I'm really stoked because, 20-some-odd years ago, my Dad decided there wasn't enough O'Brien Juice floating around America, so he and Momma O'Brien got together and made me. Unfortunately, not everyone is as awesome as my Dad when it comes to keeping the bloodline going, and those who do decide to reproduce aren't always the ones you'd prefer. In movies like Idiocracy (and life, I guess), you always hear about idiots throughout history who keep making more and more idiot children. Monsters who just want to raise more little monsters, until they have a monster majority -- while brilliant, thoughtful people are usually so preoccupied with how thoughtful they are that they forget to procreate.
Pointing out the people who shouldn't have had kids (Hitler's Dad, his Mom and so forth), is easy and boring. So, in honor of Father's Day, I've rounded up a bunch of awesome and badass historical figures who absolutely should have filled this planet with their offspring.
Happy Father's Day!
There's a lot to admire about our first and, some would argue, best president, George Washington. The only official United States president to be able to claim that he was way into presidenting back "before it was cool," Washington is widely known as the "Father of our Country," but not, regrettably, the "Father of Anything Else."
Washington remains the only president to receive 100 percent of the electoral votes. He was a farmer who became a soldier when his country needed him and, after he made the British look like a bunch of assholes in the Revolutionary War, he returned to his farm instead of taking advantage the massive political power inherent to commanding the winning army. He only accepted the presidency when it was made clear that his country needed him, and he made sure he stayed humble and condemned anything resembling "royal treatment," because he knew he was setting a president precedent, and he wanted all future presidents to stay grounded and be men of the people. He showed insane levels of badass bravery on the battlefield and a measured thoughtfulness as president, making himself the model that every subsequent president would strive to live up to (they all failed).
"Good luck following THIS, everyone else!"
Congressman Henry Lee celebrated Washington at his funeral saying, "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere; uniform, dignified and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting ..." If there is anyone in history who would have a right to examine his surroundings and claim, "You know, this world would be better if there were a bunch of Little Me's running around it," it would be George Washington.
"America's OK, I guess. Just seems like it could use some more Washington."
Unfortunately, "Ole' Town-Destroyer" was so busy basting America's fertile grounds with his strong-jawed president-juice that he never got around to shooting any into his wife in any kind of meaningful way. It's possible that Washington was sterile, or even that his wife Martha simply lacked the structural stability required to support the enormous balls of a baby Washington for nine months, but we'll never really know the truth. All we know is that our noble Soldier President was the last of his bloodline -- there are no more Washington's. It would have been nice to stock the White House with Washington Jr. after Washington Jr. from now until the end of time, but maybe it's better this way. Not every sequel lives up to the original.
I've written about my love of Nikola Tesla, "the father of radio, television, power transmission, the induction motor and the robot," before and Cracked has covered him elsewhere as well. For those who haven't read everything that's ever been published on this site (why?), suffice it to say that Tesla was a brilliant and passionate inventor who was screwed out of money, fame and respect by well-known supervillain Thomas Edison. Tesla was fluent in eight languages, a progressive supporter of gender equality and, according to a friend, "also a poet, a philosopher, an appreciator of fine music, a linguist and a connoisseur of food and drink." All in all, a fairly well-rounded guy (who also might have been crazy).
"And for my next science experiment: Teeessssllllaaaa!"
He died alone, in debt and, thanks to Edison, without any of the credit that he deserved. He was survived by no sons or daughters, apparently because he must not have thought he was worthy of any. Tesla sincerely (and controversially) believed that only the strongest and brightest should breed, that we should embrace eugenics and weed the "unfit" out of society, saying, "Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny." Tesla, unfortunately, simply didn't consider himself to be a desirable parent. His image of himself was so low, that he used himself as an example as someone who should not be contributing to a future race of supermen. Which sucked. Maybe if he'd had a kid, he'd realize he wasn't so shitty. Or, he could hand his knowledge down to his offspring, and that kid would fight to make sure the Tesla name received the respect and money that it deserved. Or, hell, even if the kid didn't end up in science, he would at the very least grow up to beat the crap out of Edison's shitty kids.
"My name is LightningBolt Tesla. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Also? At the time of his death, he was working on a fucking death ray. If he had passed on his brilliant mind to a son or daughter, and they used it to complete his work and research, can you imagine what would happen?
Loads of death, probably, sure, yeah, but HOLY-SHIT-A-DEATH-RAY!