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'everything that's old is new again', American, analysis, Constitution, history, progressive, propaganda, surveillance, The President, The Republic

The Greatness of Presidents

How DOES one measure a President’s greatness?  Can we really compare John Adams to Millard Fillmore?  Is it holding to the Constitutional base?  Preserving the Union through extra-legal means?  Being a good guy?

I remember as a kid being taught Washington was great because he was offered kingship and declined.  And he was a great general who never told a lie.  Of course, he wasn’t so great during the French and Indian War, and the whole Whiskey Rebellion thing.

Jefferson.  One of my heroes.  Governmental minimalist.  Except, he too, took the reins and expanded governmental power.  And, he was a nasty slave owner, like Washington.  Of course, he did draft the 3/5 compromise, setting the stage for eventual emancipation of the slaves.

Lincoln.  Preserved the Union!  Through extra-legal means like suspending Habeus Corpus.  Massacred Indians.  Freed slaves in States over which he had no control.

Theodore Roosevelt.  Rough Rider.  Trust Buster.  Progressive.  Racist.

Franklin Roosevelt, his second cousin.  Kept us in the Great Depression much longer than the rest of the World.  Another Progressive.  Locked up the Nisei.  Military tribunals for combatants and civilians.  Was elected FOUR times!

JFK.  Didn’t duck.  Daddy bought him the White House by dealing with Sam Giancana.  Had style.  Charisma.

Reagan.  Likable.  Snowed the Soviets into disbanding and taking down the wall.  High taxes.  Central American underground war stuff.

G.W. Bush.  Also likeable.  Kept us ‘safe’ after 911 with the War in Afghanistan and The PATRIOT Act.

You notice certain names are conspicuous by their absence…?

So what do YOU think?

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “The Greatness of Presidents

  1. William Henry Harrison!

    You gotta love a guy who determinedly gave a 2 hour speech in nasty weather.
    (Today I have to give a two & 1/2 hour lecture while in extreme back pain)
    And then died a month later due to pneumonia.

    He wasn’t in office long enough for anyone who voted for him to become disappointed!

    Now THAT’S political genius!!

    Posted by Tomi | April 28, 2014, 7:44 am
  2. If Kennedy hadn’t been shot, his great claims to fame would have been

    1. Escalating Viet Nam
    2. Bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war
    3. Riding Marilyn Monroe like a race horse.

    Posted by robertsgunshop | April 28, 2014, 9:45 am
  3. JFK, Bobby and who knows who else… I would add Ike to that list. He got the Interstate system started, which did a lot to ‘connect’ the USA…

    Posted by oldnfo | April 28, 2014, 5:42 pm
  4. Gerald Ford, pretty much did nothing. Nixon.

    Posted by Matt | April 28, 2014, 8:26 pm
  5. Our presidents are humans, with human failings. Is greatness being infallible, or rising above one’s failings?

    I’d still nominate Washington. He could have been king, and although I don’t believe he never told a lie, he was considered an honest and upright man by friends and enemies alike. Without him backing the Constitution, it would not have passed.

    Madison is another decent candidate. He wrote most of the Constitution, it isn’t his fault that we have been ignoring his wise counsel. As a war president he made some bad decisions and appointed some incompetents, leading to the burning of the capitol, but I’m not looking for perfection here. He managed to end the War of 1812 on decent terms.

    Finally, Andrew Jackson. War hero, man of the people. You could also say racist and bigot, and his words would agree. His actions… differ. A man of his professed views ensuring that the blacks that fought under him were paid and treated identically with the rest, and providing food and help for indians he had earlier subjugated is interesting, to say the least. A complex man, but certainly not a coward, and one of the few ‘self-made’ men to be president.

    Posted by tweell | April 30, 2014, 11:31 am

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