Donald Trump says the craziest things. Sometimes you don’t know whether to take him seriously or not as he attempts to make a run at the United States’ presidency. His run for the Republican nomination has left many people baffled and others intrigued as he shoots for the hip and sounds borderline crazy. But Trump has nothing on crazy when it comes to politics. He is neither original nor is he nearly the craziest of the bunch.
Politicians of all kinds have come through the world. Certainly, some have been crazy and others have been downright insane. History has shown us some glimpses of some leaders who make you scratch your head and wonder how they got into the position they ended up in. From mass murders to just plain crazy, politicians come in all different breeds. They come from every country on various continents. There are few limitations to what these world leaders can, and will, do.
For some reason, politicians gain power and believe they are above the laws they enact. In some cases, they use the power to make unilateral decisions that simply make no sense when they speak. As we listen to Donald Trump talk from the hip and spout random inflammatory commentary, we must note that there have been many before “The Donald” who have done it better for many more years. Sure, Trump is an entertainer, but the men on this list blazed a path of crazy the likes that Donald Trump could never possibly aspire to.
These are the 10 Crazy Leaders That Make Trump Look Normal.
10. Francois Duvalier – Voodoo Curse
Not to be confused with the rapper Eminem battled in the feature film 8 Mile, this “Papa Doc” was Francois Duvalier. He was President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. Duvalier, amongst other things, claimed to be the Voodoo Spirit of Death, Baron Samedi. When people in the country said the Lord’s Prayer, they were to insert Duvalier’s nickname, “Doc.” If that wasn’t crazy enough, the voodoo believer went a step further when Duvalier suffered a heart attack. His temporary successor, Clement Barbot, filled in. But when Duvalier was able to return, he demanded Barbot be arrested. The paranoid leader couldn’t find Barbot and believed he had turned into a black dog. So naturally, Duvalier ordered that all black dogs be put to death. In 1961, in the middle of his term, Duvalier called for new elections. Nobody understood why he wanted new elections before he received 100 per cent of the new vote. (I’d say it was fixed, but I don’t want voodoo going against me). Finally, before he passed away in 1971, he claimed he was solely responsible for killing John F. Kennedy with a voodoo curse. So yeah, there’s that.
9. Muammar Gaddafi – Damn The Swiss
Gaddafi was the dictator of Libya from 1969-2011. Gaddafi was “Prime Minister” first and then changed his title to “Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution” (rolls right off the tongue). Gaddafi has been noted for his interesting fashion sense, wearing traditional Islamic garb with accompanying modern sunglasses. He once claimed to his people that he had conquered the United States and banned all Italians from Libya due to their World War II occupation of the country many moons ago. He then went to Italy and gave a speech to women about why Europe should pay him 5 billion Euros. In another interesting move, Gaddafi admitted his hatred for Switzerland. Yes, he is not a fan of the chocolate capital of the world. He wrote a UN resolution, demanding Switzerland’s dissolution. Gaddafi’s other classics: big supporter of Somali Pirates; claimed Israel was responsible for JFK’s assassination’ called Barrack Obama “My Son” and we hear he enjoys peaceful walks on the beach.
8. Idi Amin – King of Scotland
The leader of Uganda from 1971-1979, Amin was so interesting as a character, they made the award-winning film The Last King of Scotland based on the strange ruler. Amin had numerous titles like “Conqueror of The British Empire” and “President for Life” amongst others. One curious decision (of many) he made was banning Asians from Uganda. Why you may ask? Because Amin was unable to marry the daughter of an important Asian family back in the day, so therefore no Asians allowes in Uganda! He also claimed to be the King of Scotland and strangely wrote love letters to Queen Elizabeth. He had many countrymen slaughtered during his time in charge. Clearly, he had issues and was overthrown. He fled to Libya and then to Saudi Arabia, dying there in 2003.
7. Ronald Reagan – Crazy Like A Fox
Ronald Reagan served as the American President from 1980-1988. Now, Reagan is championed as a Republican icon in the United States and may be a surprise to some on this list. Certainly, the U.S. can get made fun of quite a bit for electing a former actor as its leader in 1980. But Ronald Reagan turned out to be crazy brilliant in some very strange ways. See, the rest of the world was intimidated by this kind mannered man with a nice smile. The reason? They thought he was certifiable. It’s true. With his fingertips just a few inches away from launching nuclear weapons, the world feared what Reagan would do. “What planet is he living on?” President Mitterand of France reportedly asked Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Reagan. While Russia was at their most dangerous during the Cold War, Reagan enacted Star Wars, a defense program that had little chance of succeeding. The U.S. dumped so much money into the military, Russia felt compelled to follow suit. The end result: the U.S. bankrupted Russia. Reagan was also known to watch large amounts of TV and movies, foregoing his presidential duties on certain days. That makes Reagan crazy like a fox. In hindsight, Reagan’s memory issues and strange bursts of speech were the result of Alzheimer’s, a fact that came out well after his presidency.
6. Ne Win – Lover of Dolphins
Ne Win was the head of state of Burma from 1962 to 1981. Ne Win was a bit of a superstitious fellow. For one, he would cross bridges backwards to help fend off evil. And when he was feeling a bit old and rickety, he would bathe in dolphins’ blood because he believed it restored his youth and vitality (I think they have creams and oils for this now). Ne Win used consultation from soothsayers to help guide his leadership decisions. When he felt like his policies were becoming too leftist, the soothsayers advised him to change all the country’s roadways from left-side driving to right. His final act of idiocy was changing the denominations of the country’s currency to 15, 30, 45, and 90 kyats. He did this because the soothsayers said he would live to 90 if he did so. Needless to say, he was pushed out. He lived to be 91.
5. Francisco Macias Nguema – “Witchy” Man
Francisco Macias Nguema was President of Equatorial Guinea from 1968-1979. Nguema was a big fan of witch doctors. He believed so intently that he closed down the hospitals. He also thought it wise to ban the word “intellectual.” As if that wasn’t crazy enough, he banned all fishing in his country. Nguema changed the country’s national motto to “There is no other God than Macias Nguema.” He killed the head of the country’s national bank and then hid all the money from the National Treasury in his house. (To be fair, a lot of people do believe in hiding money under their mattress). And, to top it all off, he initiated a Christmas Day Massacre. He ordered 150 people killed on a football field as he played “Those Were The Days” over the loud speakers. Needless to say, the country had enough and he was overthrown by his nephew who had his uncle shot 101 times by firing squad.
4. Nicolae Ceausescu – The Roman Scepter
When you are a world leader, you want to look good. That is why Nicolae Ceausescu focused his reign in Romania in this manner. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965-1989. Holding power for over two decades allowed Ceausescu to enact some strange declarations. He first had a scepter made for his use and referred to himself as “The Genius of the Carpathians.” He insisted that his barely-literate wife be made part of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Royal Institute of Chemistry. If that wasn’t enough, he claimed that his son, Nicu, had published numerous volumes of works on Nuclear Physics (Spoiler alert. He didn’t.) To top it all off, the maniacal ego-driven Ceausescu built a palace so big, that today’s Romanian Parliament barely uses 30 per cent of it. Shockingly, he was overthrown and executed by revolutionaries along with his wife.
3. Saparmurat Niyazov – Calendar Man
Niyazov was President of Turkmenistan from 1990-2006. He apparently didn’t like the current calendar format and started naming months of the year after himself, his family and his books. His prowess for renaming things didn’t end there. He renamed bread after his mother. Then, to combat the beautiful Turkmenistan summers, he built a huge ice castle in the middle of the desert country. Apparently, Niyazov wasn’t a big fan of the pop and R&B movements, so he outlawed gold teeth, make-up and lip syncing at concerts. Niyazov was so enamored with his own writings; he demanded that his book be given equal status as the Quran in Mosques. Seeing himself in the mirror wasn’t enough, either. He changed all Turkmen currency to a picture of him. And if you wanted to have a job or get a driver’s license, you had to memorize Niyazov’s book. Clearly, Turkmenistan had some issues.
2. Mobutu Sese Seko – Rumble In The Jungle
Mobutu was the President of Zaire and famous for bringing “The Rumble in the Jungle” to Zaire, a super heavyweight fight that featured boxing greats Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974. The fight put the African country right on the map. Mobutu was also famous for having a firm hand as well as enacting strange rules. He enacted a law preventing the mention of anyone’s name but his own on television. The man who loved to wear leopard print hats outlawed anyone other than himself wearing them in Zaire. The evening news was required to begin telecasts with a scene of Mobutu descending from the heavens. Mobutu chose many names for himself, but a fan favorite was: “The all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and will to win, will go from contest to contest leaving fire in his wake.” Mobutu was also a tad crazy imprisoning anyone who did not have an African name. He was well known for torturing and killing many people in his country. He was overthrown in 1997 and died shortly after.
1. Kim Jong-il – Creator Of The Universe?
Last, but definitely not least, we get to Kim Jong-il. Jong took power of North Korea in 1998 when his father, Kim Sung passed away. Jong may look have looked like a rock star when he traveled because he brought his self-titled “Pleasure Squad” with him. The group of beautiful women were at his disposal as he moved around his country. Jong self-anointed himself as “Creator of the Universe.” Jong believed he had a supernatural birth (whatever the heck that means) and believed his country to be the most democratic, free and respected nation on earth. The crazy continues as Jong claimed he invented the hamburger and that he was the greatest golfer in the history of the sport. Children were taught in school that the now deceased dictator never poops. He also claimed that North Korea was a paradise. Sounds wonderful. I’ll book my vacation tomorrow!