The inauguration of a president is a moment of great hope, representing a celebration of democracy and the peaceful transfer of powers. The elected president has the duty to respect the constitution’s aims, namely “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.”
But the inauguration of Donald Trump, the 45th US president, is not a normal moment. His ascent to this position is a moment of fear, of anxiety, even of terror, especially for immigrants. Because of his statements and his reactions before and during the election campaign, we could state that he has shown himself as not being fit to be president. His well-known ignorance, misogyny, bullying and dangerous nationalism do not make him worthy of the calling and the position of “the president of the world’s most powerful country.”
His press conference during which he threatened Mexico, urged the idea of building a border wall and uttered his intention of effectively beginning the process of killing Obamacare is a shame for the behavior of a president. But as outrageous as it might seem, he is not the worst president ever, neither in the US nor worldwide. Of course, you are entitled to wonder how it is possible. It is, because people have gone through different historical periods, being ruled by presidents who have taken measures whose impact can be felt even nowadays or whose actions are encrypted in the collective memories of us all.
20. Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez is the most important figure in recent Venezuelan history. Although his people might consider him a good president, for having reduced the poverty rates, the infant mortality rates and the unemployment during his time, on the international level he was seen as a dictator who has gradually imposed communism in his country. He might have been well-intended at the very beginning, but in time he turned into a megalomaniac and corrupted president. He is famous for his thirst for power, having re-written the Constitution to fit his needs.
19. Fidel Castro
A legendary revolutionary and orator, Castro made Cuba the first communist state in the western hemisphere under his reign, which was characterized by a ruthless suppression of freedom of expression. The government has limited the internet access, a measure taken to control both access to information and freedom of expression. It is considered Fidel Castro’s darkest legacy. Criticism of Castro and other government leaders was forbidden, therefore people who dared to utter their opinions risked short-terms arrests and ongoing harassment. Donald Trump considered him a tyrant, stating that “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
18. Kim Jong Il
Under him, North Korea was known to be having one of the most repressive governments in the world. And he is considered the most dangerous person on Earth. In 2006 he held an underground atomic test, followed by two others. He has started no war since, but we could state he’s got an obsession with nuclear weapons. Although North Korea’s economy has been shaken by the Cold War and the loss of trading partners, and the population suffered from poverty and famine, Kim Jong Il devoted nearly all of his country’s resources for building “the world’s fifth-largest military.”
17. Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Sudan’s long-serving ruler officially became a wanted person in 2009, when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. It was the first time the court has issued a warrant for a sitting head of state. Being asked about the conflict in Darfur, he stated: “Yes, there have been villages burned, but not to the extent you are talking about. People have been killed because there is war. It is not in the Sudanese culture or people of Darfur to rape. It doesn’t exist. We don’t have it.”
16. Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is probably the most blamed president in modern history and the political person who is the most criticized by the media. He is considered as ruling Syria in the most ruthless way. A civil war breakout in 2011 has caused the death of 190,000 people so far, but the figures change every day. This war shattered his nation. A chemical weapon attack has also been initiated and it killed more than 1,500 civilians. Therefore, millions of Syrians have left the country, being refugees all over the world. The UN WorldFood Program says that nearly 6 million Syrians now rely on its food assistance programs to survive. The United States implicated him in crimes against humanity and war crimes.
15. Saddam Hussein
Iraq has been famous due to Saddam Hussein. His presidency was marked by two costly wars with Iran. He had committed violation of the human rights on a regular basis. He publicly hanged Jews in Baghdad and invaded Kuwait for no reason, thus killing many of his own people. He has also tried to commit genocide of the Kurds. According to Iraqis, there has never been a man like Hussein. Because of his misdoings, the sun has not shown a single ray on land. Donald Trump gave the late Iraqi dictator some credit by stating that “He was a bad guy. Really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists.”
14. Muammar al-Gaddafi
Gaddafi was a politician and a revolutionary of Libya who made a point of praising and supporting anyone the Brits and the Americans didn’t approve of: The Soviet Union, Palestinian groups and the IRA, to name a few. He called himself “the brother leader,” “the king of kings of Africa” and “the leader of the revolution.” He ruled Libya with an iron fist, eliminating all political opposition and restricting his people’s lives. His corruption, military interference in Africa and human rights abuse turned a lot of the Libyan population against him, as he was accused of supporting terrorism.
13. Mao Zedong
A communist and a Chinese revolutionary, he was the one who founded the Republic of China. Despite being controversial, he is still widely considered a savior of the nation, but his social programs the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution are two of the most disastrous initiatives ever. The Great Leap Forward was a desperate effort to change China from a farming society to a modern , industrial one, in only 5 years. Needless to say that its results were catastrophic and it turned out to be the biggest episode of mass murder in the history of the world, as 45 million Chinese people died from famine between 1958 and 1962. The second project, the Cultural Revolution began as a campaign to purge academia, literature and the arts of revolutionary and anti-socialist ideas and sentiments that were threatening the genuine communist ideology. It resulted in the death of a million of people while tens of millions were beaten, humiliated and sent behind bars.
12. Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was the second king of the Belgians, who tried to create his own image as being a humanitarian and a good citizen of the world. In fact, he was exactly the opposite, a monster who has treated the Congo as a personal possession. He was name the Hitler of Congo, being the living incarnation of the evil who killed more than 10 million people in what is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although he has never set his foot in Congo, his presence could have been felt everywhere, by his private army. He enslaved his people, starved them; 10 million of Congolese were murdered, women repeatedly raped and thousands of indigenous people endured kidnapping and village burnings.
11. Mengistu Haile Mariam
A politician who presided over Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. His biggest claim to fame is the Ethiopian Red Terror, a campaign of repression led by the Derg (communist militia in Ethipia). Thousands of political opponents lost their lives, suspects were rounded up, some shot, others garrotted, their bodies being thrown on the streets. As if it was not enough, the family was charged a tax, called “the wasted bullet,” to get back the bodies of the persons they loved.
10. Sani Abacha
Nigeria’s military head of state, considered as the most successful coup plotter of all time, has been involved in all the successful coups in Nigeria’s history. He annulled the organs of state, banned political parties and dismantled the democratic structures. He is known as the man of “few words and deadly actions.” His administration was controversial, with lots of human rights abuses, shutting down the media in his country. And, the icing on the cake, Abacha and his family looted a total of £5 billion from the country’s coffers, therefore being ranked among the most corrupted leaders in history.
9. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
He has ruled the Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s richest country per capita for almost 40 years, being Africa’s longest serving leader. His regime has been accused of political murders, but he has made the headlines across the globe with his brutal acts, being even accused of cannibalism. He is said to eat his opponents’ testicles to boost his sexual prowess, as well as other organs, especially their brains, as a form of revenge. Therefore, he was named the most brutal dictator of modern time.
8. Mobutu Sese Seko
He ruled Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with brutality, corruption, and extreme case of narcissism. When he took power in a coup in 1965, he called himself the President for Life, and spent tens of millions of dollars on a grandiose coronation. In Congo, there are few people who have forgotten the kleptocracy and greed of his dictatorship. He is said to have stolen $5-billion and to have bought himself a yacht and luxurious villas in Europe, while both the educational and the health system were collapsing in the country.
7. Idi Amin Dada
Idi Amin Dada was the third President of Uganda and called himself the hero of Africa, but he will be remembered in history under the name of the Butcher of Uganda, since his rule was characterized by human rights abuses (he raped almost all the beautiful girls around his palace) and injustice of any kind: he murdered more than 500,000 Ugandans, among which many were opposition leaders and foreign investors. He has also expelled 60,000 Asians from the area, claiming that God told him to do so. Apparently, he has also been confirmed to have eaten human flesh.
6. Alassane Dramane Ouattara
Alassane Dramane Ouattara is an Ivory Coast politician who has been President of the Ivory Coast since 2010. Although, upon his installation in office, he has been seen as the Messiah who would save the Ivory Coast, the largest cacao producing country in Africa, but he has failed at all levels. Poverty is rampant, insecurity has reached its highest level ever while corruption has become a normal practice. He is called the black Hitler, his presidency being considered a bloody one. About 3,000 people were killed in fights opposing the loyalist forces.
5. José Eduardo dos Santos
This Angolan president has been in power since 1979. Angola is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer and also the world’s fourth-largest producer of rough diamonds. Yet, despite all these resources, 68% of the population is living below the poverty line, while his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, is the richest woman in Africa. He is accused of having suppressed the media when the media tried to dig into their suspicious financial dealings.
4. Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceausescu was the Communist dictator of the country called the Socialist Republic of Romania at that time. He ruled the country by the Securitate (Romanian militia), who oppressed the opponents of the regime, beating, sending them behind bars and even killing them. Ceausescu’s objective was to make people equal, therefore he took from the richest (but not from the members of the communist party) to give to the less fortunate. As unreal as it might sound, he has studied only four years in his life and worked as a shoemaker before becoming president. A quarter-century after his death, the country is still dealing with his legacy.
3. James Buchanan
The 15th American president, a practitioner of a “do nothing and maybe it will go away” style of leadership, he is the country’s only lifelong bachelor president. Despite this, he was not without a partner. He lived with William Rufus King, a former vice-president, for 10 years. He is considered to be the US’s first gay president. He had the misfortune of living in the 18th century, and this discovery was both shocking and disgusting for that time, but for today’s more tolerant America it would only mean headlines, and it wouldn’t be considered that scandalous, even for the president of the USA.
2. Warren G. Harding
People are not really proud of the 29th American president. He has been called America’s own Nero, because of his passion for gambling. There is a rumor that he has even gambled away antique White House china. He was a popular president during his administration, but his image eroded considerably following the reveal of several scandals, especially the memorable sex scandal that shocked the nation at that time. He is reported to have had an affair for 15 years with the wife of a friend, and their adulterous affair culminated with the birth of an illegitimate daughter. Despite all this, James Robenalt wrote, in the Washington Post that “if we weren’t so obsessed with Harding’s sex life, we’d realize he was a pretty god president. Then, why would Harding state ‘I am not fit for this office and should never have been here?'”
1. Bill Clinton
He likes women, and it cannot be denied! He has never been very good at hiding it. His affair with the then White House intern Monica Lewinsky is memorable and it has consumed the headlines. Not only did the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal damage the president’s career, but it also negatively impacted his administration, the nation, and the world, and it could have even hurt his wife’s campaign, years later. Of, course, we are inclined to wonder how a President’s private life can influence the way he does his job in business. Please remember that the President is one of the most important symbols of the country and therefore, he should be a good role model for the citizens. Clinton lost credibility and people’s respect, and not being able to trust the president leads to a lack of trust in himself, the election process, decisions being made, and the overall government.
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