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View Full Version : 20 Worst American Historical figures of all time


rcocean
08-15-2010, 02:50 PM
IMO of course. Inspired by Hawkins (http://rightwingnews.com/2010/08/conservative-bloggers-select-the-25-worst-figures-in-american-history/)and Althouse. (http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/08/that-20-worst-americans-of-all-time.html)

Unranked, numbers are there to make it easier to read:

01) Alexander Hamilton
02) Calhoun
03) Jefferson Davis
04) Benedict Arnold
05) The Rosenbergs
06) George Soros
07) Ayn Rand
08) Harry Hopkins
09) Earl Warren
10) Ted Kennedy
11) John Paul Stevens
12) LBJ
13) Harry Dexter White
14) Charles Sumner
15) Woodrow Wilson
16) Lillian Hellman
17) Howard Zinn
18) Jon Dewey
19) The Sulzberger Family
20) Felix Frankfurter

bjkeefe
08-15-2010, 02:57 PM
IMO of course. Inspired by Hawkins and Althouse.

That's an awfully dubious use of the word "inspired." But at least you didn't have Obama, Carter, and FDR ahead of Timothy McVeigh.

Don Zeko
08-15-2010, 03:02 PM
Hamilton at #1? Why?

rcocean
08-15-2010, 03:05 PM
The list is unranked, the numbers are there to make it easier for me keep track of 20.

Wonderment
08-15-2010, 03:20 PM
You know in your heart that the right-wing extremists would love to lump MLK and Cesar Chavez on the list with Hussein Obama the Kenyan Socialist and ahead of Timmy McVeigh, but they don't dare.

Don Zeko
08-15-2010, 03:36 PM
Well ok then. Why is Hamilton on this list at all? Do you think we would have remained an idyllic Jeffersonian republic of (slave-owning) yeoman farmers if it weren't for him?

rcocean
08-15-2010, 04:01 PM
Well ok then. Why is Hamilton on this list at all? Do you think we would have remained an idyllic Jeffersonian republic of (slave-owning) yeoman farmers if it weren't for him?

Hamilton was an anti-democracy advocate, and favored the rich and powerful over everyone else. He was also unscroupulous and personally ambitious. Here's his plan for the US Government, presented at the Constitiutional convention:

He (Hamilton) advocated virtually doing away with state sovereignty, noting that as long as there was power to be had in the states, people would aspire to acquire that power, to the detriment of the nation as a whole. His plan featured:

A bicameral legislature
The lower house, the Assembly, was elected by the people for three year terms
The upper house, the Senate, elected by electors chosen by the people, and with a life-term of service
An executive called the Governor, elected by electors and with a life-term of service
The Governor had an absolute veto over bills
A judiciary, with life-terms of service
State governors appointed by the national legislature
National veto power over any state legislation

I'm sure like you, he'd have been in favor of TARP and bailouts. And he would have loved Larry Kudlow.

Whatfur
08-15-2010, 04:07 PM
Hamilton was an anti-democracy advocate, and favored the rich and powerful over everyone else. He was also unscroupulous and personally ambitious. Here's his plan for the US Government, presented at the Constitiutional convention:



I'm sure like you, he'd have been in favor of TARP and bailouts. And he would have loved Larry Kudlow.

McCullough's "John Adams" paints a rather ugly picture of Hamilton too. Weasel.

Lyle
08-15-2010, 09:44 PM
What's wrong with you? MLK? Tell me your kidding.

Lyle
08-15-2010, 09:57 PM
I like Alexander Hamilton. He wrote a majority of the Federalist papers. Of course the Federal government must be stronger than the individual state governments, otherwise we'd have the Articles of Confederation and a weak nation.

His merchant, industrialist view of America also won out over Jefferson's agrarian vision of America, and is more or less the economic model America is still grounded on, and what has made America what it is today financially.

Aaron Burr should have been on rcocean's list, I think.

I also don't dislike John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Ayn Rand, George Soros, Earl Warren, LBJ, J.P. Stevens, Woody Wilson, the Sulzberger Family, Felix Frankfurter, or Charles Sumner. Others I don't have an opinion on or don't care for, like Howard Zinn... who I despise to a certain degree, but I don't think he would be one of the worst Americans, although he's done a great job in not educating a lot of folk.

Wonderment
08-15-2010, 10:21 PM
Why would I be kidding?

The hit list includes several people, like Ted Kennedy and Howard Zinn, who supported the civil rights struggle in the mid-20th century and none who opposed civil rights.

I don't see one modern segregationist on the list. No Strom Thurmond, no George Wallace, no Klansman, no Bull Connor, no Lester Maddox. Where's J. Edgar Hoover, who stalked and persecuted King as a "communist? Where's Joe McCarthy? Where's James Earl Ray?

Of course, I get the joke: Here's the list of liberals we right-wingers love to hate the most. But it's not funny, just lame and predictable.

Lyle
08-15-2010, 10:50 PM
The whole list deal is lame of course (the blogger's one, not the rcocean one). I'm with you on that... but you need to be slapped around if you think conservatives today actually hate MLK. Yes, Howard Zinn is a bit of punk... but liberals think Ayn Rand is a cunt. So what? Everybody has their Ann Althouses apparently (I love you Ann).

... but conservatives wanting to put MLK on some hate list... ridiculous (although he did hang out with at least one pinko commie, notably Bayard Rustin, among others... not really a bad thing, but they were or had been communists). Makes you kind of a bigot Wonderment. You got to pick on Mississippi and not California or Oregon. Somebody is prejudice(d).

Some of those men came around though, like Thurmond and Wallace, they did a Malcolm X you can say.

Wonderment
08-15-2010, 11:16 PM
Somebody is prejudice.

judiced, Lyle darling, not judice.

Lyle
08-15-2010, 11:20 PM
Ooooh... a typo or poor spelling. Oh my. Shoot me.


Prejudiced. Prejudiced. Prejudiced... x 100.

rcocean
08-16-2010, 12:21 AM
Why would I be kidding?

The hit list includes several people, like Ted Kennedy and Howard Zinn, who supported the civil rights struggle in the mid-20th century and none who opposed civil rights.


Yes, you're right, Howard Zinn (and Communist Party USA as a whole and as directed by Moscow) supported 'Civil Rights'** And traitors like the Rosenbergs and H.D. White were also in favor of civil rights - 1940s style.

So, no one's all bad. And I'm sure Jefferson Davis liked little puppies and walks on the beach and Calhoun was fun at parties and Benedict Arnold was a brave soldier who supported the Revolution (until he betrayed it).BTW, Wilson was in favor of Women's rights AND Segregation so what does that make him?

For the most part I tried to list political figures who did damage to the country. I'm not interested in listing the worst American criminals or trying to figure out which political assassin should be on the list.

**And, no I'm not saying people who supported Civil rights were Communists.

Whatfur
08-16-2010, 07:58 AM
I like Alexander Hamilton. He wrote a majority of the Federalist papers. Of course the Federal government must be stronger than the individual state governments, otherwise we'd have the Articles of Confederation and a weak nation.

His merchant, industrialist view of America also won out over Jefferson's agrarian vision of America, and is more or less the economic model America is still grounded on, and what has made America what it is today financially.


Hamilton was brilliant and tireless and can be admired for a number of things. His behind the scenes manuveurs (both politically and personally) pointed out by McCollough is what made him seem the vermin.

Ocean
08-16-2010, 10:06 AM
Ooooh... a typo or poor spelling. Oh my. Shoot me.


Prejudiced. Prejudiced. Prejudiced... x 100.

Good boy!

Whatfur
08-16-2010, 10:16 AM
Good boy!

Who you calling "boy"?

Lyle
08-16-2010, 10:17 AM
What excellent politician isn't vermin?

Whatfur
08-16-2010, 10:20 AM
What excellent politician isn't vermin?

See "The Cult" thread.

Ocean
08-16-2010, 10:31 AM
Who you calling "boy"?

Lyle. It's affectionate.

stephanie
08-16-2010, 11:12 AM
I like Alexander Hamilton.

Me too, although he was certainly flawed and I disagree with him on plenty (as is the case with any founding father).

He's also a True Conservative, IMO. Much more a real father of today's Republicans than Jefferson. If they'd be honest about it, instead of indulging in incoherent rhetoric, I'd respect them more. (In fact, way back in '00 when they went off on the "who's your favorite political philosopher thing" -- when Bush, of course, chose Jesus -- I promised to vote for anyone who said Hamilton and Madison. Safe promise. And, yeah, the term "philosopher" was used loosely.)

Lyle
08-16-2010, 08:34 PM
Yeah, I don't know enough about Hamilton personally to really compare and contrast to him other figures... except in his political ideas and successes.

I need to read that book I guess.

stephanie
08-17-2010, 11:05 AM
If you mean the McCullough, it's kind of biased toward Adams (though a good book). There's a good Hamilton bio that came out not long after by Ron Chernow. And, of course, millions of other founding fathers books, one of which may have been specifically references and which I missed.

rfrobison
08-17-2010, 11:24 AM
[Hamilton]'s also a True Conservative, IMO.

Indeed he was. The Federalist Papers were an intellectual tour de force (what little I've read of them) that make a compelling case for limited government and a strong separation of powers--not like those who claim the conservative mantle today and who see government as a ramrod for right wing populism.

Viva Alexander! Maybe some of my fellow righties don't like him because he was an immigrant from the West Indies...

He also was George Washinton's logistical genius, a man who helped him win the Revolutionary War. And he laid a solid (again unlike our leaders today) fiscal framework for a national government that welded 12 disparate colonies into a cohesive country.

Finally, he was an ardent abolitionist. In short, he's the sort of conservative I'd be proud to claim as a forebear--if I were vain enough to think I could lay hold of him.

Whatfur
08-17-2010, 12:41 PM
Yes McCollough is who I referred to earlier...and you are correct... although thoroughly researched much of what you will read is pulled from the prolific letter writing done by John and Abigail. Abigail loathed Hamiliton and thought him the Devil incarnate...there is a quote that sticks non-specifically in my mind that I will have to pull the book off the shelf for.

A few things I remember from the book were Hamilton's running around the country undermining Adams in the election as he feared Adams may actually beat Washington (I guess that would be '89/'90). When Adams was president, Hamilton obtained/had the ear of a couple of Adam's cabinet and would manipulate them. I will have to re-read some things again myself, but he also seemed the more brash one in the dual with Burr and I believe it was Hamilton's over-the-top, public insult that caused Burr to demand satisfaction. It was rumored that Hamliton shot high or something on purpose which was BS. He was also a part of the countries first sex based scandal having had to admit an affair with a married woman to make his denial of rigging some money deal with her husband, false. I will try to back these things up with specifics when I get home...didn't expect this thread to have this interest. Neither here nor there, and maybe a feather in his cap for achieving so much...he was also literally a bastard.

Don't get me wrong though, in spite of these things...a true American hero.

Whatfur
08-17-2010, 09:49 PM
Abigail on Hamilton (from David McCullough's "John Adams")

"Beware that spare Cassius has always occurred to be when I have seen that cock sparrow." "Oh, I have read his heart in his wicked eyes. The very devil is in them. They are lasciviousness itself"

On a quick re-summary of Hamilton in the book, Adams did think him a nut...and Hamiliton does come off a manipulative, controlling, glory hound. So after you read McCollough Adams you might want to read Chernow's account to even the scales and make you feel better about the man.

Truth be told neither Jefferson nor Franklin were painted all that favorably...by the mind of Adams and McCollough.

Lyle
08-17-2010, 10:09 PM
I think my parents have both of those recent books actually. I'm pretty sure the Adams book was a Christmas gift from me... so I could get hold of it later to read. :)

rcocean
08-17-2010, 10:29 PM
Abigail on Hamilton (from David McCullough's "John Adams")

"Beware that spare Cassius has always occurred to be when I have seen that cock sparrow." "Oh, I have read his heart in his wicked eyes. The very devil is in them. They are lasciviousness itself"

On a quick re-summary of Hamilton in the book, Adams did think him a nut...and Hamiliton does come off a manipulative, controlling, glory hound. So after you read McCollough Adams you might want to read Chernow's account to even the scales and make you feel better about the man.

Truth be told neither Jefferson nor Franklin were painted all that favorably...by the mind of Adams and McCollough.

True, but Adams and Jefferson both agreed on Hamilton - both disliked him. Here is Jefferson on the difference between Hamilton and Adams:

I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams giving it as his opinion, that, if some of its defects and abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; and that the correction of its vices would render it an impracticable government. And this you May be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen. Another incident took place on the same occasion, which will further delineate Mr. Hamilton's political principles. The room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton and Locke. Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them. He paused for some time: “The greatest man,” said he, “that ever lived, was Julius Caesar.” Mr. Adams was honest as a politician as well as a man; Hamilton honest as a man, but, as a politician, believing in the necessity of either force or corruption to govern men.
Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush (1811)

Whatfur
08-17-2010, 10:41 PM
I think my parents have both of those recent books actually. I'm pretty the Adams book was a Christmas gift from me... so I could get hold of it later to read. :)

You'll like it. Read his "Truman" also...appreciated Adams more.

Adams gave me joy when he was being shipped as a diplomat to Paris and when they met a heavily armed British Merchantman and they gave chase. The American Captain suggested to Adams that there might be "warm work" and suggested he go below...but later when after a couple cannon shots the British ship struck her colors (surrendered) and the captain found Adams armed and among his marines. Gotta love those founders.