Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The new ranking of Presidents. I agree on some, but strong disagree on others

I have seen in the last few months a new ranking of Presidents. My blood boiled a little and I had a few chuckles and agreements, and of course as we all do, some points on which we disagree. I have a few comments to make.

It listed Lincoln as #1. He has often held that title and it seems fair to retain him. Although who Lincoln was is often not too well known. We have a myth factor around him, so to be honest we will never really know the real Lincoln. He has been stretched out of shape by too many historians and biographers with a slant this way or that. Also he did do many things that often are not talked about much. But he was great at what he did.

#2 was Washington who also was an amazing man and the first President. Who was Washington ? No one really knows him too well either as much of his information has been stretched by historians like Lincoln has.

Then we get the rest. I like Franklin Roosevelt, he was a good and crafty liar as most politicians have to be. Although he was a far worse liar than Lincoln. Lincoln made it an art form. Roosevelt was good though. Roosevelt saw us through WW2 and some of the Depression. He stole a lot of Hoover's ideas and they didn't work for him either. In fact it was WW2 that got us out of the great depression, not Roosevelt. Like it or not Roosevelt should be where he is.

Jefferson I find to be not worthy of the top 10. He was not much and has been made into much more by political historians who have held their noses not to smell the rotten truth of what and who Jefferson was. He was snake in the grass and worked hard to destroy many people.

Woodrow Wilson was a sick man. His health was pretty bad. Much of his Presidency was like a class at Princeton. What the office of President needs more often than not is a man who can make history, not recite it.
Through his broken dream and mind he laid waste to much that would follow him. He knew history and followed his goal. We are still suffering from him to this day.

I choked when I saw JFK was listed as 6th!
I can seriously list him around 18 or 20. But was he great? No, not at all.
He caused more trouble and did many corrupt and bad things. He was more concerned at times with getting his rocks off, than doing his job.
In many ways he was very much like Warren G Harding. The only different thing between Harding and Kennedy was this...Harding didn't have a fan club. And people to protect his legacy, and in Kennedy's case it was largely made up.
Jackie Kennedy often regretted coming up with that phony idealized version of what his Presidency was. Camelot was nothing like the Kennedy Presidency

I would think that Lyndon B Johnson would get a better rating than he did. Well he did a lot more than Kennedy. In fact when came to civil rights, JFK had to be forced into to supporting it. He really did not do too much. Although the civil rights bill was presented to Congress through the Kennedy administration, Kennedy did not push the issue. he just did what he had too, nothing more.
The man who did it all was LBJ. In all those idealized pictures of JFK, MLK and RFK I always get a chuckle. Robert Kennedy was tapping Martin L King's phone lines. and JFK was not doing too much.

Thank you LBJ for the Civil Rights Act. You should be in that picture. For it was through you that it was passed and fought for.

Now U.S. Grant went up from being near dead last for the last century to being 23? What the hell was that about? He was a lousy President , and had more corruption in his administration than Harding and Nixon combined.
But being that he was inept, he was unaware of any. He belongs with Andrew Johnson.

George W Bush and Jimmy Carter are two peas in a pod Equally lousy. Nuff said

Theodore Roosevelt is a little too high on the list for my judgement. I always liked to recall what Truman said of him." He was more bull than moose." Much of Roosevelt's fame was constructed to make him look more heroic than what was really there.
Was he the great trust buster? Not really, William Howard Taft in half the time busted many more trusts than Roosevelt. But few wish to mention that. Cause it takes away from the myth.

Speaking of Taft he was shafted by this survey I can see him higher, not too much higher. But where he is listed is nonsense.

I can see Reagan around 12-14 on the list. he was good in his first term but he was too old in his second. He became a shadow of himself in the second term. He was literally lost in his own mind. partially due to his sickness, and partially due to the fact he was too old and feeble for the job.

I would like to see McKinley higher as he did a lot for which he is never credited . TR takes away much of what was McKinley's.

I would also like to push for a much higher listing and level for John Tyler. He reshaped the Presidency too and was the building block to which every succeeding Vice President who had to assume office should be thankful for.

I will agree that James Buchanan was the worst President we ever had.

Pierce, Johnson, Carter, Bush, Grant, Hoover,Harding, and Coolidge are worthy of being in his circle.

I would like to go through all of them here and I will in time. When I started this blog a few years ago, I did a posting of listings of Presidents and who were great, near great, very good, fair, etc. I will have to revisit it, and I welcome you to do that too. I will do a listing of all the Presidents in a few weeks and a poll that I feel suits them. Of course we will never all agree, but I wish to use a more scientific method in judging them...pure facts, nothing to do with popularity or wishful thinking. Just the facts. When you do it that way many of these men look far different than how they are pictured.