Here is a list of U.S. presidents who were bullies or at least had an overbearing nature. To reach the highest office in the land takes something out of the ordinary but perhaps these presidents overdid it. You might notice that this list is dominated by presidents from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Mass broadcasting has lead to the end of the era of self-restraint.
1. Richard Nixon. He almost certainly perpetuated the Watergate break-in in order to derail his Democratic party candidates. He definitely targeted his political opponents by trying to get the I.R.S. to perform tax audits on twenty people who were on his very own ‘’Enemies List’’. It was in 1950 that he earned the moniker ‘’Tricky Dicky’’ when he was running for the United States Senate against Helen Douglas.
2. Bill Clinton. The 42nd president was the master of smear tactics whenever he was confronted by evidence of his numerous extra-marital affairs. This was most infamously demonstrated when the Monica Lewinsky affair broke. This was by no means his only affair. Apart from that he would use the presidency to give patronage to his friends and supporter and then attack his opponents when he faced with criticism for doing this in the first place. After he retired from the presidency he had his law license suspended for 5 years and was involved with Jeffrey Epstein.
3. Donald Trump. The current president certainly embraces his image of being a bully but this all stems from his former career as a property developer in New York. He has regularly roasted his opponents down the years, even turning the Al Smith charity dinner into a verbal slugfest with Hilary Clinton. Perhaps his most notorious way of bullying is through Twitter. He mocked Senator Paul’s looks and he berated Senator McCain for getting captured in the Vietnam War.
4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He might be remembered for being the architect of victory in W.W.2, but he certainly had a bullying side to his character. He used his power as president to threaten radio stations with the removal of their licenses to broadcast if they didn’t follow his line. He even gave a journalist a dunce hat and ordered him to stand in the corner. He actually handed a Nazi Iron Cross to a reporter and asked him to hand it on to a journalist who had been critical of his administration. Then there was the imprisoning of American citizens who were of Japanese origin.
5. John Adams. Despite the recent T.V. series that tried to rescue his image, the 2nd president’s reputation as an outstanding bully continues to linger. The Aliens and Seditions Act was passed in 1798 and was used to jail his opponents such as Congressman Matthew Lyon for four months. His crime: criticizing the president. Anthony Haswell, a printer, served two months. David Brown, a political protester was sentenced to eighteen months jail.
6. Lyndon Johnson. The president who defined the Vietnam War just couldn’t help himself. He would physically manhandle politicians until he persuaded them to vote his way. He brazenly stole elections, such as the 1948 Senate election which earned him the moniker ‘’Landslide Johnson’’. Perhaps his most unfortunate photo op was when he picked a dog up by the ears, thus cementing his image for all time as a man who acted first and then never thought about what he did.