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26. Mao Tse-Tung
As the founder and leader of the People’s Republic of China, this Communist despot’s cruelly stupid collectivist policies killed at least 35 million Chinese citizens. He kept the hundreds of millions who managed to survive in impoverished bondage until his death in 1976.
27. John McCain
It is possible to be both an enemy of freedom and a genuine American hero. John McCain endured unbearable punishments and greatly boosted camp morale during his five-year Viet Cong prison stint, for which he deserves our gratitude. He has also been among the most consistently interventionist politicians in the United States Senate, agitating for never-ending “rogue-state rollback” while focusing his war at home on political speech and the healthy American trait he derides as “cynicism.” It’s fitting McCain would close out his career barking sporadic insults (like “wacko bird”) at a new generation of more libertarian legislators.
28. Jenny McCarthy
A second-string actress who has managed to stay in the limelight by promoting the bogus theory that vaccines cause autism, McCarthy traffics in pseudoscience and fear. Partly as a result of her widely publicized yet scientifically ignorant pronouncements, hundreds of thousands of fearful parents have needlessly endangered the health and lives of their children.
29. Robert McNamara
Did anyone fuse the roles of technocrat and destroyer more completely than Robert Strange McNamara? He was a functionary from Ford Motor Company when John F. Kennedy brought him in to run the Pentagon, and in that role he systematically escalated the Vietnam War as though the conflict were an assembly line. When he took over the World Bank in 1968, he continued to couple technocratic planning with mass destruction, sponsoring vast “development projects” whose most notable effect was to evict peasants from their land. Robert McNamara: the Organization Man as monster.
30. Newton Minow
The godfather of boob-tube nannying, Minow was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 1961 to 1963. There he was a key advocate for the regulation of television. In a 1961 speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, he famously described the era’s television programming as a “vast wasteland,” railed against the medium’s “mayhem, violence, sadism, murder,” and proposed that TV content should be strictly regulated in the name of the “public interest.”
31. Robert Moses
The most authoritarian city planner in New York history, Moses wielded eminent domain and many other government powers, unleashing his bulldozers and wrecking balls on the homes, businesses, and churches of as many as half a million powerless citizens, many of them black, brown, or poor.
32. Robert Mugabe
The racist, homophobic, and corrupt president of Zimbabwe has overseen record levels of inflation, destroying the purchasing power of citizens in a previously much more prosperous country. Forbidden from exiting the country with any assets, Zimbabweans have had to live under Mugabe’s brutal misrule for decades.
33. Richard Nixon