It’s the end of 2017, folks. Time to stop worrying about the minor stuff, and to start thinking about big-picture issues — like whether Donald Trump or, say, Chester A. Arthur is more likely to prevail in a knife-fight to the death among American Presidents.
Believe it or not, people have given serious thought to this concept — so serious that they’ve even figured out what kind of motorized wheelcraft FDR would use in such a fight, and what kind of knives the Presidents would employ. This is important stuff, far beyond the Hall of Presidents at Disney World and much more important than developing phony resolutions that you’ll forget within moments after the new year arrives. Which Presidents are likely to survive until the bitter, bloody end — and, equally important, which Presidents are likely to be the first to give up the ghost?
The prevailing view seems to be that Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt are likely to be the last Presidents standing. Jackson, because he was a bloodthirsty killer, Lincoln, because his height, rail-splitting strength, wrestling skills, and saintly notoriety make him somebody who would survive the initial killing frenzy, and Roosevelt, because his Bull Moose fitness and hunting prowess would give him a leg up over perceived presidential wimps like, say, Woodrow Wilson. I’m not sure that the analysis gives sufficient credit to the more recent Presidents — like Harry Truman, who would be happy to stay in the kitchen heat, slashing away at his predecessors, or President Obama, who probably would enter the fray wearing a bicycle helmet and would use his basketball moves to avoid that fatal thrust.
That’s all well and good, but to me the more crucial question is which President would be the first to meet his maker. I’d bet on James Buchanan, pictured above with his really horrible case of bed head. Seriously, who cut this guy’s hair. Putting aside the fact that he was a horrible President, who did nothing to prevent the Civil War — just look at the guy’s face.! Who wouldn’t want to stab this loser and probably punch him square in the mug, besides? Add in the fact that he was the only bachelor President, who couldn’t even deal with having a spouse, and you can’t help but see Buchanan cowering in a corner once the bloodsport begins, ready to be stabbed repeatedly by other Chief Executives. I’m convinced Buchanan would the first to go, before even out of shape guys like Tubby Taft or wheelchair-bound Presidents like Roosevelt.
As for Trump? I think he’d cut a deal with somebody like Matthew Van Buren and make it past the first wave, then get cut down mid-tweet. I’m convinced Trump would outlive the sideburned Chester A. Arthur, somehow.