Ask someone to give you an opinion regarding the status of politics and politicians today, and without fail you are most likely to get an angry tirade from that individual. It's not their fault, they have good reason to be angry; partisan gridlock, cynicism abound...it's more than enough to make the average individual disgusted and want to tune out.
In the midst of all this mess are of course the politicians, the ones we give authority to govern us, via voting. Some are well meaning and are simply undone by the system, others get disillusioned by that very same system and either quit or stop trying. And some are real SOB's to begin with and their sole aim in running for office has been to look out for number one. These type of elected officials are not a contemporary phenomenon and this article will list some of the most toxic individuals that call elected office their Raison d'être.
5 Spiro Agnew
When you hear the name Richard Nixon, you immediately think.....Watergate, bombing of Cambodia and other not-so-pleasant things. Although Nixon was an unpleasant individual, he pales in comparison to his second in command, Vice-President Spiro Agnew. Agnew took the idea of political corruption to a whole new level. During his fifth year in office, Agnew was investigated for taking bribes totaling more than $200,000 while he was holding office as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and Vice President of the United States. That's $200,000 dollars, in 1973, being worth a lot more today. Spiro Agnew was not just known for his bribery scandals and his hate filled speeches against his political opponents, he also holds the ignominy of being the only Vice President to resign due to corruption charges.
4 Michele Bachmann
Alright, there were plenty of other choices I could have made other than Michele Bachmann. So many Tea Party darlings to choose from; Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Allen West, Sarah Palin(Bachmann's long lost sister), but I decided on Michele Bachmann. She doesn't just epitomize the tin foil hat wearing crowd, she's mean-spirited to boot, thus earning a place in this article. So what does make Representative Bachmann so unpleasant? Oh well, let's see....she loves, just loves to deny rights to everyone that's not in her social category.....white, Christian(the fundamentalist kind) and straight.
Michele Bachmann has sponsored and co-sponsored many worthless bills in the House to repeal Same-Sex Marriage rights, consumer protection legislation(I mean, how dare people seek protection from Wall Street fat cats), and has consistently tried to make the loony argument that America was founded on Christian laws and values......her kind of selected Christian laws and values. And finally, a dishonorable mention...she loves to spout wild conspiracy theories about the incumbent President...several laden with racial undertones. For these assaults on the basic rights and dignity of American citizens, Michele Bachmann earns the title of an unpleasant politician.
3 Donald Rumsfeld
OK, here's another hard choice to make. The Neocon chicken-hawk crowd. Who to include? Who to leave out? Ultimately, I chose Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush. There were so many to choose, Dick Cheney of course, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, I. Scooter Libby etc. Maybe even the former President himself...but that would be too cliche. So I'm going with Rumy(Bush's nickname for Rumsfeld).
What makes him so unpleasant? Well, gee... let's see. How about being in the thick of the planning of a war under false pretenses? That's right, moments after the 9/11 attacks Rumsfeld was looking for a way, any way, to pin the blame on Saddam Hussein and invade Iraq. Legality be damned! This is the chicken-hawk who planned a war on the cheap, making the lives of our men and women in uniform more vulnerable. This is the haughty know it all who disregarded and even attacked the advice of career military officers regarding the number of troops needed for the war. This is the guy who infamously stated that "you go to war with the army you got, not the army you want." In other words, he was telling out troops: tough luck! Yeah, Don Rumsfeld the military "genius" who got America embroiled in a war of choice couldn't even plan it properly.
2 Silvio Berlusconi
Now we're delving into the foreign market of sleaze and unpleasantness. Our next guest on the list is none other than the former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi. Honestly I don't know what to make of this guy. Sometimes I think he got into politics just to see if he could do it, other times I think more conventionally, he's not part of the Mafia, he IS the Mafia. Far fetched? Yeah, maybe a little. Let's not forget though, this guy is practically the richest person in in Italy. He owns TV stations and luxurious soccer clubs like A.C. Milan, and he kept getting into the highest office in the land. There is a temptation there to think he might have just bought his way into office.
At the center of attention regarding numerous political scandals, most infamously the soliciting of sex from a minor, what finally did him in was tax fraud. Much alike his compatriot Al Capone, once kingpin of the Chicago underworld, Berlusconi's political demise was due to tax evasion. Unlike Capone, Berlusconi is powerful enough to avoid prison, and his sentence? Get this: unpaid community service. Now that is a fella who can get himself out of tough situations...even if he is sleazy and unpleasant.
1 Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Admittedly this guy is not that well known, and it might seem somewhat surprising as to why I would include him, let alone put him at number one. Well, this particular individual is beyond unpleasant; he is downright repulsive. Daniel Cohn-Bendit got his start in politics during the 1968 Student revolutions in France. Known as a firebrand Communist, he was nicknamed Dany le Rouge (French for "Danny the Red", because of both his politics and the color of his hair).
A thoroughly obnoxious person, Daniel Cohn-Bendit would go around the protest grounds trying to goad the police to attack him, so that he would later claim anti-semitism, owing to his Jewish background. Not content with such tactics and feeling that the revolution was not "radical" enough, he branched off and started his own group.
This is where it gets illegal...and creepy. Due to his hatred for "traditional authority" Cohn-Bendit wrote and published several books that alluded to the appeal of pedophilia. He was even on talk shows in the 1970's and 1980's making statements about how he was aroused by being undressed by five year olds, while working as a teacher in a communal type, "anti-authoritarian" kindergarten. When grilled about such statements today, Cohn-Bendit arrogantly dismisses the allegations and states he "was simply questioning the sexual mores of the time." Yeah, because the illegality of pedophilia has a statute of limitations. That, ladies and gentlemen is why Daniel Cohn-Bendit wins the prize for most unpleasant politician. The fact that he's a high ranking one in the decision body of the EU makes it all the more disturbing...giving someone like him authority.