The bigger the power, the bigger the responsibility, and consequently the bigger scandals and controversy; politicians have been tailoring the world we live in, but some of their decisions and actions changed their lives and ours for the worse. From shocking sex scandals to personal decisions which led to wars, destructions of lives and countries, these 10 controversial politicians will remain remembered as scandalous and even infamous.
10 – Ruhollah Khomeini
The Iranian religious leader is known as Ayatollah Khomeini in the West, and as the person who managed to overthrow the Shah of Iran and do quite a lot of other impacting things. The TIME magazine named him the man of the year, which only sparked the controversy even further. Khomeini referred to the USA and the USSR as Satans and pushed for Iran’s disassociation from both. He supported the hostage takers during the infamous Iran hostage crisis and even ordered the execution of political prisoners in the war with Iraq.
9 – Bill Clinton
As soon as his name is mentioned, the famous sex scandal of 1998 comes to mind; Bill Clinton buried his political career with a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. She was just a 22 year-old white house intern, and he was the president of the United States. After the whole deal finally came to light and Clinton’s involvement in perjury and obstruction of justice was resolved, the 42nd president of United States had to leave the office and be marked by this scandal for the rest of his life. Considering the other crimes and sins of presidents and politicians on this list, a sex scandal seems like a breeze.
8 – Henry Kissinger
A politician who is a war monger and a liar who conceals the truth from the people and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people would be nothing odd in this world of ours, but when the same person is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, then that’s the drop that spills the glass. Working as Richard Nixon’s National Security Advisor and then the Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger was closely involved with the Vietnam War and the bombing of Cambodia, which the government specifically denied doing. The aftermath of the entire Vietnam War and the unjustified bombing of Cambodia were horrendous and resulted with nothing even close to peace, for which Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Prize.
7 – Winston Churchill
Celebrated by many as one of the greatest war-time leaders and strongest figures who opposed Hitler, Winston Churchill had a dark side to him that is often disregarded. Even though he was one of the first to warn against the Nazis, Churchill himself had some pretty racial and controversial views. He believed in racial hierarchy and eugenics, fostering the white supremacy views and discriminatory ideas. Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons against Kurds and Afghans, or the “uncivilized tribes” as he referred to them. Islam, the Jews, and even Gandhi were found on Churchill’s list of list of things he did not speak kindly of. Winston Churchill also created the deflationary pressure on UK economy, but his war-time efforts usually outshine all the other aspects of his character and history.
6 – Mao Zedong
The founding father of the People’s Republic of China, the communist revolutionary and individual who oversaw the transformation of China from an agrarian economy to an industrial one; but at what cost? Mao Zedong almost single-handedly lead one of the largest nations in the world through an industrial, cultural and economic revolution, which resulted with one of the deadliest famines in world history, a mass destruction of invaluable cultural artifacts and ultimately; the deaths of countless people who would oppose his rule or simply couldn’t survive the gruesome conditions. The man, who was obsessed with himself and his idea of China, became a symbol of destruction and hardships the Chinese people had to endure.
5 – Fidel Castro
Champion of the people, or a ruthless dictator; this is a question that has the world divided when it comes to Fidel Castro. Supporters call him a champion and leader of anti-imperialism, a figure of humanitarianism, socialism and fighter for the environment. Those who were against him and his regime viewed him as a cruel dictator who committed numerous human rights violations and acted as an unfair leader of the Cuban people. The facts is that he literally ruled Cuba for more than 45 years, and in that time established some powerful stances against the United States, such as the positioning of USSR nuclear missiles, and other not-so-friendly political and cultural decisions which even further sharpened the relationship between the almost neighboring countries.
4 – Adolf Hitler
The man whose name has become synonymous with pure evil, Adolf Hitler started the Nazi Party and quite early on became one of the most controversial politicians ever. After being imprisoned for attempting a coup, it only further sparked the fire and hate within him. Hitler used the political situation in Germany to twist the nation’s faith and gain popular trust through his charismatic oratory skills and promises of the Nazi propaganda. The World War II ensued; genocide, mindless killing of millions of people around the world and irreversible damage to human history. We can only hope humanity never sees another figure like Hitler rise to power and lead people into utter destruction and death.
3 – Rodrigo Duterte
If we were to list all of Rodrigo Duterte’s insanely controversial and scandalous quotes here, it would take up a whole another list. The president of Philippines is cursing, killing, condoning rape, propagating violence and cruelty among a few other things. He does not refrain from using swear words for US presidents, different government officials and even the Pope, Duterte truly does not filter his thoughts. He was nicknamed “The Punisher” for his open war on drugs which ended up killing thousands of people, and he is proud to be one of the executors himself. In fact, the man said he would kill his own children if they took drugs, so you can imagine the fervor and mad dedication with which he governs this action and others. One of the most abrupt and blunt presidents today, Duterte keeps on making more and more controversial decisions.
2 – Donald Trump
When a person like Donald Trump actually becomes the president of the United States, all logic and sense must be reevaluated and questioned. Sexual-assault allegations, blunt racism, mafia ties, antitrust violations…the list goes on, and that’s all even before his presidency. Building a wall with Mexico, the infamous travel bans, construction of two controversial pipelines, climate change policy reversal, weakening of the healthcare program, and quite a lot more was done under his orders as the US president. Not to mention his obvious buddying up with Putin and almost blatant destruction of other diplomatic relationships. Anyway, you can find out everything by following his twitter profile, the man is relentlessly self-absorbed and easily triggered, and now given the power, it becomes a very, very dangerous combination.
1 – Vladimir Putin
From his highly irregular rise to power to his massive efforts to suppress dissent in Russia, from hushed out government corruption to blatant invasions of neighboring countries, Vladimir Putin is the man with so much controversy behind his name that only the massive power he has can suppress it. Given the fact that he is former KGB, you can rest assured a lot of information will be concealed and kept out of the public eye. In Russia, and quite a lot more other countries in Europe, Putin is almost worshipped as a super-hero. You can find his face on mugs, t-shirts, flags, and all sorts of products, as if his name is a brand people gladly flaunt. The wide-spread love for him may have something to do with the fact his non-supporters are often found assassinated or dead with unresolved circumstances… If he would rather be feared than loved, he probably accomplished that ideal. With Trump at one end and Putin at the other, the world we live in sometimes feels like a box of chocolates we would rather not find out what we’re going to get.