Cross Posted at Left Coast Rebel
So a few days ago I posted my list of 10 Worst Presidents of all Time, I was prompted to do this because of the recent publishing of a ranking of the presidents by someone in the Legacy Obama Echo Chamber media. THAT list was pretty much upside down and inside out, so I thought I would make my own list. You will notice that in my list character and personal honor may take a higher position than some miraculous political achievement, and that is totally by design.
#10 [Tie] two one term presidents (by choice) are tied for #10 To have the power of the Presidency and voluntarily give it up speaks to a man’s character and that is one reason I put these two on the list. One shaped our boundaries in the west. (a blessing and a curse), and the other had undeniable character and a vision for the panama canal.
Polk - was a workaholic who worked long hours. He was elected to the House of Representatives and became Jackson's floor leader in the fight against the National Bank. His term as President was 1845-1849. Polk achieved his four major objectives - the acquisition of California, the settlement of the Oregon question, the reduction of the tariff, and the establishment of the independent treasury. Polk had announced before taking office that he would not seek a second term, a promise he kept.
Hayes – Accepted the nomination for House of Representatives but refused to campaign because he was still commissioned and on active duty in the military. Won the Presidency in an election that seemed to be replayed in 2000. Hayes insisted that all political appointments be based on merit and made his advisors rotate posts so that they did not become complacent. Hayes never planned to run for a second term in office and retired in 1881. He spent the rest of his life devoted to causes of importance to him such as providing scholarships to African Americans and encouraging temperance. He believed in and proposed civil service reform measures. Further, he set down a policy that would eventually lead to the development of the Panama Canal.
#9 Truman – Did not even want to be vice-President, telling FDR’s man to “go to hell, I am for Jimmy Byrne” later was convinced to take it. When FDR died he said, “Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. ... When they told me what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me. I've got the most terribly responsible job a man ever had." George Will called Truman the last great leader the nation has had. As president at a most crucial period in the nation's history, it fell to him to make decisions that would determine the shape of events, both at home and abroad, for the next half-century. He set the course not only for the Free World's resistance to the march of communism, but for the resurgence of Western Europe. His policies laid the foundation for the recovery of Germany and Japan and the integration of Europe. Truman insisted that atomic power should serve the ends of peace and not only war. He took the first steps toward re-integration of the races in the military after Woodrow Wilson segregated them. Maybe one of the most humble presidents we have had, especially in the 20th century.
#8 Eisenhower –Ike understood the battle that would shape the twentieth and, so far, the 21st century: “Now we face a battle to extinction. … Our form of government is under deadly, persistent, and constant attack.” He warned friends about liberals who “would merely advance us one more step toward total socialism, just beyond which lies total dictatorship.” It was time, he proclaimed, to “combat remorselessly all those paternalistic and collectivistic ideas" that would eventually cause "the collapse of self-government.” Eisenhower was the first Cold Warrior, and he understood that the ideological war was very real. In 1953, Eisenhower brought all these views with him into the White House. His first inaugural address set the tone: “Forces of good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history.…Freedom is pitted against slavery; lightness against the dark.” To the end of his presidency, his basic message never changed. Midway through his second term, he was still warning that “the menace of communist imperialism” had “almost unlimited power.” “Peace, national safety—survival itself—demand of America strength in its every aspect.” Yep ,“I like Ike”
How am I doing so far?
Stay tuned for the rest of the list…