The Most Dangerous President in Modern American History

Written by mashiguo   
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 13:15


Chomsky is fond of referring to Trump as the most dangerous president in modern American history.  The first question is "When does modern American history begin?".  If we place the beginning in 2017, he may have a point.  At any time earlier we have to examine previous presidents and the dangers they initiated to evaluate the truth value of his assertion.  We will begin with Truman.

Enumeration of Presidents and some of their dangerous activities.


Dropped nuclear weapons on civilian populations for no war related reason, but rather solely too scare Stalin.  (We know all of this from his own diaries.

Founded the CIA

Started the cold war.

Started the Korean war.

Started the McCarthy era.

All of these have had major disastrous effects on the future development of America and many of the problems they engendered are still with us.


Started involvement in Vietnam.

Allowed the CIA to destroy Iran.


Brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, mere seconds away from total annihilation.  Literally everyone alive on the planet today owes their life to Soviet Submarine Officer Arkhipov who alone stopped nuclear war from beginning.  In Kennedy's defense, the whole affair was a result of the failed CIA invasion of Cuba and the Cold War, both remnants of Truman's administration.


His obstinate persistence in Vietnam shattered America for decades to come.


Vietnam policy was his brainchild beginning with his years as VP under Eisenhower.

The constitutional crisis which lead to his narrowly avoided impeachment was a danger barely averted.  Unfortunately...


Did very little except for one grotesque misguided gesture.  He pardoned Nixon, and thereby let Cheney and Rumsfeld slip through the fingers of Justice with Nixon.  There is little need to rehearse the catastrophes they wreaked upon US. Ford's pardon taught them two lessons 1) they could do anything and 2) they would never be prosecuted.


Did very little that was dangerous in the long run to US.  He suffered under the continued resentment of Iran for the CIA's actions 25 years earlier, and for the treasonous activities of the Reagan campaign in illegally negotiating with Iran during the election.


The greater part of Reagan's dangerous activities were economic. He turned the US from the richest nation on the planet to the world's largest debtor nation.  His economic advisor, Milton Friedman, argued that debt was good because it allowed US to enjoy the benefits of accumulation without having to pay for it until later. Ask the millennial generation how that is working out now.

G.H.W. Bush

Iraq war I.  A nasty and catastrophic propaganda play to open up his "new world order" meant to be an empire run by a few psychopaths  who had co-opted the American government at the expense of the rest of the country and the world.  The war was a fraud from start to finish.  Bush had given Saddam permission to invade Kuwait, and then feigned shock at his having done so.  When no one seemed to care about it, he hired actors to cry on cue about non-existent incubator babies.  The entire operation was worthy of an ex CIA director.


Again - mostly economic devastation, starting with the North American Free Trade Agreement. Other dangerous acts included repeal of Glass Steagle, and the telecommunications act. Two financial meltdowns later and a grotesquely corrupt media environment show how we are still suffering from those bad decisions.

W. Bush

How can one surpass the trifecta of

Iran war/Afghanistan war

Torture and other war crimes

The patriot Act

Did we mention 9/11?


Turned 2 wars into 7 after winning a Nobel peace prize.

Suspended Habeas Corpus

Bailed out criminal bankers without prosecuting them, leading the way to a repeat and a worse depression than most of us have ever known.

Refused to prosecute war crimes, thus confirming the presumptions of Cheney and Rumsfeld.  They would never be prosecuted and could get away with anything.

Opened up Africa-com where special ops military are involved in numerous places on secret missions.

Created Russia-gate out of whole cloth.  Spied on Trump's campaign ( a crimes which led to Nixon's impeachment ) and continued those activities after the election.

Introduced the total surveillance state.


Severely ramping up tensions with China

Inaction in response to COVID


The most dangerous president of modern American History can only be considered to be Truman.  He set the stage for an endless series of conflicts which simply did not exist prior to his administration.  Many of the problems he engendered are now in later generations:  CIA-Mossadeq-Iran Hostage Crisis-Iran Iraq war-the Present tensions with Iran.    The cold war - The Cuban Missile Crisis- The phony Russia-phobic associated with Hillary's loss of the Presidency.  Etc.

The second most dangerous president can only be Kennedy.  If it were not for a single Soviet Submarine Officer we would all be dead.  The only mitigating factor was the severity of the situation inherited from Truman's catastrophic choices: nuclear weapons, the CIA, and the cold war.

The third most dangerous president has to be G.W. Bush.  He began the longest and most unwinnable wars in American History from which no President has the courage to extricate US. He committed war crimes and cannot even leave the country without fear of arrest.  He passed the patriot act.  He fiddled all summer long while the World Trade Center was preparing to burn.

Fourth place would have to go to Obama.  Suspending Habeas Corpus, launching numerous wars and drone wars and increasing operations in Africa and the South China Sea are all openings for total catastrophe to be wreaked upon US in the future.  Using the intelligence agencies for personal purposes is a criminal act in and of itself. The refusal to prosecute war criminals effectively normalizes such activities in the future.

Trump is an easily unlikable human being.  Disgusting would be an adjective that could easily be applied to him without much in the way of controversion.  Even those who support him often do so for his disgusting qualities.  So be it. However dangerous is another matter entirely.  He is unpredictable, that is true.  His instincts are entirely selfish and absolutely the opposite of ideological in any way shape or form.  The upshot is that there is literally next to nothing he is willing to go to the mat for.

Trump makes weak gestures in the direction of fascism, for example, federal troops in Portland, but folds as soon as he sees it affects his reputation.  He does stupid things like assassinating an Iranian general in a foreign country, but he has no understanding or will to push any farther than a dramatic gesture.  It is hard to imagine that the idea was even his to begin with. Trump's scaling up of tensions with China has the possibility of leading to a global catastrophe.

Trump's inaction with respect to COVID is indeed a major flaw.  Much of the problem was not directly sourced from him. Many problems with supply chains stem from the neo-liberal economy developing since the time of Reagan. Problems come from the horrendous method of rationing medical care which is endemic to US.  And certainly much of the problem stems from Trump's inability to conceive of an appropriate response.  The one time in his presidency when he had a chance to demonstrate strength he failed miserably.  As a result of all of the above, more people have died from Covid than from all of the US wars in the past century excepting WW II. It is not clear that anyone else would have been able to buck the inertia of the failed American health care system, but it is clear that Trump made no attempt to do so.

For his bungled Covid response and the potential problems of his China policy Trump has earned the fifth place among most dangerous modern American presidents.  If the China problems spiral out of control, he will certainly move up on the list. For right now it seems pretty clear to everyone that his mouthing off is just more of his typical buffoonery.

For those who crave a return to normalcy, just what is that normalcy?  Obama at number 4? Bush at number 3?  There ain't no turning back.  We have to work our way forward from here. The only thing more positive about the past was press coverage.  The unbroken lines of disasters that led to Trump offer no hope of solace or reversal in their reenactments. They only lead back to here or to worse. your social media marketing partner
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