A truly "evil", imaginary person has somehow managed to become elected US president.

  • No one knows of their "evilness" because they hid their true personality their whole life.

  • They do not have any supernatural powers and can be impeached/imprisoned/etc. just like any other US president.

  • They do not care about what happens to themselves as a consequence of their "evil" actions (e.g. being executed).

What actions could be part of their plan to get the most out of their election victory and harm humanity as much as possible?

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    $\begingroup$ This seems to be story based and opinion based. What is the most harm? Harm according to who? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 7, 2020 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica Well I didn't want to limit the question to e.g. "the most deaths" or "greatest financial loss". Don't think it's more opinion based than a lot of other questions, but that's not on me to decide anyway. $\endgroup$
    – MaxD
    Nov 7, 2020 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ LOL! I wonder what inspired that question? $\endgroup$
    – Slarty
    Nov 7, 2020 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Slarty Nothing particular of course. $\endgroup$
    – MaxD
    Nov 7, 2020 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Ryan_L Correct, but as said, I think some ambiguity is very much in the spirit of the question, as it promotes creative out-of-the-box answers that would otherwise be aborted. But if you have a better wording that you think would improve the question without restricting possible answers, feel free to edit. (And to answer the question, I'd consider starting a thermonuclear war very, VERY evil.) $\endgroup$
    – MaxD
    Nov 7, 2020 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


As a principle, proportionally the same as any other politician in a executive post.

Of course polititians power are limited because they rely on an unstable power grounding. But their evil actions might receive approval or liniency from powerful groups of interest at least initially.

Based on history we have examples of what excesses where comitted by superpowers. Usually it conveys the genocide, like with Carthage, The Celts, The Aztecs, The Zulus ( not to mention genocide commited by medium powers like Nazi Germany or The Ottoman Empire).

Anyway, the US empire has originalities, in one hand they didn't need to appeal to full scale genocide, in the other hand their power scope emcompasses the whole of the globe making any consequences more dramatic and irreversible.

But what your are talking here is something never seen before, that is, an evil person, with the intent to cause as much harm as possible. Something that potentially could be much worse, but at the same time is not that likely to happen for a couple of reasons:

The first most obvious I think is, to the extent in which his evil nature is known and acknowldeged, oppositon will grow and coallece against him. Hitler is the best example in the sense most people came to firmly believe he was evil incarnated.

Secondly, bad is made by polititians always in the name of good, and usually thinking they are doing good or at least avoiding something worse. Nazis would think that bad was good, because it strengthens the specie, and nihilist might think nothing is really bad or good but just the way it is, or sth of the sort. In any case, the risk is the president will try to do bad but by failling in that intent fall short of the worse potential or even of "the normal" expected level of bad stuff for the current circumstances.

But admitting he or she is evil, and that evil is effective, then there is no limit in theory other than his life span and the resistance they would encounter. The more evil (you can call it "intelligent") the worse the result, and even if not during his lifetime, the result might well end every life on earth.

A devil like this (this is what it is basically) would learn from all the people's manipulation and control ways history has to offer and would appeal to the most basic irrational behaviour of human culture, while mantaining some sort of justification (defending against a greater evil).

By the way, the current climate crisis makes it pretty easy to blow everything up immediatly with little effort. Some war here and there around the world or some instability to avoid effective international coordination and it could start an unstoppable chain of events that would seriously weaken human chances of survival on the planet in the short (50 years?) term.

It might be enough just to do nothing, let the forces in place play along and watch them waste the balance over the tipping point.

  • $\begingroup$ "By the way, the current climate crisis makes it pretty easy to blow everything up immediatly" oh let's not be too pessimistic. With any luck everyone will get blown up in the first two weeks and there is no one around to burn fossil fuels anymore. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 7, 2020 at 23:15

Start a nuclear war with China.

Sure, as POTUS he could cause some major inconvenience using "creative" methods like banning ice cream, but ultimately those are just poking some poodles.

Instead, one must remember that not only is your fictional president the POTUS, he's also the SCOTUS. As a result, while it may not be very original, the one guaranteed way to cause as much harm to humanity as possible is to nuke either China, North Korea, or Russia. After all, last time I checked "hitting the hard reset button on humanity" is about as evil as you can get.

However, if you want to be creative, here's another (albeit slightly less evil-causing) option: Raise the minimum wage to $30-40. Contrary to popular opinion, while it's good to have a minimum wage, making it too high can be a really bad idea.[1] A too-high minimum wage allows people to be comfortably poor, de-incentivizing upwards mobility. This results in an extremely horrible and evil phenomena known as Doleism. For real-life examples, take a look at cities like New Orleans and the 5th Ward in Houston.

[1]: To clarify: I am not saying that having a minimum wage is bad; to a certain extent it is necessary. All I am saying is that making it too high causes major problems.

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    $\begingroup$ "Raising the minimum wage is a really bad idea": Ugh, no, not necessarily. It may be a bad idea (if the raise is too high). It may be a good idea (if the economy needs a little inflationary pressure and the raise is moderate). As with anything in life, est modus in rebus. (Unfortunately, "too high" and "moderate" are usually only determined after the fact; economics really needs to progress out of its current pre-scientific phase.) (For comparison, the minimum wage in Germany is about 11 USD/hour.) (Why would the USA, a federation of diverse states, have a nation-wide minimum wage?) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ Pretty sure lowering the minimum wage to zero dollars would cause much more harm than raising it. . . . $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ That is a very strange article because it does cite some empirical studies, but only cites the summary sections of them, rather than any of the empirical stuff. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexp I was not trying to make a political claim that having a minimum wage is bad (it isn't; it's good to at least have a minimum wage of some sort or another). What I was saying is that too high of a minimum wage is bad. I'll do an edit to clarify my point. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2020 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Daron See above comment $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2020 at 23:49

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