Politicians are often in the public eye, and because of that, sometimes their actions might seem a bit crazy. Usually, politicians aren’t crazy, but there are some that might easily earn that title. Crazy politicians have been around since the beginning of government, and a few of them take the cake.
Keep reading if you would like to learn about some of the craziest politicians in our history. These rankings are in no particular order.
Gordon “Dr. Chap” Klingenschmidt
Gordon Klingenschmidt served as a House of Representatives member in Colorado for the 15th district from 2015 to 2017. He is an American evangelist and former Navy military chaplain. He also has some out-there ideas about politics.
His website, Pray in Jesus Name, includes petitions such as “Stop Al Franken- No Child Left Unmolested.” He also believes that he can exorcise the spirit of homosexuality from a person. Oh, and he has also called Obama a demon. His crazy doesn’t stop there, and his Twitter account reveals some gems such as:
- “The ultimate hate speech is to endorse homosexuality.”
- “Obamacare causes cancer.”
- “The foreign policy of our national security to protect American interests ought to be in line with Joel Chapter Three.”
Grimm might be crazy, but some would also say he is a member of the corrupt politician’s club. In 2014, Grimm was charged with 20 counts of fraud, federal tax evasion, and perjury. He plead guilty to one count and received an eight-month prison sentence. During this time, he was the representative for New York’s 13th congressional district and later the 11th district.
While he vowed to keep his seat despite his felony charges, he eventually resigned when he received a prison sentence. While many people thought he would try to stay out of the limelight, Grimm had other plans. In October of 2017, he announced that he was running to get his seat back in 2018. Time will tell if the people let him back into office.
Jody Hice was in the public eye before he decided to run for Georgia Congress in 2014. He started his career as a Southern Baptist pastor but also had a syndicated radio show and spent a lot of time as a political activist. His radio show, which initially started as Let Freedom Ring but now goes by The Jody Hice Show, has been a source of what some would call crazy beliefs.
He has voiced concerns over banning conversion therapy as he believes that homosexuality is something that is a choice. Hice also has strong opinions on Islam (he thinks that because it is not just a religion but a geopolitical structure, it shouldn’t get First Amendment rights) and women’s rights (he once said that a woman should be within the authority of her husband if she wanted to run for political office).
Not all crazy politicians are men and quite a few women on this list are in the running for craziest politician, including Shelia Jackson. She has served for the Texas 18th congressional district since 1995 and has earned the title of meanest member of the house. Apparently, she always yells at her staff and even has them come in just perform inane tasks.
She also made it very clear that she fully supported Obama during his run for President by stating she would “circle the president on fire. We will be on fire for rightness and justice.” Oh, and she also believed that the Constitution was 400 years old (it’s not even 300 yet) and that there was still a North and South Vietnam.
You know what makes one of the worst politicians? One that is a hypocrite. Scott Dejarlais is not only the Representative for Tennessee’s 4th district but also a family physician. He is also extremely pro-life and frequently denounces both abortion and adultery as abhorrent evils. The only problem? He cheated on his wife, got his mistress pregnant, and then pressured her into getting an abortion.
Turns out that wasn’t his only foray into cheating and subsequent abortions. It also surfaced that he had affairs with three other women and even pressured his own wife to get two abortions before they were even married. Even when presented with all this evidence that went against everything he stood for, he continued to place the blame on everyone else. Desjarlais is not only a crazy politician but a bad politician.
Joseph Arpaio served as the Maricopa County Sheriff in Arizona for about 24 years. During that time, he dealt with a lot of illegal immigrants and his stance on them was that they were the scum of the earth. He routinely abused the immigrant inmates in his prison by making them wear pink underwear, serving them bad food, housing them in tent cities which he dubbed concentration camps, and even refused basic necessities to women inmates.
He had many counts of racial profiling, misuse of funds, and abuse of power during his tenure as sheriff and as a result, paid over $146 million in fees, settlements, and court awards. In July of 2017, he was held in contempt of court on more charges of racial profiling and sent to prison. A few months later, President Trump pardoned him, and he left after only two months jail time. While many people would consider staying low, Arpaio recently announced he would be willing to run for public office again.
Tom Harkin served as a U.S. Senator for Iowa from 2009 to 2015. During his tenure, he served on a lot of committees, but the one that earns him the title of possibly the craziest politician is one he created. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine sounds like it’s not too terrible of a thing, but it actually championed questionable science.
Harkin believed that he cured his hay fever by taking 60 pills of bee pollen a day, which is extreme. Based on this “cure” he wanted to try and fund as much alternative medicine practices out there, even if they didn’t have the science to back them up. The center started with a small budget of $2 million but soon ballooned to $130 million. Which means $130 million was going into the investigation of alternative medicine that might not do any good. Harkin retired in 2015, but the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine still lives on.
Another politician that doesn’t have time for science? Paul Broun. Broun served in Congress for Georgia from 2007 to 2015. Broun was reported as saying that everything he learned about science while in school came, “straight from the pits of Hell.” Good thing he was appointed to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
He spent most of his time in Congress denouncing solid science as well as opposing everything that then President Obama worked on. He even believes that he was the first Congressman to call Obama a socialist. Luckily, people in his home state realized he was a bit coo-coo, and a biologist in his area started a campaign to write in Charles Darwin during one of his runs for reelection. Broun still won, but Darwin did get 4,100 votes.
While Sean Eldridge has run for Congress, he has never won the race. But that hasn’t stopped him from going to extreme measures to try and secure the spot. Because Eldridge did not live in the state that he wanted to run for, he decided to buy a $5 million in one district but lost that race. Not one to give up, he purchased another $2 million home in a different district and once again lost that race. He also managed to outspend his opponent 3 to 1 in that race.
Not only is Eldridge a little crazy, but his husband might be as well. When Eldridge didn’t win either of the races he ran in, his husband Chris Hughes took it out on the magazine he recently bought. He fired the editor of The New Republic and decided to make it a digital-media company instead. While he might not be in office, Eldridge is still working as a political activist. He started the Stand Up America community to oppose President Donald Trump and his alleged corruptions.
James Traficant served as an Ohio House Representative for the 17th district from 1985 until 2002. During his time in office, he made some crazy remarks and forced his aides to complete chores on his farm. He was also expelled from Congress and convicted on charges of bribery, tax evasion, and racketeering.
He served a seven-year prison sentence and was released in 2009. One of his most memorable, and crazy quotes? “If you don’t get those cameras out of my face, I’m gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that’ll clear this room.” Just a tiny bit crazy.
These aren’t all the craziest politicians in history, and they most likely won’t be the only crazy politicians to arise. Fortunately, most people tend to see the crazy in them before they do too much damage while in office.