Herbert Hoover left the economy in such bad shape that capitalism itself needed saving after his term. But like Jimmy Carter, Hoover was redeemed in private life by his tremendous humanitarian work during World War I — and he was even known to raise funds for what is now the Boys & Girls Club of America. He was better than Trump.
Warren G. Harding’s presidency was beset with corruption and scandal — though the most famous, the Teapot Dome scandal, wasn’t revealed until after his death — and his private life, replete with infidelity, was nothing to brag about either. But he was also an early advocate of civil rights, urging that African Americans in the South be given equal opportunity to vote, and he condemned lynching in unequivocal terms. He was better than Trump.
James Buchanan played fiddle while the forces that led to the Civil War were gathering momentum. This is regarded by many historians as one of the worst-ever presidential mistakes. And he was an early example of a now-familiar phenomenon: a Northern man with Southern principles. Still, unlike Trump, Buchanan also had a long history of service to the public — serving as minister to Russia, ambassador to the United Kingdom, and secretary of state. Even he was better than Trump.