PDA

View Full Version : Presidental Rankings



YamiB.
March 9th, 2009, 07:06 PM
Time to decide who the best and worst presidents were using the amazing power of democracy. Each poster should make their rankings for the top five and bottom five presidents and the overall rankings of the presidents will change accordingly. I would say that change in rankings should be allowed after the attempt a person makes at it because the whole point is to debate the pros and cons of the presidents in order to decide who belongs where.

Please post some kind of reason for your decision. Obama should be excluded form this because he has not finished serving as president.


Good Presidents
1. Lincoln (5)
2. FDR (4)
3. TR (3)
4. Washington (2)
5. Jefferson (1)
Neutral Presidents

Negative Presidents
1. Buchanan (5)
2. Pierce (4)
3. Hoover (3)
4. Nixon (2)
5. Reagan (1)

Good

1. Lincoln - Guided the country through one of our greatest crises, indirectly helped end the institution of American slavery.
2. FDR - Helped the country get out of the Great Depression, helped the Allies win WWII, established some worthwhile social programs.
3. Theodore Roosevelt - Great Reformer, anti-trust.
4. Washington - Helped to set a standard for the office and establish way the government worked under the Constitution as opposed to the Articles of Confederation.
5. Thomas Jefferson - Louisiana purchase helped to greatly strengthen the US.

Bad
1. Buchanan - Ineffective leadership in preventing the Civil War and made it worse by strengthening the states that would secede.
2. Franklin Pierce - Support of Kansas-Nebraska act, opened up greater advances for slavery and cause more tension over the issue, general ineffectiveness at calming tension over the slavery issue. I would like to also rate against him for supporting the Confederacy, but I suppose it doesn't count because he wasn't president at the time.
3. Hoover - For the most part clung to political ideology rather than looking at reality and helping with the Depression.
4. Nixon - Destroyed confidence in the presidency, horribly abused the power of his position, lied and cheated to get into that position.
5. Reagan - Iran-Contra, wasted money in the military sector while making cuts to social programs, helped to give us the terrible group of the Religious Right, ineffective response to the AIDs outbreak.

-----
6. Harding
7. Grant
8. Bush

Those last three don't count in the vote, just threw them in because I find it easier to list the bottom ones.

Wolf Myth
March 9th, 2009, 08:30 PM
5. Reagan - Iran-Contra, wasted money in the military sector while making cuts to social programs, helped to give us the terrible group of the Religious Right, ineffective response to the AIDs outbreak.

Reagan is among the worst? Really? He turned our economy around for the better and helped bring down Communism without firing a single shot. You know he must be good when even a Liberal like myself thinks he was one of our better presidents.

cds69
March 9th, 2009, 08:32 PM
Good
Lincoln - although I question a lot of his decisions, he presided over our country during what was the biggest crisis every faced by a President.
Washington - the man that defined what it meant to be President.
Reagan - within eight years he completely turned around a recessive economy and destroyed the global threat of communism.
Teddy Roosevelt - President, historian, conservationist, hunter, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Jefferson - perhaps the most intellectual of all Presidents.

Bad
Hoover - terrible monetary policy
Wilson - created the failed League of Nations, income taxes, federal farm loan programs, and was terrible in terms of race-relations.
Andrew Johnson - southern-sympathizer, mismanaged Reconstruction
Carter - terrible economic policy, terrible handling of the Iran hostage situation.
Buchanan - sorry excuse for a President. His presidency was one of paralysis as the South seceded and geared up for war.

Wolf Myth
March 9th, 2009, 08:47 PM
For what it's worth:

Top 5
1) Abraham Lincoln
2) Franklin Delano Roosevelt
3) George Washington
4) Thomas Jefferson
5) Andrew Jackson

Bottom 5
1) Herbert Hoover
2) Warren Harding
3) Andrew Johnson
4) Franklin Pierce
5) James Buchanan

And then there's these guys...
http://thehawaiiguy.com/5Presidents-BushObamaBushClintonCarter.jpg

Dr Gonzo
March 9th, 2009, 09:45 PM
The Good

1. Thomas Jefferson. I'm convinced he was an atheist, but didn't let it get in the way of governing a largely puritan nation. Intellectual powerhouse.
2. Teddy Roosevelt. He was pretty much a badass.
3. Bush 41. If it weren't for Perot, we wouldn't have had to deal with Clinton until 1996... which means there may not have been a Bush 43. Bad politician, good president.
4. Reagan. Reaganomics. Berlin Wall. Let the whole world believe he was a kindly grandfather type, doddering around, while he was flogging the crap out of the Soviets.
5. Lincoln. Yes, he held the country together during it's most serious crisis, but used somewhat questionable methods, which is why I put him last among the good ones and not first. Freed the slaves, but not for great humanitarian reasons; he did it to help destroy the economy of the south.

The Bad

1. Washington. He did set the standard for all later Presidents- he was the first to expand the powers of the Executive, and ran up an enormous debt.
2. Nixon. Corrupt a-hole with a capital ASS.
3. Carter. Ruined the economy, ruined foreign relations, ruined the '70s.
4. LBJ. Viet Nam. Nuff said.
5. Eh, I dunno... Ford? Kind of a bumbling dolt. Whatever. Maybe he was better than Agnew would have been.

The Ugly

1. Bush 43. As far as Presidents go, I think history will judge him differently than now. That being said, he was a totally ineffective politician, which is arguably a big part of the job - selling what you're doing to the American people and the world... and he was an atrocious salesman.

YamiB.
March 10th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Reagan is among the worst? Really? He turned our economy around for the better and helped bring down Communism without firing a single shot. You know he must be good when even a Liberal like myself thinks he was one of our better presidents.

I will admit that my position on Reagan is a little ambivalent, it very could be a reaction to conservatives far overrating him.

-I think he definitely failed on social policy.
-Domestically I have big problems with him overstepping his bounds by subverting congress so that our government could covertly interfere in the affairs of other nations.
-He is surely overrated in causing the fall of the Soviet Union he had the good luck to just be the president around when it happened and so the myth that Reagan brought down the USSR was born. Reagan certainly contributed as did various other presidents before him, plus there were the various problems within the USSR related to their own leadership.
-I don't how much he really did to help the economy he certainly didn't help with some of his wasteful spending coupled with tax cuts that grew the deficit. I'll admit I didn't consider much about the economy under Reagan, with a quick look it seems like the economy under him was a bit of a mixed bag.

the rate of growth of real GDP per capita averaged 2.77 under Reagan and 2.50% under Nixon, Ford and Carter. However, the unemployment rate averaged higher under Reagan (6.75% vs. 6.35%), average productivity growth was slower under Reagan (1.38% vs. 1.92%) and private investment as a percentage of GDP also averaged lower under Reagan (16.08% vs. 16.86%).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaganomics
-I'd also take issue with his strengthening of the War on Drugs and the military industrial complex.
-There does seem to be some ideas that he was responsible for helping to integrate the religious right into the Republican party and strengthened them, if this is correct it would be a horrible bane on our country.

I am open to actual reasoning as to why Reagan is considered to generally be a good president, but knowing what I do about him I just don't see it.


----
Before I update the list I just wanted to make sure about the way people numbered their worst lists. I notice Buchanan is 5th while more harsh things were said about him, was he meant to be ranked as the worst of the worst? I apologize if the way I set it up was confusing.

----
Wolf, why do you feel the way you do about those presidents?

---
Looking at the lists I realize I forgot Johnson as a crappy president, he might actually slip in to the spot where Reagan is on my list if I am convinced to move Reagan up as I suspect I will be.

Dr Gonzo
March 10th, 2009, 11:51 AM
It is patently unfair to consider averages in economic statistics. You're balancing what he started with (the previous President's "fault") with the end result. So, if Carter started with a good numbers, and tanked them in just 4 years (not saying he did, but trying to point out why your averages are not reflecting a truthful look), and Reagan's numbers looked good after 8 years, but started crappy... well, the crappier the start, the lower the "average" over the course of his administration.

For example of how you're not really being honest in your assessment:



Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth recovered strongly after the 1982 recession and grew during Reagan's remaining years in office at an annual rate of 3.4% per year, slightly lower than the post-World War II average of 3.6%. Unemployment peaked at over 10.7% percent in 1982 then dropped during the rest of Reagan's terms, and inflation significantly decreased. A net job increase of about 16 million also occurred (about the rate of population growth).

According to that one little snippet, it looks like Reagan turned around a horribly recessive economy. So much for your averages.

If conservatives see most social policy as money sinks, why would you accuse conservatives of "far overrating" him for "failing on social policy" that liberals, not conservatives, agree with? I consider that one of his saving graces, being a conservative type myself.

Do you really think it was just Charlie Wilson, and Charlie Wilson alone, who helped Afghanistan repel the Soviets? The US's role against the Red Army was a game-breaking economic blow to the USSR. That reason alone is probably the biggest single thing that helped lead to the economic collapse and subsequent revolution in the Soviet Union (outside influences wise, it's true that there was a LOT going on in the Kremlin at the time). Reagan was nailed for the Iran-Contra thing, because he had a finger print on it. Do you think that just because he kept himself clean with the Afghanistan thing that he didn't have a part in it at all? That's just plain ignorant. He was also one of the most outspoken critics of the Soviet Regime, a'la "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" in 1987. His foreign policy was geared directly at breaking the Soviets... but he was just a "minor player"? Also, his investment in the military industrial complex is another big contributor to the economic collapse in the USSR. We spent a ton of money, so they thought they had to too. And they did. And they broke.

Why do you think his part in the War on Drugs was bad policy???

Dr Gonzo
March 10th, 2009, 12:07 PM
And as an aside, now that I think about it... he wasn't even the President when the Soviet Union collapsed. You can't say he's getting unfair credit for it just because it happened while he was President.

cds69
March 10th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Although a dedicated conservative, Reagan was also a pragmatist. He knew that the biggest threat in the world was the USSR. Communism in the Soviet Union tumbled because Reagan, like most other supply-siders, knew that their centrally-planned economy would eventually implode trying to keep up with our military spending.

Wolf Myth
March 10th, 2009, 06:48 PM
I am open to actual reasoning as to why Reagan is considered to generally be a good president, but knowing what I do about him I just don't see it.

You might admit Reagan is just "good", but that doesn't explain why he's in your bottom five. In no way does he belong in the company of Buchanan, Hoover, and Pierce! I know these are just our opinions, but I just had to take issue with you putting Reagan so low. I have a feeling it's partisan emotion without regard to the positives he actually brought to the country. Not to say he wasn't without fault, but I can't think of any in my top five you don't have weaknesses along with strengths. They are human after all.

YamiB.
March 17th, 2009, 05:27 PM
You might admit Reagan is just "good", but that doesn't explain why he's in your bottom five. In no way does he belong in the company of Buchanan, Hoover, and Pierce! I know these are just our opinions, but I just had to take issue with you putting Reagan so low. I have a feeling it's partisan emotion without regard to the positives he actually brought to the country. Not to say he wasn't without fault, but I can't think of any in my top five you don't have weaknesses along with strengths. They are human after all.

After thinking it over I will say that I was wrong on this. Although I still think Reagan overall was harmful or at best neutral as a president, his positives should push him up more towards the center than having him sit on the bottom. I think that I definitely made the mistake of being too reactionary and in an attempt to pull Reagan down from the high place he has been put I overreacted.

I don't seem to be able to edit my first post to take out Reagan and move in Johnson. After realizing I forgot him I looked into him more deeply and realized that I was far too soft on him. Turns out some of the positive things I associated with occurring under his presidency were mostly due to Republicans in congress. He would accurately fit in my list as worse than Hoover, probably a close tie with Pierce. Is there a time limit to editing your posts?

Wolf, what were the reasons behind your choices?



Although a dedicated conservative, Reagan was also a pragmatist. He knew that the biggest threat in the world was the USSR. Communism in the Soviet Union tumbled because Reagan, like most other supply-siders, knew that their centrally-planned economy would eventually implode trying to keep up with our military spending.
You think Reagan was really the only person or even the only president that contributed to the fall of Communism in the USSR and of the USSR in general?



And as an aside, now that I think about it... he wasn't even the President when the Soviet Union collapsed. You can't say he's getting unfair credit for it just because it happened while he was President.

Correct, I definitely put out that thought incorrectly. I still stand by the central idea though, that Reagan is given an undue amount of credit for the fall of the USSR at the expense of other factors which contributed such as the contributions of other presidents and of systemic problems in the USSR and that this was due to the timing in relation to his presidency.


It is patently unfair to consider averages in economic statistics. You're balancing what he started with (the previous President's "fault") with the end result. So, if Carter started with a good numbers, and tanked them in just 4 years (not saying he did, but trying to point out why your averages are not reflecting a truthful look), and Reagan's numbers looked good after 8 years, but started crappy... well, the crappier the start, the lower the "average" over the course of his administration.

With a quick check it looks like the other presidents he was compared to also dealt with economic troubles. Particularly it seems Ford and Carter. This makes it seem that comparing them would be relevant.


For example of how you're not really being honest in your assessment:

I quoted the part of the article that was most relevant to what I was saying. That Reagan's economic policy may have been a mixed bag.



According to that one little snippet, it looks like Reagan turned around a horribly recessive economy. So much for your averages.
I never contested that there was an improvement to the economy under Reagan. I was pointing out much like the USSR situation that it simply does not seem to be as perfect a situation under Reagan as it can be looked back upon.



If conservatives see most social policy as money sinks, why would you accuse conservatives of "far overrating" him for "failing on social policy" that liberals, not conservatives, agree with? I consider that one of his saving graces, being a conservative type myself.

Being a liberal type I consider it to be a failing. If I consider conservatives to be wrong about their position on social programs then I will consider them liking a person for their opposition to those programs to be wrong and an overrating of that person.


Why do you think his part in the War on Drugs was bad policy???

His expansion of it irks me because of the problem associated with the War on Drugs with jailing people for possession leading to more problems with prisons, though there are obviously other presidents guilty in this. His single biggest problem on this front is support of mandatory minimum sentences especially because the way he did so led to a racial disparity in jailing.



Good Presidents
1. Lincoln (16)
2. FDR (9) / TR (9) / Jefferson (9)
3. Washington (5) / Reagan (5)
4. H.W. Bush (3)
5. Jackson (1)



Neutral Presidents


Negative Presidents
1. Hoover (12)
2. Johnson (9)
3. Buchanan (7)
4. Pierce (6)
5. Nixon (5) / Carter (5)
6. Wilson (4) / Harding (4)
7. LBJ (2)
8. Ford (1)

I'm glad to actually see Lincoln with a good lead up front. The last forum I did this on had him near the bottom.

Dr Gonzo
March 17th, 2009, 06:27 PM
His expansion of it irks me because of the problem associated with the War on Drugs with jailing people for possession leading to more problems with prisons, though there are obviously other presidents guilty in this. His single biggest problem on this front is support of mandatory minimum sentences especially because the way he did so led to a racial disparity in jailing.


The tougher sentences were largely pushed through Congress by the Democrats who were in the majority. Reagan did sign those bills, and he did appoint some crazy wack-jobs in charge of Drug policy, that is true... but he also started military support to Colombia to combat the traffickers themselves, which has by far has made the biggest dent in cocaine and heroin trafficking in the US. I urge you to read up on Plan Colombia sometime, and know that it got it's start under Reagan in the '80s.