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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who was the greatest President of all time

Some may say Washington or Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt or JFK

this is such a hard question for me

I will think on it

It will be interesting to see your responses and perhaps we can learn alittle more about our presidents

;)
 

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This should get interesting.

I remember some time ago being at a website that polled people about the president they thought was the best in different areas/etc. Very interesting website. Unfortunately, I do not remember the URL or name of it. And I believe it was posted here by Mulder some time ago as well.

Best president ever? I don't think I could pick just one. That would be really hard to do. Presidents generally do horrible/ok/great in different areas. So everyone will have a different opinion. And its hard to judge accurately a president who was of another era/time.

But among my top would be: Theordore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, George Washington, Harry Truman.

My bottom includes John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson. :D

For those who think they may be forgetting a particular president, the following is a nice place for general bigographical info about each US president: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Cyber

Yah JFK is high on my list but there is others
This is a very hard question & the debate should rage on this subject.
 

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I just don't see Reagan making the cut. He wasn't nearly as popular in office as revisionist would have us believe. I don't think he can even make the top Presidents of the 20th century. His accomplishments were marred by public division, debt and lasting feelings of exclusion.
The founding fathers that became President make the grade for certain. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
George Washington is usually lumped in with those but it's a little misleading considering his service during the revolution as compared to guys like Franklin, and Patrick Henry. Washington didn't conceive of the issue of independence. He carried the torch & did it with virtue. It was a symbiotic relationship and Washington should be credited with setting the standard still yearned for today.
Did you know that George Washington once split a French officers head open with an ax? He was a British junior grade officer at the time. It caused a real international crisis for at the time.
And you thought it was a cherry tree.
Lincoln & FDR deserve huge kudos for leadership during the worst of times.
Lincoln had to do some cruel things during the civil war. Yet the compassion that he showed is what makes us remember him. His final speech on March 4, 1865 as the war was drawing to a close is one of the most important addresses in American history.

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.

He died April 15th 1865.

FDR came into office with a staggering 24.9% unemployment rate. Some may scoff at the New Deal and it may not be popular now but it seemed to be what people needed then.
When World War II crashed into the US he was able to rally Americans for four years. Even Lincoln couldn't do that.
Imagine taking the US military with 1,800,000 active duty personnel in 1941 to 12,100,000 in 1945. Holy crap that's a lot of men and material. To top it all off people at home wanted to do everything they could to help.
Perhaps FDR gets a bit of a sympathy vote much as JFK does but the man preformed amazingly under pressure.
This is where our limey brethren can point to Winston Churchill and say "our finest hour".

I don't think we've had a President of those calibers since. It may just be that time needs to pass first but partisanship is strangling off the "great" from seeking public office.
Jimmy Carter had/has tremendous virtue & was probably the last President that could claim he wanted to make life better for all Americans. His administration may not have been able to accomplish anything, due in part to his own party disliking him, but no lasting harm was during his time in office. There is a reason why he always scores so high in mock Presidential elections. Imagine what a President today could accomplish with Carter's convictions.
Jimmy may not belong on the list but a hell of a man none the less.
 

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Truman.

He served in combat in World War l as an Artilleryman, knew the horrors of war first hand.

This "Country bumpkin" gathered a wounded nation together in times of its greatest stress, rallied us in our time of deepest sorrow, put straight the road to Victory. He made the hardest strategic decision and in retrospect, made his decision simple enough for all to understand: drop the bomb and save millions on both sides, or vacillate and watch them die.

In Peace, he bound up the wounds of this nation, and in a time when others before him spoke not when their opportunity was there, started the movement towards true freedoms as outlined in the Constitution when he integrated the Armed Forces in the face of blistering opposition from politicians both North and South, a true proclamation of freedom which gave birth to the modern Civil Rights movement, which gave birth to Voter's rights, the Woman's movement, which gave birth to Women's reproductive rights, which lead to Gay rights and other rights not given by any President before or since.

He won an election in 1948 that no one of any political persuasion thought possible and again, in the face of a divided country and the walkout of the "Dixiecrats".
He stood eyeball to eyeball with supercilious, primadonna General MacArthur, "The American Caesar" and MacArthur blinked.

"Give 'em Hell, Harry" still resonates in the minds of many of us old enough to know and remember him:

"Here's to us, Harry, and those like us, and the damn few of us left";
"Hooah
!'
 

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I'm a Truman admirer as well. Have you ever seen the HBO movie "Truman"?
 

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Well done Oldie :D

I was wondering when someone would ask if Webfish meant "greatest American president of all time"....
 

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I'm surprised you would even mention Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln: honest statesman, advocate of freedom, beloved man of the people. Or was he? Today, we bring you The Truth.

In the United States in 1860, decades of post-colonial inbreeding had led to over 40% of the male population being named Abraham Lincoln, with another 12% named Lincoln Abraham. (Most women were named Harriet Beecher Stowe.) In Illinois, a young lawyer named Romney Van Gorn deduced that if there were an Abraham Lincoln on the presidential ticket, it would provide said candidate a distinct advantage over his rival.

Van Gorn then changed his name to Abraham Lincoln, grew a beard and wore a top hat to disguise himself, and started out on the campaign trail. True to his theory, voters elected him, thinking they were voting for themselves, their neighbors, or the then-current head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Abraham Lincoln II.

Romney "Abraham Lincoln" Van Gorn. Now you know The Truth.

"Lincoln used war to destroy the U.S. Constitution in order to establish a powerful central government". This is certainly a strong statement, but in fact Lincoln illegally suspended the writ of habeas corpus; launched a military invasion without consent of Congress; blockaded Southern ports without declaring war; imprisoned without warrant or trial some 13,000 Northern citizens who opposed his policies; arrested dozens of newspaper editors and owners and, in some cases, had federal soldiers destroy their printing presses; censored all telegraph communication; nationalized the railroads; created three new states (Kansas, Nevada, and West Virginia) without the formal consent of the citizens of those states, an act that Lincoln’s own attorney general thought was unconstitutional; ordered Federal troops to interfere with Northern elections; deported a member of Congress from Ohio after he criticized Lincoln’s unconstitutional behavior; confiscated private property; confiscated firearms in violation of the Second Amendment; and eviscerated the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
The first income tax was imposed during the Civil War under President Abraham Lincoln.
His army of supporters put to death at least 40,000 northerners, and contrary to popular belief he did not free slaves.
Lincoln stated over and over again for his entire adult life that he did not believe in social or political equality of the races, he opposed inter-racial marriage, supported the Illinois constitution’s prohibition of immigration of blacks into the state, once defended in court a slaveowner seeking to retrieve his runaway slaves but never defended a runaway, and that he was a lifelong advocate of colonization – of sending every last black person in the U.S. to Africa, Haiti, or central America – anywhere but in the U.S.
The January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed no one since it specifically exempted all the areas that at the time were occupied by federal armies. That is, all areas where slaves could actually have been freed.
In fact many slaves that escaped to northern lands were captured and put to death.

Historians have portrayed the Mythical Lincoln as a man who brooded for decades over how he could someday free the slaves. Nothing could be more absurd. According to Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln’s Collected Works, Lincoln never even mentioned slavery in a speech until 1854, and even then, says Basler, he was not sincere.

When Lincoln first entered state politics in 1832 he announced that he was doing so for three reasons: To help enact the Whig Party agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare subsidies for railroad and canal-building corporations ("internal improvements"), and a government monopolization of the nation’s money supply. "My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance," he declared: "I am in favor of a national bank . . . the internal improvements system, and a high protective tariff." He was a devoted mercantilist, and remained so for his entire political life. He was single-mindedly devoted to Henry Clay and his political agenda (mentioned above), which Clay called "The American System."

Lincoln once announced that his career ambition was not to free the slaves but to become "the DeWitt Clinton of Illinois." DeWitt Clinton was the governor of New York in the early nineteenth century who is credited with having introduced the spoils system to America and supervising the building of the Erie Canal (which became defunct in a mere ten years because of the invention of the railroad).

Moreover, Lincoln destroyed the most important principle of the Declaration – the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Southerners no longer consented to being governed by Washington, D.C. in 1860, and Lincoln put an end to that idea by having his armies slaughter 300,000 of them, including one out of every four white males between 20 and 40. Standardizing for today’s population, that would be the equivalent of around 3 million American deaths, or roughly 60 times the number of Americans who died in Vietnam.

As H.L. Mencken said of the Gettysburg Address, in which Lincoln absurdly claimed that Northern soldiers were fighting for the cause of self determination ("that government of the people . . . should not perish . . .": "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. The Confederates went into the battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision of the rest of the country."

Another Lincoln myth was that he "saved the Constitution." But this claim is an outrage considering that Lincoln acted like a dictator for the duration of his administration and showed nothing but bitter contempt for the Constitution. Even Lincoln’s idolaters, like historian Clinton Rossiter, author of the book, Constitutional Dictatorship, referred to him as a "great dictator" who had an "amazing disregard for the Constitution . . . that was considered by nobody as legal."

The Dictator Lincoln invaded the South without the consent of Congress, as called for in the Constitution; declared martial law; blockaded Southern ports without a declaration of war, as required by the Constitution; illegally suspended the writ of habeas corpus; imprisoned without trial thousands of Northern anti-war protesters, including hundreds of newspaper editors and owners; censored all newspaper and telegraph communication; nationalized the railroads; created three new states without the consent of the citizens of those states in order to artificially inflate the Republican Party’s electoral vote; ordered Federal troops to interfere with Northern elections to assure Republican Party victories; deported Ohio Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham for opposing his domestic policies (especially protectionist tariffs and income taxation) on the floor of the House of Representatives; confiscated private property, including firearms, in violation of the Second Amendment; and effectively gutted the Tenth and Ninth Amendments as well.

From the very beginning of his administration he intentionally waged a cruel and unbelievably bloody war on civilians as well as soldiers. As early as 1861, Federal soldiers looted, pillaged, raped and plundered their way through Virginia and other Southern states, completely burning to the ground the towns of Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, Randolph, Tennessee, and others. Historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel estimates that some 50,000 Southern civilians were killed during the war, and this number, even if it is exaggerated by a multiple of two, most likely includes thousands of slaves. In his March to the Sea, General William Tecumseh Sherman boasted of having destroyed $100 million in private property and that his "soldiers" carried home another $20 million worth.

The National Currency Acts nationalized the banking system, finally, and lavish subsidies to railroad-building corporations generated the corruption and scandals of the Grant administrations, just as Southern statesmen had predicted for decades. Income taxation was introduced for the first time, along with an internal revenue bureaucracy that has never diminished in size. All of these policies put a great centralizing force into motion and were the genesis of the centralized, despotic state that Americans labor under today.

The biggest cost of the Lincoln’s war was the death of federalism and states’ rights, the value of which was expressed by John C. Calhoun several decades earlier when he said: "The great conservative principle of our system is in the people of the States, as parties to the Constitutional compact, and our opponents that it is in the supreme court . . . . Without a full practical recognition of the rights and sovereignty of the States, our union and liberty must perish." And they did.
 

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Originally posted by flyeater:
gotrootdude that a southerner would post that was a given.
Actually, some points in the article are technically correct. Lincoln did not have a great respect for the restrictions placed on him by the Constitution. Early in the war it took a Supreme Court Justice to bring him back to reality.
 

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Originally posted by eggplant43:
I'm a Truman admirer as well. Have you ever seen the HBO movie "Truman"?
Yes. A little "Hollywood", taking care to paint him still as a little out of the loop. Which he was. But Truman was also a "Banty Rooster", a scrappy, bare knuckles Kansas City politician. Taking Truman too lightly cost more than one man his dreams and aspirations. Ask The Dewey people.

But Truman's clarity of thought in critical situations, particularly how he measured the many difficult options given him, makes him my "hero".
Roosevelt comes second in my estimate just for picking Truman. One of them walked us up and out of a depresion, gave us hope while the other picked up the fallen Gaunlet, slammed the door on The Japanese, Russians and racism. What a pair!
 

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Perhaps George Washington - not simply symbolically, but for one reason that made him a truly great man - he had a vision of America, and stayed true to that vision - everyone, citizens and leaders alike, wanted Washington to be a king, he would not accept it, it was Washington that made the Presidential office what it is today, an office elected directly by the people, with a 4 year term.:up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President?

~Historians seldom give the eighth president of the United States the recognition he deserves. Van Buren’s avoidance of foreign wars, successful fight to reduce central authority, unsurpassed ideological clarity and enduring positive influence on the Democratic Party make him arguably the president most responsible for the freedoms enjoyed by the American people.~
 

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Hmmm Van Buren? - That's a hard sell. He was something of an elitist. He lived lavishly and did everything ceremoniously during a economic time topped only by the great depression. This is why he lost the election to Harrison, who really didn't even want the job.
 

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Best president of all time: Thomas Jefferson

Freckled and sandy-haired, rather tall and awkward, Jefferson was eloquent as a correspondent, but he was no public speaker. In the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, he contributed his pen rather than his voice to the patriot cause. As the "silent member" of the Congress, Jefferson, at 33, drafted the Declaration of Independence. In years following he labored to make its words a reality in Virginia. Most notably, he wrote a bill establishing religious freedom, enacted in 1786.

Jefferson succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France in 1785. His sympathy for the French Revolution led him into conflict with Alexander Hamilton when Jefferson was Secretary of State in President Washington's Cabinet. He resigned in 1793.

Without Jefferson, two countries would not have the freedom they have today. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Some people will say Carter was the best
I'm not going that far but he was as far as I am concerned at the top.


Carter worked hard to combat the continuing economic woes of inflation and unemployment. By the end of his administration, he could claim an increase of nearly eight million jobs and a decrease in the budget deficit, measured in percentage of the gross national product. Unfortunately, inflation and interest rates were at near record highs, and efforts to reduce them caused a short recession.

Carter could point to a number of achievements in domestic affairs. He dealt with the energy shortage by establishing a national energy policy and by decontrolling domestic petroleum prices to stimulate production. He prompted Government efficiency through civil service reform and proceeded with deregulation of the trucking and airline industries. He sought to improve the environment. His expansion of the national park system included protection of 103 million acres of Alaskan lands. To increase human and social services, he created the Department of Education, bolstered the Social Security system, and appointed record numbers of women, blacks, and Hispanics to Government jobs.

In foreign affairs, Carter set his own style. His championing of human rights was coldly received by the Soviet Union and some other nations. In the Middle East, through the Camp David agreement of 1978, he helped bring amity between Egypt and Israel. He succeeded in obtaining ratification of the Panama Canal treaties. Building upon the work of predecessors, he established full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and completed negotiation of the SALT II nuclear limitation treaty with the Soviet Union.


;)
 
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