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What is a president's greatest legacy?

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posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:17 PM
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"Legacy" is a word thrown about a lot but not really understood. The Prez has little power on his own, congress has to be dealt with. That's the way of the nation. 3 separate entities that have to deal with each other. One can call a president a "war president" or a "diplomatic president" but it matters little without congress to back one up.

There may be gridlock. There may be mistakes. What REALLY defines a president though and congress by extension? It's the Constitution and who is entrusted with it. That's the Supreme Court. The keepers of the Constitution. These people aren't elected and they serve for life, or until they retire.

I think the best legacy for a president, and congress, is the people they entrust to this branch of the government. They are minimal, only 9. Their power though supersedes the executive and the legislative branches. They are the keepers of the Grail, the Constitution. I believe those that are raised to the SC are more important than who is Secretary of State, VP or any other position of the like.

If I'm wrong, tell me please.




posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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Ah, the greatest legacy they all leave is their lip service to the fools that think the "president" is someone "greater" than they are.

It's sick to think that people almost deify their President/King/Queen/Prime Minister these days.

In truth, none of them leave a real legacy.

A real legacy would be showing the people that THEY are the true masters of their own destiny. That THEY are the ones that shape the future, not pen pushers in an office in some far off "capital city" that no one really cares about.

Sadly though, the psychosis of "rulers" runs deep, and I'll probably be thought of as a crack-pot for even suggesting this...



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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I think you're right. The Supreme Court interprets the Constitution and has the power to allow or prevent a law from being enforced depending on their decision on it's constitutionality. One Supreme Court justice could potentially sit on the bench for 50 years if they live that long after being confirmed and don't retire. They have the potential to impact our nation to a far greater degree than any president if only due to the length of their appointment.

Unfortunately, what seems to happen is presidents are more concerned with nominating justices who will side with them on everything that comes up than with nominating justices who will uphold the Constitution. From what I can tell, they all have. The republican presidents nominate only conservatives and the democrat presidents nominate only liberals. When it comes to the SC, political leanings shouldn't matter. They aren't there to further political goals, they are there to interpret the Constitution and reign in the other two branches when they overstep their bounds.

That doesn't mean that who is elected to Congress or the presidency doesn't matter though. Those offices do matter, greatly. The effects of their actions can last for decades and frequently affect the country quicker and harder than a SC decision. Especially when we have congressmen who basically become senators or representatives for life.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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I’ll disagree…I think a President's greatest legacy isn't "who" he nominates the Supreme Court - it's the leadership he provides during his tenure. Leadership can be defined in many ways but I'd limit it to the situations that he’s faced with and the corresponding decisions that he made – and then, whether those decisions made the country stronger/better or weaker/worse-off. In most cases only history can properly judge a President (and as an aside, may I say that I typically don't agree with these bozo professors who provide “top-10” lists of the greatest Presidents).



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 10:22 PM
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While not precisely answering your question of "What is a president's greatest legacy?", I think the most important thing which people have lost the desire to recognize is that most presidential legacies are not seen materialized for many years, decades even, after they have left. Very, very few leave office with a real legacy in hand. Those few were men who saw monumental occurences while they were in office and dealt with them accordingly. I'm talking Washington (granted, the monumental occurrence was before he became the first president, but he carried our freedom into the office with him), Lincoln, FDR, and to some degree Nixon (whose "legacy" is negative, but was apparent when he left.) I realize that many knee-jerk folks with agendas say that Clinton left no legacy or Bush left no legacy, or one or both left negative legacies. In my opinion, it is too early to judge either man's legacy whatsoever.

Now, to directly answer the original question... it depends. For some presidents, their legacy may seem small or even negative, but what they had to deal with must be considered before judging what they left behind. Take William Harrison, for example. He was only in office for a month before he died. In that short time, however, he left behind a legacy which has touched virtually everyone who has experienced childhood since his death... that legacy: Always wear a hat & coat when it is cold and raining outside. Obviously a ridiculous example of a legacy, but you get my point. Some presidents have presided over war, some over peace, some for 8 years, one for a month, yet I think all of them have left legacies and all of them have left something of value behind.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


I think too much burden is placed on the presidency..

I think a presidents greatest job is to inspire, not fix everything.

To many blame Obama or Bushes policies, for things sometimes I dont think they are obligated to do.


Unfortunately the presidency has turned into an issue of being a man who is supposed to correct issues.. When I think it's their job more than anything to lead.


When was the last time we had a president that was openly called a leader?

I'd say probably most would say FDR or JFK. But Im only 21... I havent seen many presidents, the once I have I dont think they are leaders.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by Miraj
When was the last time we had a president that was openly called a leader?


For many, George W. Bush immediately following 9/11.

I think sometimes personal political bias clouds half the peoples' abillity to see leadership. I'm not trying to be preachy here, I find it to be an enormous struggle to find any hint of leadership in Obama. In fact, I don't believe I have ever had anything good to say about the man at all. In fact, some people likely hold a political bias which makes it difficult to see the good in any president or authority figure, period.

The population as a whole, however, seems to be able to find leadership qualities in everyone who has held the presidency.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 10:48 PM
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Well just in case anyone in the Presidents organization reads this site just to keep up with the wants and needs of the average voter I would have to say that the greatest legacy a President can leave is to shrink government to a reasonable size and then to cut taxes accordingly!

Hint, hint, hint...



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by burdman30ott6
 


I guess that is true! But how I don't think he inspired many in the long.

At least not positively.


I think that's the greatest thing you can do for a nation. Inspire them to greatness... Certainly not a thing I have seen yet. But it seems as though inspiration is needed in recent years.



posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


What he leaves behind in terms of policies enacted while in office .



posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 01:11 PM
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Legacy?

First and foremost, a Presidential legacy, no matter who it is, is largely based upon what his fellow citizens feel about him when he leaves.

Our Presidents have left behind mixed bags in terms of the sentiment/legacy...

Some good. Some bad. Most mixed. ...and some "Who?".

Personally, I think a Presidents lasting positive legacy is Leadership and Style. It doesn't matter in the end what policies he espoused in his tenure as President, because the country is strong enough to survive it. What matters is how he went about the espousal...because the Presidential attitude will go even further, in my opinion, towards mucking it up/fixing it then any legislation he might sign.

We can all think of Presidents who's policies we agreed with for the most part, but didn't much care for how he went about it. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan are diametrically opposite ends of this scale.

Carter and his endless talk of "malaise". Reagan and his almost relentless belief in the ability of America to do anything it sets its mind to.

There is a reason Carter is considered by many to be amongst the worst Presidents in our history, and Reagan to be one of the greatest. It came down to style of leadership.

Leadership and style. A President of the United States doesn't need to be an intellectual giant...in fact, maybe it's better if he/she isn't. I'm not talking being stupid by any means...but high intelligence at that level of leadership can lead to a certain amount of needless, perhaps even dangerous, arrogance.

So a lasting legacy should be leadership, and how he went about providing it.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 06:12 AM
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Originally posted by intrepid
"Legacy" is a word thrown about a lot but not really understood. The Prez has little power on his own, congress has to be dealt with.


It is true that in the US the balance of power is with the legislator. My study of the US political system which has been aided by two former regular posters has taught me something important that I will do my best to explain . George Washington ensured that the office of the presidency would be revered rather then just a formal positional that approved of what ever Congress wanted .

This means today that Americans and to some extend people overseas expect the POTUS to lead the way by example . For instance when people criticised Bush for all the pork barrel spending that was going on they didn't expect him alone to put a stop to the practice . Instead they expected Bush to speak out with the mantle of the presidency against any such spending from either party .


What REALLY defines a president though and congress by extension? It's the Constitution and who is entrusted with it.


Sure you just have to remember that many of the so called Constitutionalists only want to obey the sections of the there sacred document . They want to keep there guns but not any Federal income tax is one example of this .



Originally posted by burdman30ott6
While not precisely answering your question of "What is a president's greatest legacy?", I think the most important thing which people have lost the desire to recognize is that most presidential legacies are not seen materialized for many years, decades even, after they have left. Very, very few leave office with a real legacy in hand.


Around the time Bush was due to leave office I made the same point around the boards using different wording . At the time I sighted the example of Truman who left office with then record low poll numbers but is now regarded as one of the best presidents .




[edit on 12-8-2010 by xpert11]



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


The greatest legacy from a President, or any other leader is this:

They sent their men to die in stupid and immoral wars.

That is their legacy.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:50 PM
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I think it's tough to see right away...it's only years later when it reveals itself.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:50 PM
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I think it's tough to see right away...it's only years later when it reveals itself.



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