Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Top Ten Presidents

For the next couple of posts, I will be giving some of my best and worst lists when it comes to politics. For today, I decided to look at the Top Ten Best Presidents. So here we go:

10. William Henry Harrison (Whig, 1841) Although the man only served a grand total of thirty days as president, one cannot help but admit that during his short tenure, he did not have an scandals and was liked by all around him. If you consider this, technically he could be considered the greatest president of all time.

9. Harry S. Truman (Democrat, 1945-1953) History has vindicated this man more than we will ever know. When he left office, his approval rating was around twenty percent. The country was not thrilled about Korea and different sections of the country hated the sound of his name due to desegregation in the army. However, we must remember this is a man who ended World War II, made sure our economy would not tank itself, and created a policy which guaranteed our survival in a world were the greatest threat, communism, was beginning to flourish.

8. James K. Polk (Democrat, 1845-1849) He was the ultimate dark horse candidate. He made the promise of serving only one term if elected president and kept his end of the bargain on that one. During his four years, he settled the border between the United States and Canada, passed the Walker Tariff (which lowered tariffs and got the country out of the Depression of 1837), fought a successful war with Mexico and doubled the size of the country as a result of it, and finally got to take credit for the California gold rush at the end of his term.

7. Woodrow Wilson (Democrat, 1913-1921) One of the greatest Progressive Presidents the country ever saw, the man brought a strong sense of moral right and wrong to the White House. When World War I occurred, he tried to keep the United States out of it. However, when we were forced into going into the conflict, Wilson wanted to bring the ideas of American Progressivism to Europe in order to make it a better place. The Fourteen Point plan, while very noble, was flawed as Wilson assumed too much. Most importantly, he outlined the idea of an international community to help keep peace throughout the world.

6. Andrew Jackson (Democratic-Republican/Democrat, 1829-1837) While he has many critics, Jackson was as tough as they came when he was president. He ensured that the country would not split apart during the Nullification Crisis. It should also be noted that one way or another, the Indian Removal Act was going to happen. In my opinion, the main reason was Jackson is vilified for it is because it was on his watch..

5. Theodore Roosevelt (Republican, 1901-1909) Another one of the great Progressive Presidents, TR was a self made man when it came to his health. He overcame childhood disease and took great pains to make sure he could be a man’s man. As president, TR gave us the National Parks and pushed to reform business in order to help workers. However, you got to admit, TR was a tough guy. Anyone who is shot and decides to give a speech before going to hospital must be made of kryptonite.

4. Ronald Reagan (Republican, 1981-1989) Ronnie! Morning in America! Reagan was a man who showed that the best of the United States was yet to come. After the dark days of the Carter Administration, Reagan moved the nation forward. Unemployment rates fell during his administration. The Cold War was coming to an end because Reagan decided to take it to the Communists and show them who is boss.

3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Democrat, 1933-1945) When the nation plunged into a depression, FDR gave the country its dignity back by creating programs designed specifically to get everyone back to work. He led a generation of people to become toughen and ready to face any hardships that might follow. Pity to see what the next generation turned out to be like. When World War II came to America, he provided strength and leadership to the nation.

2. Abraham Lincoln (Republican, 1861-1865) Most people know I am not the greatest fan of Mr. Lincoln, but even I have to admit the man did do a lot during his time as president. He governed a nation plunged into a civil war. He attempted to use diplomacy where he could, but knew that force was going to be needed to keep the country together. I must also say, there is something rather fascinating about a man who died on Good Friday after suffering pain unlike any other person in the world, as if God said you have done all that is needed and you have to come back to me. Finally, you got to love a man who is willing to tell dirty jokes at a party in front of women all the time.

1. George Washington (Federalist, 1789-1797) He was the father of our country. The first president we ever had. To do the job he had to do is something none of us can possibly imagine. He kept our nation neutral at a time where we could have jumped into a European war and gotten slaughtered. However, the most important thing to remember about Washington was that this is a man who gave up power twice.

No comments: