The Most Delusional U.S. Presidents Ever

U.S. presidents are supposed to provide strong, steady leadership using facts, logic, and rationale. While these qualities are what the American people hope their president will provide, it isn’t always the case.

The country has dealt with some doozies. Presidents who made rash or uninformed decisions or leaders who were downright criminal. How delusional are some presidents in history and who seems to be the most out of touch? The top ranking president is actually considered to be delusional.

15. Franklin Pierce

President Franklin Pierce

Pierce | National Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images 

Pierce seemed so focused on expanding the country, he considered adding more slave states, according to US News and World Report. He also wanted to acquire Cuba to be a slave state. When referring to Pierce, Theodore Roosevelt wrote he was, “a servile tool of men worse than himself … ever ready to do any work the slavery leaders set him.”

Next: He didn’t see the spread of slavery coming.

14. Millard Fillmore

President Millard Fillmore

Fillmore | National Archive/Newsmakers

Fillmore’s hand in the Compromise of 1850 allowed slavery to spread into Texas and a vote in Utah and New Mexico. He also represented policies that were in direct contradiction to his popular predecessor, Zachary Taylor.

Next: He turned his back on the people who supported him.

13. John Tyler

John Tyler portrait

Tyler | The White House Historical Association

After becoming president, Tyler abandoned his adopted party, according to US News and World Report. A person from his party, the Whigs, said he brought back, “the condemned and repudiated doctrines and practices of the worst days of Jackson’s rule.”

Next: This president tried to change the makeup of the country.

12. Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding

Harding | Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons 

This president was delusional enough to think the U.S. should have no immigrants, according to The Huffington Post. Harding thought the country would be normal without any “Catholics, Jews, unions, and political radicals.” He also gave rich people tax breaks and was involved in the Teapot Dome Scandal that allowed for the exchange of oil for loans.

Next: This president didn’t think talking was important.

11. Calvin Coolidge

Calvin J Coolidge

Coolidge | General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

Presidents need to be effective communicators, however Calvin Coolidge didn’t believe in this quality, according to The Huffington Post. In fact, his nickname was “Silent Cal” because he wouldn’t speak in public. He also refused to stay an execution for two men when evidence came out that would have exonerated them.

Next: Just because you are a trained engineer doesn’t mean you’ll make a good president.

10. James Carter

President Jimmy Carter

Carter | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Carter was completely delusional about a number of policies including energy and Iran, according to The Huffington Post. His weak energy policy led to a crisis during his presidency and he also handled the Iran hostage crisis horribly. He was trained as an engineer and had no policy experience.

Next: His ignorance made a health crisis much worse.

9. Ronald Reagan

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan | Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images

Although some citizens consider Reagan to be one of the greats, others would disagree. One of his biggest delusions was ignoring the HIV/AIDs outbreak, which became a global crisis. Reagan’s administration refused to acknowledge and take the crisis seriously, Vox reports.

Next: This president was quite the talker.

8. William Henry Harrison

William H Harrison

Harrison | Hulton Archive/Getty Images 

Harrison’s ability to talk at length is almost longer than his presidency. One of the shortest presidencies on record, Harrison holds the record for delivering the longest inaugural addresses, according to US News and World Report. He ended up coming down with pneumonia 30 days later, which ended his term.

Next: He made this economic crisis much worse.

7. Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover in a coat and tie

Hoover | Central Press/Getty Images

Hoover’s presidency began when the Great Depression occurred, according to US News and World Report. He also signed into law a tariff act that made international trade a nightmare. This move only worsened the Depression.

Next: This president may have been able to stop the Civil War.

6. James Buchanan

James Buchanan

Buchanan | Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons 

Buchanan may be responsible for the Civil War. When the country divided, he did nothing, allowing states in the South to secede, according to History.com.

Next: He may love golf more than Trump.

5. William Howard Taft

William Taft

Taft | Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Taft was known to be so obsessed with golf, Theodore Roosevelt begged him to give it up because he was known as the president who played a rich man’s game, according to The Washington Post. His delusion, despite receiving hundreds of letters accusing him of elitism, was that golf was not only for the rich and he insisted on continuing. He was also a notoriously bad golfer too.

Next: This president was a walking contradiction.

4. Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson American general and the 7th President of the United States

Jackson | Hulton Archive/Getty Images 

Jackson notoriously campaigned against Native Americans, signing the Indian Removal Act as president and leading the charge against the Creeks and Seminoles, according to History.com. What makes him delusional is he also adopted two Native American infants, which clearly contradicts his racist tendencies.

Next: He thought he could get away with a crime.

3. Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Nixon | Keystone Features / Stringer/Getty Images 

Nixon thought no one would figure out he was behind the illegal break-in at Democrat headquarters inside the Watergate Hotel, Huffington Post reports. So he lied about his involvement and tried to hide evidence.

Next: This president read a children’s book while the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil occurred. 

2. George W. Bush

george w bush speaks

Bush | Mannie Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

Bush flatly ignored intelligence warnings that the 9/11 attacks were imminent and started a war in Iraq based on a gut instinct that they had weapons of mass destruction, according to The Huffington Post. The economy also crumbled under Bush as he allowed mass predatory lending practices to bring Americans to their knees.

Next: Some think he may actually be delusional.

1. Donald Trump

Donald Trump at Republican debate

Donald Trump | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Trump doesn’t believe in climate change, calls white nationalists “fine people” and claims to be the leader for the forgotten man and woman, just to name a few. Trump’s voracious appetite for Twitter where he tweets impulsive comments has both the national and global community wondering if he’s lucid. Many believe he may be suffering from dementia, according to Newsweek.

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