Who are Presidents even more unpopular and caustic than Trump?

Bull-fucking-shit. I remember Bush very well – hell, I remember Nixon very well – and this orange piece of low-class, lowlife, gangster piece of SHIT is a class all by himself. Or “itself,” as he can hardly be considered human.

Not really in 2008, but I do remember people saying afte 9-11 that Bush would probably declare martial law, or cancel the elections, or something like that.

Just like the right thought Obama was going to declare Sharia law and take away everyone’s guns.

Oh, I am absolutely certain of it. For the simple reason that I don’t believe Trump will get us involved in a war, but I do think that a different president eventually will. If this future war goes well for us, then whatever president oversaw it will be appreciated. If it does not go well for us, if it spirals out of control the way the “War on Terror” did - or worse - there WILL be people saying, “at least Trump didn’t start a war.”

None are worse than Trump. The others mentioned at least had SOMETHING to give. Or had a hint of intelligence or experience. Trump has none of that. He only cares about himself. That’s it.

None More Black.

“There’s such a fine line between clever and stupid.”

Unpopularity and causticity are independent variables. Whatever unpopularity was tied to Jackson, Johnson, LBJ, and Carter was for varied reasons, and none of them were simply for being “caustic.”

Does it really need to be repeated, even in this same thread? Trump’s unpopularity arises from so many things–his causticity itself is the least of the problems. (Occasional and well-placed sarcasm can effectively make a a good point.) Trump is unpopular because he is petty, childish, narcissistic, shallow, ignorant, inept, shamelessly corrupt and self-serving–and most of all, useless.

It’s painfully obvious that we’ve never before elected a president who is so unworthy, and yet over and over again we try to convince ourselves that we didn’t, among other ways by making threads such as this.

There were people saying that George Washington was going to be President for life and slowly create a monarchy. I’d be willing to lay money that there has been a faction predicting that every President was going to cancel elections.

I just saw a thing a couple days ago claiming the Lincoln was resoundingly hated and was saved in history by being assassinated.

But look at the 1864 election. Won by 10% margin in the popular vote. An amazing near sweep in the electoral college. And this was less than a half year before he died.

But what about the South you say, they weren’t included. Well, duh. But OTOH both Louisiana and Tennessee went ahead with votes and Lincoln won both of them. (Both’s electoral votes eventually weren’t included.)

I’ve got two on my list that are worse than Trump, but am willing to consider that Trump might pass them. One of those is James Buchanan, who responsible for the Dred Scott decision and the worst president we’ve ever had in my book. The second worst is Andrew Johnson, who botched the immediate post Civil War era badly. Trump would have to do quite a bit worse to pass those two. On the other hand, he’d have to do quite a bit better to pass up the guys in 4th and 5th place (no, neither one is W, who I would place somewhere atound 15th to 20th worst).

I agree about Buchanan. Unlike him, Trump has not actually destroyed the country.

Malice, tempered by incompetence.

By here, do you mean the Straight Dope? I don’t remember anyone saying that during W. Bush’s terms and he was pretty unpopular here. Closest I can find is this thread.

Jesus, I sure hope not. I honest to god hope this is the low point. I really hope a big chunk of the electorate has their moment of the Trump presidency and realizes the enormity of how bad this is. Trump’s blasé nature about the shutdown over an unfeasible border wall may be the tipping point for many; stiffing employees at Christmas – who are mandated to work – is about the shittiest thing a president can do that doesn’t involve real violence. Already several fervent Trump supporters who are tangentially in my circle have quit posting Trump memes. They still post rather thoughtless conservative stuff, but the Trump ardor appears to have cooled. Let’s hope we’ve learned SOMETHING of a lesson.

Lamoral is right to a degree in that Trump has not yet started a war, but I am fearful that this may not be the case in the next two years with Mattis gone. Trump appointed him by accident (“Mad Dog Mattis” sounded pretty badass to him), but I am afraid that Mattis was the cool head in the room several times in the last two years. Now that he has retired, I fear that there is no one left in the Pentagon who can curb his petulance.


This cheapens all your posts on the subject. It seems juvenile, why do you incessantly do this?

Buchanan’s got to be the absolute worst because he really almost destroyed the nation. Johnson was horrible–given free reign he might have done something crazy like let the South re-secede–but at least his worst instincts were mitigated somewhat by the Republican Congress and later by the actions of Grant, who while far from perfect was much better than the caricature.

Trump is a very particular kind of bad, and potentially the worst. But remember that W Bush cratered to far worse approval ratings. There appears to be 42% of the the country for whom nothing can shake their faith in Orange Cheeto Jesus, and because of the nature of American politics and its electoral system, we might get Four More Years. A country get the leaders it deserves. Possibly this is what we we deserve.

As for the OP. I and others have pointed out presidents who were more unpopular, though, as also mentioned, it’s sort of impossible to know this before the 1930s. Caustic is also difficult to measure. I’m sure Obama, who famously projects a controlled and low-key demeanor, ripped plenty of aides a new one; just as I’m sure that genial uncle Ronald Reagan let it rip behind closed doors.

The difference with Trump is his willingness to let it all hang out in public–in a word, he’s un-presidential. This is a man who just criticized a 7 year old for believing in Santa Claus.

I think all the modern Presidents are at distinct disadvantage when it comes to answering this question. They have to deal with the constant news coverage that is broadcast coast-to-coast that a President in the 19th century woudn’t have. The general public today probably knows more about the day-to-day operations of Washington: DC than back then and it probably hurts the standing of, say, the last ten Presidents.

I find it reassuring that our nation has survived other bad presidents.

Trump’s time in office will eventually pass and he’ll be a footnote in the history books.

That’s doubtful; Johnson hated the Confederate power structure. He came from a poor background and he felt that the rich elite in the south exploited poor whites. So his aim after the war was to see power in the south transferred from the plantation owners to poor and middle class whites.

But Johnson also was a racist (which was not uncommon in his era). He did not want to see black people getting any share of the power being redistributed.

There is no guarantee, but I assume that’s probably correct. Hopefully we’ll learn from this and never sink so low again.