Trump isn’t the worst

It’s coming up on the two-year anniversary of President Trump’s election, and people are angrier than ever.

For nearly two years, people have proclaimed Trump to be the worst thing to happen to America since the invention of saturated fats. Everyone, from experts to the common man, has called him the worst president in the history of this country.

Hunter Diehl | Argonaut

Yet, all it takes is a cursory look through American history to see Trump to be the worst we’ve ever had, he’d really have to up his game.

True, he isn’t the prettiest pig we’ve brought to market, and he has done his fair share of damage. His attacks on the news media, immigrants and Alec Baldwin will no doubt leave scars on the minds of the American public that will take years to heal.

However, we have had presidents that make Trump look simple when it comes to the amount of pain and damage they caused. You don’t even have to look farther than the last century to see some real killers.

About 70 years ago we had a man in the Oval Office that signed off on the fiery, hydrogen-filled deaths of about 129,000 people at the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan.  His name was Harry Truman and he must have really meant it when he said the buck stops with him when he chose to kill mostly civilians in 1945.

Going back further, we can see more examples of real runners in the race for worst president. In the early 1800s, the American citizenry chose to elect Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson to the highest office in the land. He was popular at the time because, during the War of 1812, he successfully beat back the British at the Battle of New Orleans.

What a lot of people at the time didn’t know, or care to acknowledge, was that a fair number of Jackson’s troops were Native Americans from the Choctaw Nation.

It was with the help of Native Americans that Jackson became famous enough to make a run for president. But, that must have slipped his mind when he signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act forced the relocation of several tribes, including the Choctaw, from their ancestral lands to the west of the Mississippi River.

Natives remember this relocation as the Trail of Tears. Many tribes lost thousands of members to the cold and hunger. The Choctaw alone suffered about 2,500 losses.

Even Barack Obama, the golden boy of modern presidents, did some shady things during his time as president. Just three days into his presidency, Obama ordered two drone strikes on Waziristan, Pakistan, that killed as many as 20 civilians. Two terms and 540 drone strikes later, Obama left the White House with his fair share of death behind him.

It’s depressing historical context, but we have had worse than Donald Trump as president. Even the ones we seem to generally think of as good, are accessories to some horrible realities. Thankfully, the founding fathers gave us a way to make it through Trump’s presidency just like how we made it through the other rough presidencies — we just wait it out.

Trump only has two years left as boss before its time to pick a new one. Those who created our government made sure that no one person can do too much damage, because they won’t have the time for it. Each president gets four years, eight if they’re lucky before they have to give back the keys to the White House.

We just need to stay calm, keep an eye on Trump and wait two more years so that we can elect another person to rage war and destruction on our behalf.

Hunter Diehl can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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