate, WFAA-8. President Carter was asked about his support for gay marriage, considering his Baptist faith.

“I don’t think that the government ought ever to have the right to tell a church to marry people if the church doesn’t want to. I’m a Baptist and the congregation of our church will decide whether we’ll have a man or woman as pastor, and whether we’ll marry gay people or not. And if my church votes not to marry gay people, we wouldn’t do it. And I wouldn’t want them to.”

The 39th President of the United States was asked if he thinks that marriage licenses for gay couples will ever be issued nationwide, or if the states will handle it separately.

“I’m kind of inclined to let the states decide individually. And now, as you see, more and more states are deciding on gay marriages every year. But, if Texas doesn’t want to have gay marriages, then I think that’s a right for Texas people to decide.”

The former President just turned 90 and has helped Habitat for Humanity build 3,800 houses.

 

h/t Daily Signal

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Eye-Opening: This Is Why Liberal Policies Could Be Destroying America

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Whether it be the failure of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, Jimmy Carter blaming Americans for the economic problems he created, or Barack Obama blaming Bush for everything – even bad weather, liberal policies just don’t work and create an environment that fosters authoritarianism.  Liberal social welfare policies have created a vast dependent sector of the American population that thrives on handouts from the government and is efficient at searching them out.  In the long run, these policies always self destruct, leading their proponents to attempt to force their beliefs on a population.  There is a reason the biggest mass murderers in history were leftists: ie. Mao, Stalin.

The Great Society has been an expensive, historic failure.  We have thrown trillions of dollars at the poor in this country, only to move them from poverty to dependency.  The sovereign debt of the United States is out of control with no end in sight as the federal government will not deal with the issue.  The African American family has been destroyed.  Most black children grow up without fathers in the household.  Instead of having a solid role model to emulate, they end up robbing 7-11s and getting into gang violence.  Black on black crime is skyrocketing – with 116 shootings in Chicago in black neighborhoods during the July 4th weekend alone.  These are the consequences of liberalism.

American foreign policy is a disaster, just as it was under Carter.  Many Americans do not remember the Iranian hostage crisis.  They do not remember the bodies of dead Americans being drug through the streets of Tehran from the failed hostage rescue mission.  They do not remember Soviet tanks rolling through Afghanistan.  They do, however, remember how Barack Obama squandered the gains made during Bush’s prosecution of the Iraq War.  Americans see the Islamic State being stood-up in the Middle East.  They see Obama ridiculed by Putin and others as they harm our allies and our own national security interests around the world by invading countries and making America look foolish.  The United States is in much more danger of a devastating terrorist attack now than when Barack Obama took office.  Our allies feel betrayed and our enemies feel emboldened.  Liberal policies of appeasement and unilateral disarmament don’t work and lead to global destabilization.

When liberal policies fail, as they always do, the Left begins to first lie about the outcome and blame the conservative opposition.  They begin to call conservatives names and accuse them of all kinds of vile behavior.  They begin to break the law as they believe the end justifies the means to implement their agenda.  We are seeing this in the multiple scandals coming out of this White House.  Eventually they begin to try and force their beliefs on their subjects through force and intimidation.  I believe we are entering that phase in America with the IRS and other federal agencies doing the Democrats’ bidding and intimidating the opposition.  This administration needs to be removed from power as soon as possible and a complete house cleaning needs to be done by the incoming administration.

I hope whomever the next president is will have the stomach to do what is needed to restore the America we all knew and loved.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

WATCH: Congressman Manages To Lambaste Two Presidents With One Joke

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks managed to lambaste two presidents with one joke.

During a conversation with Fox News host Eric Shawn, Franks, while speaking about the current rampage in Islamic states and the state of Iraq and Syria, uttered:

“And, if you just grant me diplomatic immunity here, Eric, I don’t mean to be harsh; but somewhere, on a peanut farm in south Georgia, Jimmy Carter must be breathing an enormous sigh of relief because he knows now that he will not go down in history as the most inept president we have ever had.”

In an era where the people have grown accustomed to politicians lying, it is refreshing to know that someone is stepping up and willing to tell the truth.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom