The Most Controversial Presidents

Abraham Lincoln – If you want peace, prepare for war. While Abraham Lincoln has been lifted up and placed on a pedestal by most Americans today, in March of 1861 he was public enemy number one. Oh, and by the way, –Abraham Lincoln was a Republican! Gasp! When Lincoln was elected, thirteen (unlucky number) states seceded from the rest of the United States, and declared themselves the Confederate States of America. His election began the Civil War, –and despite the fact that 70% of Southern whites didn’t own slaves, they ended up fighting and dying for the rich man’s right to own the poor man.

Andrew Johnson – The first president ever to be impeached, Johnson was forcibly resigned after his acquittal. Johnson’s impeachment in 1868 grew from a steady stream of broken promises; allowing amnesty for slave owners, Confederate army officers and government officials, and denying former slaves financial support. Johnson was acquitted; only one vote away from being convicted.

Herbert Hoover – The president who believed in self-sufficiency and independence, –and who, many believe, started the Great Depression in 1929 after the stock market crashed. One economist noted that Hoover’s support of pro-labor policies “accounted for close to two-thirds of the drop in the nation’s gross domestic product over the two years that followed, causing what might otherwise have been a bad recession to slip into the Great Depression”.

Richard Nixon – Despite his famous quote “I’m not a crook”, Nixon is known as one of the biggest crooks in presidential history. Mostly because of Watergate, –and despite his revolutionary role in the civil rights arena during his term, today’s black society considers him as just another racist president of retro-America. Nixon’s successful abolition of segregation in public schools made him one of the most controversial presidents of the 20th century.

Barrack Obama – Our first black president is shaping up to be one of our most controversial as well. Winning the election from what would have been our first female president, Obama has outraged conservative Republicans and yet, he passed the health care reform bill and signed it into law, making history by keeping the insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, –which was a notoriously flexible term.