29. Warren G. Harding: Have you heard about Warren G. Harding? He was a terrible man. People said that he invited the Grand Klegal of the Ku Klux Klan to the white house on his very first day, where he was sworn in as a member, the President of the United States kneeling before his racist over-mind.
What about the story that he died because his wife poisoned him, and the “heart attack” was a cover up? His wife apparently hated him so much by the time of his death that it seemed like it could actually have been possible.
There were rumors that he was part black–of Sub-Saharan Africa stock, some great-grandfather, and a distant outcast from his real family. All of these rumors were lies–or at least those three. They were planned and plotted by his political rivals. They were party-before-country men and they were trying to win back the white house in the next election. Let’s cause four years of shit until the other guy leaves in shame! Let’s blow up the whole fucking country just so long as we can win the next election!
These lies were used to justify other lies, and the whole culture not only lost its innocence, but lost its ability to wait. Lying could only speed things up!
Just remember: Warren G. Harding was a terrible man. There is no reason to not believe any of these rumors or conspiracy theories. It was possible, considering the sort of man that Harding was, to expect just about anything.
We might as well call him “a traitor” and get that one out of the way. Of course he was a traitor. He only cared about himself. Harding sold as much of America’s resources to Standard Oil and other goldmine concerns as he possibly could. He allowed corporate agendas a place at the policy table. He abandoned the American ideals of freedom and liberty in the name of jobs and money. He used fear and growing middle-class anger as tools to unlock the public treasury. He was going to make America in the image he had always seen it as a child.
America collapsed under Warren G. Harding. Just six years after his death, the stock market crashed. The world entered into its most recent ‘Great Depression.’ Harding wouldn’t have cared about this, had he lived. He always charged so much to be bribed that he could never fall under the weight of a credit loan.
Harding was a self-made man. He came from next-to-nothing white trash in Ohio, and became a successful newspaper publisher and made it all the way to President of the United States. Harding had no intention of ever being “the greatest of all Presidents.” He was only in it for the money.
Since Harding we have said that a lot about our presidents, from rich yet tragic FDR, through the romance of Kennedy and the grown-up years of Ronald Reagan. About Clinton. Bush (both of them!) About Barrack Hussein Obama. They all just wanted the money, we claim (Bush also really didn’t need it, but it was a fun game for the man while it lasted). We can make statements about serious concerns and generous policies and defend even the most horrendous actions and truths. Because we mated with their ideas. We had to believe. It was a true faith.
Harding, really being the first crooked asshole president like this in our nation’s history, will forever go down a disgrace.
Here, let’s bullet point a list of some of Harding’s finest moments:
- A terrible man, Warren G. Harding was the first newly elected president since the end of The Great War. Harding was all about getting back to making money like before the war, and selling every influence possible to industry just so long as an alias’ off-shore bank account gets paid.
- Harding was a slave to the bankers, to the real estate men and oil brokers his entire public life. The media empire Mr. Harding built up in Ohio had been influencing local public policy issues going back since before the Civil War. This business truly took off during the Spanish-American conflict, and from the outset of World War I, Harding had seen the richest time of his life.
- The former president’s worst defect was his personality. It wasn’t that he was stupid. He was not. He was a good looking man. He was a sharp speaker who had continuously been making a name for himself since he was very young. He was just . . . so goddamn arrogant. He was insufferable. All he ever did was talk about himself.
- Warren Harding had no real friends. He was seen through as a charlatan and a con-man–really little more than an insect on the rapidly spoiling world. He could certainly talk a good game, and he was capable of lying and getting away with it, so there was that too. He was a peddler of influence. He needed influencing.
- The people who were interested in Harding happened to be some of the most selfish and horrible people on earth. This was not limited to America, but to a bank of willing rivals seeking something a little “extra” to get over some extra legal humps.
- Harding was willing to do business with anyone: “What do you gentlemen ask of me?” They would show Warren Harding a number on a sheet of paper, something to be burned after a rapid handshake. And Warren would do whatever it is they asked. He had no loyalties. He literally cared about nothing.
- Warren was dishonest in every single aspect of his life, from cheating in school to cheating on his wife. (One of the mistresses claimed to have given birth to Harding’s child. He flatly denied this and used all his influence to crush the poor woman. In 2015 there was a DNA comparison made. She was Warren’s baby girl.) He didn’t seem capable of stopping himself. He was a slave to his lusts. He could not keep his hands off all the things he wanted.
- At the end, as Warren Harding had worn out his stay, finally dying of a heart attack two and a half years into his tenure, it was pretty much accepted that Harding was a criminal. But what could you do? There was always the next election.
- Warren G. Harding was not actually publicly disgraced until after his death. While he certainly stirred up his share of controversy throughout his life, after the prick died, his associates (never really his friends, because all of them seemed to hate him), would tear him to pieces. His family trashed him in public. They said a lot of things that were quoted in a lot of different places until they were given a new context and became the definition of corruption. This theme has repeated in nearly every single presidency since the “Teapot Dome Scandal” of the Harding Administration. This is a prime example of selling government favors to industry for cash. The oil industry paid Harding. Harding had done very well for himself.
- After Harding died, he was replaced by ‘Silent’ Calvin Coolidge, a puritanical, tight-faced thing, constantly fretting, always worried. He said very little and he nodded his head a lot and shuffled through papers and kept having to shove his glasses back upon the bridge of his very pointy nose. He was looked upon as a return to normal. Coolidge’s last year in office was 1929. How was America doing, anyway, as her massive supply of crops was drying up in the dust? What was America like on the dawn of the first complete wall street and industrial collapse? Thank you, President Coolidge. We’ll get to you next, motherfucker–
Warren G. Harding is ranked right near the bottom of presidential rankings lists, although it is important to note that he was still at least reasonably popular with his base until all the real scandals started coming out. By far the most interesting book on Harding you could hope to find is Frances Russell’s gossipy chronicle of sex scandals The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in his Times (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=0070543380&clickid=WdTSs6ze91mdxtbUd80fgWDHUkg25KTRyTqwUE0&cm_mmc=aff-_-ir-_-64613-_-77416&ref=imprad64613&afn_sr=impact). Anything else on Harding is either a story of scandal and corruption, or the flat biography of an unlikable man.
Warren G Harding went down in history, finally, as perhaps the worst failure as president than any man before him. It wasn’t even because he did not care, or that he wanted America to fall. He was indifferent to this. And because Warren Harding believed in nothing, for nothing will legacy reigns.