Commentary: Let’s Remember, Some of Our Greatest Presidents Were Deeply Flawed People

The way too long 2016 Presidential race is well under way. There will be no shortage of negativity pointed at every serious candidate, pointing out his or her personality flaws and miscues. Let’s take a historical view of past Presidents who were effective, but had glaring flaws.

Thomas Jefferson expanded America through the Louisiana Purchase, yet was having sexual relations with one of his slaves. Is sex with someone who owns you consensual?

Abraham Lincoln bribed members of Congress to vote to emancipate slaves. He suffered from depression and his wife was mentally ill.

Franklin D. Roosevelt led America through the Great Depression and World War II while cheating on his wife.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, while a General responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany, was a married man having an affair with his secretary. He later created the interstate highway system while President.

John F. Kennedy prevented a nuclear war with Russia on at least two occasions, once over the Berlin wall and once over the Cuban missile crisis. He had a gorgeous wife, yet was a serial philanderer. That said, how many men would have turned down Marilyn Monroe?

Lyndon Johnson became worth millions of dollars while earning around three thousand dollars a month as a Congressman. He presided over the civil rights act in 1965 a mere 100 years after the civil war ended.

Jimmy Carter was very moral and honest. Can anyone name what he accomplished as President?

Ronald Reagan is considered an American hero by many. How were his relationships with his children from his first or second marriage?

Bill Clinton had the night life of an alley cat, but as President had the first budget surplus in ages.

If we are looking for leaders without baggage, we are eliminating many talented people from leadership. Flawed Presidents made North Dakota part of America, freed the slaves, beat the Nazis, prevented nuclear war, put men on the moon, created equal rights for all Americans and tore down the Berlin wall. To quote the Jew that Christians worship, “Let he amongst you without sin, cast the first stone.” Who showed up at his tomb, a prostitute or a Pharisee?

Jim Maxson

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