|“||What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?||„|
|~ Grover Cleveland|
Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was an American politician who served as both 22nd and 24th President of the United States, succeeded by both Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley, and is the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. Prior to serving as President, he was Governor of New York.
Though Cleveland is generally considered to be a successful president, in his personal life he was accused of a number of sexual crimes, including rape, and was never prosecuted for it. He is considered to be America's most perverted president.
Born to a Presbyterian minister and his wife, Cleveland grew up in upstate New York. In 1881, he was elected mayor of Buffalo and later, governor of New York. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs; Free Silver; inflation; imperialism; and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era.
Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. As a reformer, Cleveland had such prestige that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, called "Mugwumps", largely bolted the GOP presidential ticket and swung to his support in the 1884 election.
As his second administration began, disaster hit the nation when the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression. It ruined his Democratic Party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894 and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of the Democratic Party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.
Cleveland was a formidable policymaker, and he also drew corresponding criticism. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide in addition to the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party.
Critics complained that Cleveland had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term. Even so, his reputation for probity and good character survived the troubles of his second term.
Biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "[I]n Grover Cleveland, the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not."By the end of his second term, public perception showed him to be one of the most unpopular U.S. presidents, and he was by then rejected even by most Democrats.
Today, Cleveland is considered by most historians to have been a successful leader, and has been praised for honesty, integrity, adherence to his morals and defying party boundaries, and effective leadership. He is generally ranked among the upper-mid tier of American presidents.
About a decade before his first term as president, Cleveland fathered an illegitimate child with a woman named Maria Halpin, and did so after violently raping her and essentially blackmailing her to keep quiet about it. When Halpin learned she was pregnant with Cleveland's child, he wanted nothing to do with, arranging for the child to be put up for adoption when it was born and subsequently had Halpin committed to a mental asylum, although the facility's medical director quickly released her after an evaluation.
The scandal remained a secret until he began running for president, during which Cleveland launched a smear campaign and lied about the whole thing, claiming that the act was consensual, that Halpin was actually a prostitute, and denying that he was the father of the child. Cleveland managed to win the Presidency that year despite the scandal threatening to tarnish his image. The controversy prompted Cleveland's opponents to adopt the chant, "Ma, ma, where's my pa?" After Cleveland won the election, the chant was answered by, "Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!"
The other major sexual controversy pertaining to Grover Cleveland actually involves the woman who became his wife, Frances Folsom. At the time the two were married, Folsom was 28 years younger that Cleveland was. While this fact alone is troubling in itself, the truly disturbing part about their relationship was that it began as, essentially, a surrogate father-daughter relationship. Cleveland had known Folsom literally since she was a baby, and as a child, she referred to him as "Uncle Cleve." He told her he wanted to marry her when she was 8, and told his friends that the reason he was still a bachelor was because he was "waiting for his bride to grow up." This borders on pedophilia. Though he waited until he was 21 to marry her, it cannot be denied that the way their relationship began is quite disturbing.