Dawn Bennett, CEO and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and Host of Financial Myth Busting, recently interviewed Brion McClanahan, PhD, acclaimed author and historian of U.S. presidents. McClanahan is best known for his famous works: 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: and Four Who Tried to Save Her, Forgotten Founders, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, Forgotten Conservatives in American History, The Founding Father’s Correct Guide to the Constitution, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers. He has also written for a variety of news publications, appeared on a dozen of radio talk shows, and given many presentations about the founding fathers and the founding principles of the U.S.
In his interview with Dawn Bennett, McClanahan discussed his take on the upcoming presidential election—which he calls “an interesting election”—as well as his latest book, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: and Four Who Tried to Save Her. When asked, “Is there any kind of historical precedent for a populist like Donald Trump?” McClanahan replied:
“Well, I think certainly there is. Trump is unique, in that there’s not a whole lot of substance to Trump. I mean, I think what’s happening here is this anti-establishment wave has picked up Trump and they’re running with him. Now, there are some positive things I can say about that lack of substance for Trump, but I think he’s riding that wave right now. Now, in terms of past elections when we’ve had something like this, I think you can look at 1980 in that way. Reagan had more substance to him, of course, but he was also putting together this kind of coalition that Trump is, as well; you know, a lot of blue collar Democrats, very populist campaign. Even 1976, Jimmy Carter was anti-establishment. So Reagan and Carter were kind of on that path as well. And then you’d have to go back really to, say, someone like George Wallace, who did the same thing. And then going back even further into 19th Century, I know a lot of people have compared him to Jackson, kind of this anti-establishment wave. But, I mean, that’s what we’re looking at here. And certainly it is an interesting election, the most interesting election, I would say, since around 1980.”
Bennett and McClanahan also discussed his latest book, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America: and Four Who Tried to Save Her. In McClanahan’s opinion, the nine presidents who screwed up America were Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and Barack Obama, while the four who tried to save her were Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge. In the interview, he explained how he came up with his interpretation of the presidents who screwed up, as well as those who succeeded.
He explained, “My rule is very simple; how did they uphold their oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution? So FDR was awful because of his policies, but he was also awful because he ran over the constitution all the time. And so that’s really the way I was measuring these presidents. I could care less, at the end of the day, about the outcomes of the policies in this particular book, but I was looking at what they were doing, were they constitutional to begin with? And so the New Deal was completely unconstitutional, and Roosevelt was very open about that. He said, ‘Look, if congress won’t act, then I’ll do it myself.’ And he did it himself a lot of the time, which, if you look at the original constitution, the president never has any legislative authority. So that’s how I was measuring the presidents, and there are actually more than nine in the book, but they only let me put nine on the cover. I could’ve put even more in there, because when you look at the executive branch, really in the last hundred years, none of the presidents have followed the original constitution very well. And I made a statement when I was marketing my book before this, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution, that nearly every president in the last hundred years should have been impeached. And people picked up on that, saying, ‘My gosh, how can you say that?’ Well, I wanted to write this book to explain what I meant when I said that. And it’s very clear that we have an executive branch that the founding generation would recognize, but they wouldn’t want. They’d recognize it, because George III had this kind of power too.”
View Dawn Bennett’s full interview with Brion McClanahan here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-host-of-radio-show-financial-myth-busting-interviews-brion-mcclanahan-historian-and-author-671901.htm.