Ranking the Presidents

I know this is a little late for the holiday but here is C-SPAN’s ranking of our 42 past Presidents.  I like the first and last choices, though I think FDR, Teddy, and Wilson are too high while my favorite under-appreciated President, Calvin Coolidge, gets not nearly enough props.

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  • I’m a little sad that presidents who showed so little regard for the lives of civilian foreigners should be rated as high as they are. If we, as a nation, paid even lip-service to the golden rule, things like the WTC attack less than being surprising should merely be seen as our murder of crows coming home to roost.

    By the notion that doing nothing as president is still better than doing damage, William Henry Harrison probably should have been higher on the list…

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Adam Carrington

    Dane, could you be more specific on who you mean by those “who showed so little regard for the lives of civilian foreigners”? I understand FDR, but who else did you have in mind?

    Also, I can’t agree that 9/11 “should merely be seen as our murder of crows coming home to roost.” The hatred of portions of radical Islam for all things Western and American go deeper than any specific foreign policy actions in the past. Such an attack was undeserved, malicious, and rooted in a desire to eventually do away with our culture in the interest of a theocratic Islamic state.

    Oh, and I do like Harrison (from my home state of Ohio) and one reason I liked Coolidge was from how little he did, knowing that action should not always be misunderstood for good leadership.

  • I’m sure there are others, but in particular (and beyond FDR), I’m thinking Truman and Jackson. The disregard for human life shown by these men’s choices chill me.

    As to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, I think a lot could be said about motivation both for the attack itself and for the reasons for radical hatred of America, but I think a good chunk of the motive for the latter may well rest on America’s native instinct toward racial prejudice and extreme nationalism as exhibited in the American international policy. If America hadn’t shown such blatant disregard for foreign human dignity and lives, we wouldn’t have, well, any of the enemies we have today. Our enemies aren’t jealous of American freedom; they’re angry that we kill and exploit those who are not us. And then we demand that those countries be us. Only they aren’t allowed to kill and exploit those in their way. Only we can do that.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • History will be kinder to George W. Bush than this ranking was, in my opinion. There are a lot of things I would like. I believe Lincoln is ranked too highly, although I understand why most put him at the top. Among the other overranked, in my opinion, are FDR, Jefferson, Wilson, and LBJ. The underranked include Reagan, Coolidge, and Adams. Just my nickel’s worth of free opinion.

    Matt Privetts last blog post..Is the SBC eating its young?

  • That should read “a lot of things I would CHANGE.”

    Matt Privetts last blog post..Is the SBC eating its young?