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DOES CHARACTER COUNT IN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE?
by Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Col., USA (Ret.), ©2016
(May 6, 2016) — Well, finally done with one of the worst men to ever occupy the Oval Office, Lyndon Johnson, a man totally lacking in character.
This brings us to the enigmatic and arrogant Richard Nixon. He had many good qualities but always acted as if he was being picked on. He was not the friendliest of our Presidents; in fact, even he and his wife, Pat were almost “cold” to each other. His administration brought U.S. involvement in Vietnam to an end. Deténte was achieved with the Soviets, but his whole presidency was shattered by his involvement in the Watergate incident. Nixon resigned in the face of certain impeachment and Gerald Ford became our 38th President. Other than the fact that Ford granted a presidential pardon to the undeserving Nixon, little of national import took place during his term in office. This is all too bad, since both Nixon and Ford were decent men in contrast with JFK and LBJ.
James Earl “Jimmy” Carter became our 39th and second-worst president on January 20, 1977. Very little good can be said about Carter. Even his mother, a godly, kind and generous lady and Peace Corps volunteer, made this famous comment: “When I look at all my children sometimes I say to myself, Lillian, you should have stayed a virgin.”
Jimmy Carter was a notorious phony. Since there were always photographers around, Carter would pretend to be the dutiful husband. He would carry two empty suitcases to “show” his masculinity and character. Ron Kessler in his book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” stated that Carter was the “least likeable of the presidents the Secret Service had to protect.” During Carter’s term, on November 4, 1979, rebellious Iranian students took more than 60 Americans hostages, held them in captivity for 444 days and released them on January 21, 1981, just hours after Ronald Reagan became President. Carter was a most inept leader during this hostage crisis.
Leadership was right down Ronald Reagan’s alley and he soon proved it. In concert with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War was ended, the Berlin Wall came down, as did taxes, and our economy was revived. Reagan conservatism became the standard. An attempt on Reagan’s life was made by one John Hinckley in an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster. Fortunately, Reagan, though gravely wounded, survived to serve two full terms, and he is considered to be one of the nation’s finest presidents. Reagan had been for many years a member of the Democratic Party. He ultimately found them to be not so democratic and switched parties. Reagan, in spite of his divorcing Jane Wyman after nine years of marriage, was a man of sterling character.
During the latter portion of his second term in office, Reagan’s mental state was deteriorating. Though he was found mentally and physically able to lead the nation, following his second term in office his condition worsened and in 1994 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away on June 5, 2004 at the age of 93.
President George H.W. Bush had been elected to the presidency as number 41. He was likely the most experienced individual to be elected president, He had served in numerous capacities in many administrations. He authorized Operation Desert Storm that ran Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait under the military leadership of “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf in 100 days. Second-guessing, it is reasonable to assume that had the coalition forces followed Hussein’s forces right into Baghdad, the Iraq War would not have been necessary. G.H.W. Bush had promised “No new taxes, read my lips.” He had to raise taxes and thus lost any chance of being reelected. He was also an honorable man of impeccable character.
That brings us now to one William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States and one of the best, according to the politicos. They noted that he had balanced the budget but failed to note that he had decimated the military to do so. It is disgusting to think that an individual with an intellect that led him to a Rhodes Scholarship and a meeting with John F. Kennedy pointed him to a political future. A law degree from Yale set his political life into motion in his home state of Arkansas rather than his skill as a saxophonist leading him into the raucous field of music. At least in the popular music field, the wild side of life is expected and even accepted. Clinton had a horrible reputation even before he became president. Numerous women complained about his groping them and several accused him of rape.
Hillary Rodham entered Yale Law School in the fall of 1969 and Bill Clinton in the fall of 1970. They soon began living together. After Bill graduated, Bill took Hillary on her first trip to Europe. He proposed; she refused. Nevertheless, they got together in Arkansas, married and proceeded to commit all sorts of bad acts, reportedly including drug smuggling, rape and crooked business deals (Whitewater).
He was, however, one of the worst in character, at least according to published reports of his cocaine and marijuana use and the reported misuse of the Arkansas State Police, particularly by Hillary who had and has a reputation for using extremely filthy language. She was also said to have shown intolerance toward those she considered beneath her and were her personal servants. “Slick Willie” could not refrain from illicit sexual escapades, and the Monica Lewinsky affair was his ultimate undoing. Clinton was the first sitting President to be impeached since another Democrat, Andrew Johnson, was impeached in 1868. The Senate came up one vote short of conviction and Johnson served out his term.
Clinton’s Senate trial also ended without a conviction but he is still considered by many as a molester and rapist. Hillary has an equally bad reputation of making women her victims.