Donald Trump's Profound Contempt for the American Presidency Threatens Its Very Existence
Derringer go BOOM! And just like that, trump blows up the American presidency.
"I'll be so presidential ... you'll be bored." -- donald trump
If America has endured its fair share of truly fuk"uh, I mean, "screwed" up presidents, wouldn't it stand to reason that its had to put up with an equal share of screwed-up presidencies?
If so, then perhaps included on any list of ignoble guardians of the American Presidency would be Andrew Jackson who, in 1832, unleashed his presidential power through a threat to unleash the U.S. military on South Carolina if that state continued to put off paying a tariff on British imports.
Meanwhile, for anyone offended by America's sordid history of slavery, Millard Fillmore (like fellow "doughface" James Buchanan) is a fine addition to anyone's list of our nation's most thoroughly pernicious presidential calamities. Fillmore used his presidential power to make Texas a slave state, and granted Utah and New Mexico the option of permitting slave ownership as well. That specific exercise in the draconian use of presidential power resulted in the resignation of Fillmore's entire presidential cabinet.
These centuries-old examples of somewhat zany presidential decision-making not only highlight the importance of considering a president's mental fitness for office, but also illustrate the potential havoc that mental and/or emotional instability can wreak on an institution as longstanding and venerable as the American Presidency.
But if the focus is squarely on the pure physical part of the "fitness-for-office" equation, it might be worth examining the tenure of the nation's seventh president, William Henry Harrison who, as presidents go, may well rank among our most sickly. Unfortunately, the question of his fitness for office -- physical or otherwise -- is one that my never be answered. Harrison, who was dubbed the "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" candidate during his presidential campaign, died of pneumonia just 30 days after his inauguration in 1841.