posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 07:31 PM
my friend and i made our list of the top ten, ill post it here with explanations. for the record, we're both centrists, but shes slightly more
liberal, and im slightly more conservative.
FDR and Lincoln each had one of the most trying presidencies in american history, and both would have been a sure failure had not both men been there.
we put them both at the top because we could not decide. lincoln handled the civil war perfectly, and had he survived reconstruction would have been
a success rather than an utter failure and the deep, deep racism in the south would have been much softer. he was also one of the most presidential
men ever, in character. FDR likewise handled the depression nearly perfectly, and designed such a fantastic system that will last and succeed for a
long, long time. he had blemishes, especially the packing of the courts, but on the whole it was beautiful. he also faced the advent of WWII.
again, the internment camps are a (major) blemish, but he handled all the affairs brilliantly. it would have been interesting to see what wuld have
happened had he survived.
washington, as the first president, set the stage for every other president. every president, 2-43, has modeled their presidency and administratin
after his in some way or another. he had so much power, so much ability, everything was so undefined, he could have been king. he left after two
terms. he crushed shays rebellion. nothing extraordinary, but he warrants the position.
TR for being TR. foreign policy was superb, domestic affairs (trust busting) were superb. and lets not forget setting the first land aside to be
preserved, and a huge amount. truman takes fifth for coming in at the end of WWII, and ending it in the best way possible. he handled a very,
very testy situation fantastically. United nations. and lets not forget the marshall plan, shall we? rebuild europe?
wilson takes 6 for similar reasons. progressive measures, but sterling service during the war. his 14 points were amazing, and had the congress not
shifted, his plan for global government would surely be the current one. jefferson (although a total racist prick) did one of the greatest things
ever, highly against his own personal views, and bought the louisiana purchase. doubling the size of the country, without that we would have remained
a tight, conservative country, nowhere near our current expansive power. he had a number of other views (he hated the bank) that he forwent
jfk took 8. charming, well carried, beloved. his space program defined america, and we can attribute a lot of our current successes in technology,
not just space, to that initiative. bay of pigs, bummer, but the cuban missile crisis was a miracle, thanks to him. and, had he not been killed, he
would have seriously, seriously, lowered the troop count in vietnam (a good idea). polk, with 9. most people dont no what polk did, but he did. we
basically owe the entire western country to him. california, oregon, texas, all that. and a nicely done war with mexico. clinton takes 10 because
he was a good president. smart, terribly smart, and a fantastic orator. the boon of the 90s is a huge credit to him, but the rest of his domestic
affairs was held up to the same standards.
she and i made this list last year, and we finally numbered them. it coincides perfectly with a list made by 200 historians, except they replaced
clinton with reagan. they made theirs in 1999, they would never have put clinton on there. personally, i would put polk at 11, and sneak in reagan
at 10. otherwise, reagan, jackson, eisenhower are the next three, in that order (not sure about eisenhower). nixon is higher than most would want
(he was a great president, truly great, the cover up/money scandal was a terrible, terrible marr.
its also worth noting that one of the things we included in our criticisms was the time. jackson left a trail of terrible miseries (literally) but he
was, at the time, the best thing to happen to the country. he also shaped the office of president, and made it more like what it is today, less