History Repeats Itself: The Parallels Between Donald Trump And Warren G. Harding

History Repeats Itself: The Parallels Between Donald Trump And Warren G. Harding

Believe it or not, there was a Presidential Cabinet far more corrupt and incompetent than Trump's could ever hope to be.
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f you've been paying any attention to the news, you likely know that the country is in turmoil. Between repeated displays of incompetence/conflicts of interest in Trump's Cabinet picks, Kellyanne Conway's insistence that the Bowling Green Massacre actually kinda-sorta happened, the President's extreme executive orders, and WHPS Sean Sphincter Spicer's earnest, yet wildly ineffective, attempts at damage control, it feels like we're living in completely uncharted territory -- a Twilight Zone, if you will.

What if I told you, however, that this sort of bizarreness has some precedence in the Oval Office? That given the sordid history of one particular President, we have plenty reason to be worried about what the next four years will bring?

I'm, of course, talking about this guy:


That's Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), the 29th President of the United States. You probably haven't heard of him. If it weren't for the fact that I spent hours pouring over Judith St. George's So You Want to Be President as a kid to the point of memorization, I probably wouldn't have either. Here's how George describes him:

Ignoring the bit about being handsome, that description sounds mighty familiar...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

If you compare the trajectories between Harding and Trump from the very beginning, parallels begin to emerge. Much like Trump, Harding won over voters with an appeal to normalcy in the wake of a politically charged war and advances in civil rights for minorities, all the while deflecting accusations from critics deriding him as "the least qualified candidate since James Buchanan." Ultimately, Harding's efforts paid off with an easy landslide -- 60% of the popular vote -- and he was inaugurated on January 20, 1921. (This is inverse to Trump, who lost the popular vote and whose approval ratings are steadily declining as we speak...but that's an analysis for another day.)

Then there are the policy parallels...or lack thereof, seeing as how Harding and Trump were of entirely different mindsets. However, there is one instance Harding and Trump were in sync. In an era where anti-Semitism and fears of progressive socialism/communism ran rampant due to recent global conflicts (hmmm...), Harding's Congress passed the Per Centum Act of 1921 as a temporary means of halting immigration. In essence, the act restricted the number of immigrants from any given country to 3% of the total population of that given ethnic group already in the US (as of the 1910 census).

If that sounds needlessly complicated, that was likely the point: the way the law was phrased strategically targeted "undesirables" like East European Jews and Italians while allowing "desirable" groups like the Irish and Germans to enter unscathed.

Somehow, I feel like I've seen something similar before...

Oh. Right

There's also, of course, the matter of the Ohio Gang. Think of them as the Roaring '20s equivalent of Trump's cabinet: close allies/friends/relatives of the President with conflicting interests and/or no political experience who tended to place personal interests above the interests of the country. Collectively, they wreaked havoc with such transgressions as [deep breath]:

º Using political power to make backroom business deals with large oil conglomerates for personal gain

º Engaging in illegal activities while acting as the head of the Department of Justice

º Appointing oneself colonel while embezzling over $250 million in government funds from the Bureau of Veteran's Affairs

º Taking part in bribery, influence peddling, and lobbying while in office

º A whole host of general incompetence and laxness in dealing with pressing matters, resulting in the effectiveness of several departments being compromised completely

The parallels between what has happened and what many critics fear will happen are uncanny.

What I'm trying to get at here is that the wackiness in the White House right now isn't entirely unprecedented, and has the potential to get far, far worse. Harding was rather naive, easily manipulated, and mostly oblivious to the chaos in his Cabinet. Trump, on the other hand, seems to fairly complicit in how his cabinet is handling things, if not outright encouraging them. It's this key difference that will ultimately distinguish what happens in the Trump administration and what happened in Harding's, and the reason why I can only be so hopeful that things will resolve themselves neatly once he leaves office.

The Harding administration eroded trust in the government and laid the groundwork for the inevitable economic collapse at the end of the decade. One can only hope that Trump and co. will realize the grave responsibility they now possess and not let history repeat itself. Perhaps, even, Trump will demonstrate some humility and take a page out of Harding's playbook. As the latter himself so eloquently reflected, "I was not fit to be president, and never should have been."

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Crimes And Misdemeanors Of A Sitting President

Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is: Can this nation survive any more division?

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Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is; can this nation survive any more division? Is Nancy correct in her comment, "He's just not worth it?" Impeachment should not be used as a political tool to remove an unwanted government official out of office. Its purpose is to bring charges against a government official and once the official is impeached then the legislative body can impose judgment which could ultimately remove the official from office.

Moreover, in the past, this country has impeached two sitting presidents and neither ended with his removal. According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of impeaching is "(a) to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically: to charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. (b) to remove from office especially for misconduct, and (c) to bring an accusation against."

So how many cases of impeachment has the United States experienced with sitting presidents? According to www.History.com, eight U.S. presidents have faced impeachment, but with very different results. John Tyler was the first president to face impeachment proceedings in 1843. Representative John Botts of Virginia filed claimed Tyler conduct of the U.S. Treasury although the House of Representatives voted Botts' claim down.

Andrew Johnson was the second sitting president to have impeachment proceedings filed against him. In 1868 President Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and according to Congress, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. Even though Johnson was impeached the Senate would not confirm his removal from office and he finished his term.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, the twentieth century gave way for many calls for impeachment beginning with Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and ending with George H.W. Bush. None of these presidents were subjected to the process as the claims never had the votes to call for a hearing on the committees.

There were three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, however, he resigned in 1974 before any of the proceedings could take place. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Monica Lewinsky case. In Clinton's case, the Senate acquitted, and he finished his term in office just like Andrew Johnson.

President Trump is under scrutiny for some of the very reason's other presidents have had impeachment proceedings. He has proven to most American's that he is a danger to our democracy. Trump has snubbed his nose at the foreign emolument clause, creating an open way for foreign powers to pressure our president to stray from his constitutional obligation to the United States. The firing of the FBI Director James Comey and fulling admitting on national television to Lester Holt that he did because of "this Russia thing." This is "obstruction of justice," and other presidents have been charged with this article of impeachment. However, Nixon resigned, and Clinton was acquitted.

So why is he not worth it? First the truth, he won the election. Unless there is proven evidence that he colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election reversing this fact will drive this new faction of voters back to the polls to elect another under-qualified candidate. In addition, the Republican Party will use the impeachment as a platform in the upcoming election. Citing the Democrats stole the White House from them.

Second, is the nation ready for even one year of Mike Pence as president? His record as Governor of Indiana is the only evidence needed. He banned Syrian refugees, he reinstated mandatory minimum sentences and authored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. He doesn't take to Twitter, has the political knowledge, and is waiting his turn to strike like an incurable virus.

Third and even more disturbing is the Republican Party and their efforts to gloss over his crimes and misdemeanors and cite the economy, and jobs. Many won't vote against Trump because of his base; cannot afford to have to explain their decisions to his base voters in 2020. Most fear they will have to go through a primary. Even though if they removed Trump and put Pence in his place they could have during their two-year reign and most American's civil liberties would be a thing of the past.

The voters gave their voice in 2018 and Congress is working, unlike the previous Congress. They have a lot of work to do and spinning their wheels debating the crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president is counter-productive. History will repeat itself and he will be acquitted.

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