President Mitt Romney? Think Franklin Pierce

Mitt Romney is uncannily reminiscent of Franklin Pierce; one of our worst presidents.

What do Pierce and Romney have in common?

  • Both Romney and Pierce are New Hampshirites. 
  • Both believe in small government, especially when it comes to helping Americans in desperate need. 
  • Both have little or no foreign affairs experience. Both are war hawks.
  • Both are easily influenced by powerful supporters.

Helping Those in Desperate Need

In 1853 Pierce vetoed a bill granting public land to the states for the purpose of caring for the indigent who were mentally ill.

His reason? He believed if Congress had the power to provide for the mentally ill who are very poor, then they would also have the power to assist the very poor who are not mentally ill. Eventually, Pierce thought, Congress might even use their power to provide hospital and medical care for the ill or assist people who experienced other human calamities.

Civil Rights

Although Pierce was at first against overturning the Missouri Compromise, in the end he listened to Jefferson Davis, his Secretary of War and signed the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854. Some people believe that Pierce took orders from Davis.

The act allowed the possibility of slavery to spread through all the new states based on the will of the citizens of each state. This led to bloody battles in Kansas most notably by John Brown and his sons who murdered five pro-slavery farmer. The Kansas–Nebraska Act divided the nation and pointed it toward civil war.

Lack of Foreign Affairs Experience

Unfortunately, Pierce’s lack of leadership and his tendency to give in to special interest groups hampered his effectiveness in foreign affairs. He vetoed bills to create a safety net to build the country's infrastructure and believed in a constitution that gave equality to white adult males.

In 1856, Pierce recognized a dictatorship in Nicaragua established by William Walker, an American who had conquered that nation and introduced slavery. Walker hoped to gain Nicaragua's entry into the Union as a slave state. Walker's control soon angered railroad titan Cornelius Vanderbilt, who pressured Pierce to use the U.S. Navy to force Walker to "surrender" the country.

After the Mexican War had ended, there were border disputes that had to be settled. Land that comprised lower Arizona and New Mexico was part of a proposed route for a transcontinental railroad. Pierce was convinced by Secretary of War Davis to negotiate the Gadsden Purchase with Mexico. Gadsden had a financial stake in the purchase; the railroad was never built.

Deja Vu

When it comes to immigrant rights, women’s rights, health care, foreign affairs and new voting laws, Romney appears to be a modern version of Franklin Pierce.

How do historians rate Pierce? Only James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding are rated worse than Pierce in a composite of surveys between 1948 and 2011.

President Romney? Think Pierce not Mt. Rushmore.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Think Positive September 29, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Nonsense Linda. Faux News is making you look foolish. Romney’s claims about the administration “apologizing for American values” fits an ongoing theme of his campaign: accusing Obama of beginning his presidency on an “apology tour” in foreign countries. In fact, that meme informed the title of Romney’s book “No Apology.” We looked into the Obama speeches that Romney cited as evidence and concluded that nowhere did we see that the president “apologized” for America. In some speeches, Obama was drawing a distinction between his policies and those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. In other instances, Obama appeared to be employing a bit of diplomacy, criticizing past actions of both the U.S. and the host nation, and calling for the two sides to move forward. Then, as now, Romney’s claim of Obama “apologies” falls flat http://factcheck.org/2012/09/romney-gets-it-backward/
Think Positive September 29, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Where were all the "Deficit Hawks" when Bush was President???? It’s true that Obama “inherited the biggest deficit in our history,” as he said on CBS. CBO’s assumptions did not factor in two recessions (2001, 2008), two wars and a slew of legislative changes from the Bush tax cuts to the Obama stimulus. The difference between the projected surpluses and the actual deficits is $11.9 trillion over that 10-year period. Treasury concluded that Bush policies were to blame for 59 percent and Obama’s policies 12 percent. The rest — 29 percent — were what CBO calls “economic and technical changes,” mostly having to do with changing economic forecasts because of the recessions There is no disputing, of course, that President George W. Bush was president for nearly eight of those 10 fiscal years and holds more responsibility for them than Obama. But Obama bears more responsibility than he is willing to accept, and misrepresents the Treasury analysis to minimize his responsibility. “This whole debate really is missing the point,” Gordon said. “The point is where do we go forward from where we are, and who has a plan to reduce the deficits over the long term.” http://factcheck.org/2012/09/obamas-deficit-dodge/
MrsSmithWatchingWashington September 29, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Okay, a few of you smarter Patchers must realize by now that Avi loves to stir up trouble. And The Patch loves it, because they can then go to their advertisers and say, "Look how many hits we got!" That's why many of us rarely visit Patch or comment any more. Duh... sorry it took me so long to figure it out! Go to real, informative sites. Why waste your time on this drivel?
Jim G. September 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
What makes you think these other "real, informative sites" work on any other basis? Just why do you think all those sober news and info sites break their articles up into multiple pieces? Your screen could easily load the whole thing in one. Points for figuring it out... but you missed more points for not seeing the bigger picture. May as well drivel away here. :)
Think Positive September 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Touche Jim G.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »