The Essentials: Presidential Badassery
There are few things that I love more than reading up on American history and marveling at just how hardcore some of our Commanders in Chief used to be. Nowadays the office of the President spends more time golfing than handing out beat downs. So in this installment of The Essentials, I’ll take a look at a few of our most Badass American Presidents and if you stick around you just might learn a thing or two.
- Ronald Reagan
First off is my man Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s history as a movie star and Governor of California is very well known but many forget that Reagan had served in the Army during WW2. Because of his poor eyesight he wasn’t able to go and fight oversees but he still traveled the country in support of the war effort. Also, following the war, Reagan was an FBI informant helping catch Soviet/Communist sympathizers in the government. He had a pretty sweet one-liner that he dropped a lot, “there you go again,” and was shot in an assassination attempt. Reagan was one tough S.O.B. who kicked the Soviets ass and helped to force the U.S.S. R. into trash.
Ronald Balboa: He fought against the spread of Communism and dealt a knockout blow to the USSR.
- George H. W. Bush
GHWB is one president who is remembered more fondly now than when he was in office. He only served one term as POTUS so he didn’t have the opportunity to accomplish as much as others but he continues to be one of the most respected old dudes around. Bush 41 served in WW2 and was shot down by the Japanese over the Pacific. After making it back following the war he became the director of the CIA and the Vice President to the aforementioned badass Ronald Reagan.
Jack H.W. Ryan: He was director of the CIA and kicked some major ass during the end of the Cold War.
- John F. Kennedy
JFK is most known for being the young, good looking hip Prez who sent a guy to the moon, banged Marilyn Monroe, and got shot cruisin’ in his convertible, but what many people don’t know is that he was a freakin’ war hero. He won a shit-ton of medals after he and his crew got sunk and he swam from island to island dragging dudes around until they were rescued. Later, during his time in office he would form the Navy SEALS and was responsible for the continuation of the Army Green Berets. Awesome.
John F. Rambo: He was a war hero and he did more to fight back the spread of Communist Russia than any man in history.
- George Washington
The man that was almost King George I, George Washington, makes my list of Presidential badasses and if you had to ask why allow me to explain amigo. The guy pretty much turned the Virginia Regiment into an elite fighting force; he basically started the Seven Years War; although he lost more battles than he won, he was able to rip victory from the jaws of defeat against the most powerful nation in the world during the American Revolution. Washington is also the only POTUS to lead troops onto the battlefield during the Whiskey Rebellion. Oh, and lest I forget, his dying words included the following “I die hard.” John McClane would be proud.
George Washington McClane: His actions pretty much coined the phrase “you may have won the battle, but not the war.” He took a lot of beatings on the battlefield but would not be stopped. Also, he is generally considered one of the greatest ever. He also said “I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.”
- Zachary Taylor
Taylor is the least well-known President to make this list and that is partially because he died only a couple of years into his first term but also because he was usually off doing super badass things before he was elected. Taylor was responsible for more American Indian deaths then smallpox. He fought against some of the biggest and baddest of the Indian tribes before heading down to Mexico and taking care of business in the Mexican War. Known as “Old Rough and Ready” by his men, he fought out of some serious scrapes down south of the border before delivering some serious ass-whoopings on Santa Anna and his Mexican Army. Kind of a bummer that Taylor would eventually die from some bad food he ate at a party.
Zachary Mills: He had a very specific set of skills. Those skills included killing tons of Indians and Mexicans but they didn’t include digesting food properly cause he died from some rotten grub at a party.
- Andrew Jackson
Jackson was a murdering son of a bitch! He was a veteran of the Indian Wars, fought during the War of 1812, and led the defense of New Orleans against the British which is one of the most lopsided battles in American history. His victory made him a national hero but he also had a lot of enemies. He dueled at the drop of a hat and upon his death he still had like 4 bullets in his body. He made some unpopular decisions when he forced the Cherokee tribe west, killing thousands in the process. He also muscled up on the Supreme Court telling them “you’ve made your decision, now let’s see you enforce it.” He also threatened the South during the early secessionist talks of the 1830’s and was generally a lunatic who didn’t take shit from anybody.
Dirty Harry Jackson: This old and angry man was already pissed at the world by the time he became President and pretty much did whatever he damn well pleased. He wasn’t always right but he fought for what he believed to be right.
- Theodore Roosevelt
In my opinion, the most badass POTUS of all goes to my guy Theodore “don’t call me Teddy” Roosevelt. Here is a list of his awesomeness:
- He was an elite boxer
- He was a cattle wrangler and hunted bear and moose in the American West
- In the name of science, he hunted big game in Africa while on safari
- Has a river named after him in the Amazon Rain forest after an expedition in 1914
- Fought as a Rough Rider in the Spanish American War and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at San Juan Hill
- Was a NYC Police Commissioner who routinely walked “the beat” at night to fight the corruption within the police force
- Tried to raise another volunteer army to fight in World War I but was denied by then President Woodrow Wilson
- Upon his death Vice President Thomas Marshall said “death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”
It’s hard to argue with that list of exceptional awesomeness. Maybe even the most hardcore thing that he did was when he was running under the Bull Moose Party for President, he was shot in the chest and still delivered his speech a couple of hours later. I don’t know if the people in the audience had any idea that they were staring at such a badass but looking back that guy was like a real life Action Hero.
Indiana Roosevelt: He was the first President to visit other countries while in office and traveled extensively after his presidency. He was always on some sort of new adventure and sometimes read several books a day (he was a speed reader). He charged with his men at San Juan Hill and proved that he was a true badass and worthy of his place on this list.