Monday, September 01, 2003

This is very interesting. John Hawkins ran a poll among conservative bloggers in which they voted on the twenty worst figures of the twentieth century. Nazis were somewhat underrepresented, though Hitler and Stalin tied for first, of course; Chairman Mao came in third and Pol Pot fourth. I'd have definitely put Himmler very high on my list, and Reinhard Heydrich and Julius Streicher would have made it too. Hans Frank would be a good candidate.

The figure whose absence most surprised me was Leon Trotsky.

A case could be made for "Bomber" Harris and Curtis LeMay.

Hideki Tojo didn't make it.

Juan Domingo Peron should have; his actions were nasty enough, but one thing about, say, Lenin, is that he thought he was doing the right thing. He was monstrously wrong, of course. But Lenin himself was personally incorruptible and probably thought of himself as an extremely virtuous person. Peron, however, was low, vicious, corrupt, base, and vile, and he knew it. Kind of like Hermann Goering.

Franco didn't make it. I'm not too surprised. I personally would not put Franco on my "20 worst" list, though he of course goes on the bad side. Franco, again, certainly thought of himself as a virtuous patriot rather than a mass murderer.

The Rosenbergs did make it; I wouldn't have voted for them, since they were fairly minor figures in espionage. The Cambridge circle of Philby, MacLean, Burgess, Cairncross, etc. were much more significant traitors.

How about Robert Byrd, the corrupt Ku Klux Klansman? And what about Old Joe Kennedy? If half what they say about Old Joe is true, he probably belongs. How about Jew-baiter and iron-fisted dictator of his company, Henry Ford? Maybe we ought to run a poll of "20 Worst American Public Figures." Psychopathic murderer-types like Ted Bundy or Bonnie and Clyde don't make it, as they were just criminals who didn't affect anyone's lives but those of their poor victims.

Here's my list.

20. Joe McCarthy
19. Robert Byrd
18. Vito Marcantonio
17. Strom Thurmond
16. Margaret Sanger
15. Emma Goldman
14. Meir Kahane
13. Huey Newton
12. Huey Long
11. Jesse Jackson
10. Mayor Daley I
9. Gus Hall
8. William O'Dwyer / all those damn Mafia-connected politicians
7. William Randolph Hearst
6. Curtis LeMay
5. Bull Connor / Ross Barnett / all those damn segregationists
4. Joseph P. Kennedy
3. Henry Ford
2. Alger Hiss / All those damn traitors who sold out to the Soviets
1. Woodrow Wilson

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