50 Worst Decisions In American Politics’ Last 50 Years (1974-2024)

dumb politics v2

When superstar musicians, Hollywood titans, and television power brokers make dumb decisions, the results are pretty negligible. We wind up with a free U2 album on our iPhone, an unfulfilling conclusion to the Godfather saga, or The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. 

But when politicians make dumb decisions, the results are quite a bit more serious. If the political ruling class had just a little more sense, we might live in a world where Al Gore was president, Sarah Palin never became a national figure, and Donald Trump remained nothing more than a crooked real estate developer and reality-show host. And since we’re headed into a wild political year where anything feels terrifyingly possible, we’ve assembled a list of the 50 dumbest political decisions of the past 50 years.

We honed it down to the most disastrous gaffes, the most ruinous career-destroying scandals, the bone-headed miscalculations that drove enitre administrations into a ditch. and the strategic blunders that turned hopeful candidates into national punchlines (what up, Ron DeSantis?).

Obviously a list like this has to come with some major caveats. We focused strictly on political blunders, not policy mistakes. That means we aren’t talking about bad legislation like the Defense of Marriage Act or the 1994 crime bill, ill-advised domestic initiatives like the War on Drugs, or foreign-policy fiascos like the invasion of Iraq. We’re instead cataloging stupid machinations, lies, triangulations, acts of hubris, campaign screwups, PR debacles, and epic personal failings.

When ranking our selections, we tried to balance out the sheer stupidity of the decision with the impact it had on the country. Obscure figures like Todd Akin and Rod Blagojevich made the list for saying catastrophically dumb things that shredded their reputations and careers forever, but we didn’t rank them very high because the impact of their stupidity wasn’t that widespread. The top spots were saved for monumentally moronic decisions that changed the course of history and truly defined our times

We also limited this list to the past five decades because this year marks the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation during Watergate — what better way to honor the greatest presidential self-own of all time. Watergate should’ve been a wake-up call for our political class to start taking the high road. (Jimmy Carter got elected in 1976 on that very idea.) Instead the opposite happened. The media got more cynical and troll-y, politicians got more craven and opportunistic, and the atmosphere in Washington, D.C., became increasingly combative, venal, and polarized. This got even worse when the 24-hour cable-news cycle and online-takedown era kicked in. In a sense, the past 50 years of U.S. history seems like one massive bad decision. Chances are, it’s only going to get worse during the next 50. 

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-lists/worst-decisions-american-politics-1974-2024-1234940313/

Recommended For You

About the Author: News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *