Cross Posted at Left Coast Rebel
my list of worst presidents of all time, yesterday I shared with you my picks for Best Presidents of All Time numbers 10 through 8, today I bring you my selections for 7 through 5th.
#7 John F. Kennedy – yes he was a womanizer, yes he was a product of an enormous and vicious political machine not seen the likes of again until the Clintons. Yes he and Bobby were behind the disaster at the “bay of pigs” and probably were detrimental to Marilyn Monroe’s health. Yes he picked as VP the man who would expand welfare beyond all reasonable limits and totally screw up Vietnam…But I can’t help it. Unlike Chairman Zero he really did inspire people. One of the greatest quotes of the 20th century “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” one of the few democrat Presidents to believe in cutting taxes, bringing about a time of prosperity not rivaled since the end of WWII. Championed equal rights legislation (against the democrats in congress). His vision put a man on the moon, the beginning of the end of the USSR. Did successfully keep the planet out of annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis. His strong stance against the Commies in Berlin forced Moscow to ease its pressure on central Europe. I would take him back in a second if I could trade him for Chairman Zero. But I am prepared to take the heat for this pick.
#6 James Madison – The Father of the Constitution, wrote many of the Federalist Papers, helped frame the bill of rights. Presided over the war of 1812 – our second war of independence. This put the US on track to become a real player on the world stage. Foresaw what would happen if things did not change regarding the southern states and civil war. Ranking him #6 will probably be controversial, but I would rank him very near #1 as our leading Founder.
#5 Calvin Coolidge – Became President upon the death of Warren Harding of a heart attack. Alfred E. Smith, a Democrat, said Coolidge was “distinguished for character more than for heroic achievement. His great task was to restore the dignity and prestige of the presidency when it had reached the lowest ebb in our history…in a time of extravagance and waste".” If that is not a glowing endorsement and a prescription for what we will need in 2012 I do not know what is. Dubbed Silent Cal, because he was very stoic and did not waste words, many thought of him as lazy. He refused to speak on the telephone as president. He believed that meddling was the worst thing a president could do, realizing that most issues resolve themselves. He refused to use federal power to meddle with agriculture and industry. He was a believer in cutting taxes on farmers and producers. 1924 was a time known in the day as the “Coolidge Prosperity” Walter Lippman said Coolidge’s political genius was a talent for doing effectively doing nothing “this active inactivity suits the mood and the needs of the country admirably. It suits all those who have become convinced that government in this country has become dangerously complicated and top heavy.” whew…that is conservative porn right there! Following the Presidencies of Wilson and Harding his level of Character, Honesty, and total disdain for social experimentation and government intrusion would have been fresh air indeed. He lowered the debt nearly 25% while in office from 22 Billion to 17 billion. Federal expenditures (budget) of $5.1 billion in 1921 were reduced to $3.3 billion in 1929. He Cut taxes four out of his six years as president. The effective tax rate on the wealthy was 50 percent (1922) and he reduced it to 20 percent. Causing revenue from that tax bracket to rise from $77 million to $230 million.
In a typical display of his famed candor and frugality of words he issued his most famous statement while on vacation in the Black hills stating, “I do not choose to run for President in 1928”
Once again, a man who would have been easily re-elected, choosing to give up the power without struggle.
Have a differing opinion on this list? Who would you have put here? What is your guess for my Top 4?
Next up…The top 4
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