SunXia wrote:And I still love Blair he was an amazing politician!!
But jeez, five favourite US presidents? That's a toughie - generally the only people fit to be trusted for the office are those who don't want to run for it. Also, I think it would be helpful if we cited reasons why we like the presidents we do. Anyway, here goes:
1.) John Adams
- a very good man with a very good Yankee conservative temperament and a superlatively tough act to follow, he consolidated the political capital of the nation, kept us out of war and kept up good relations with Britain. His intellectual legacy of a humane, anti-war conservatism based on an acknowledgement of the need for good government has also served as a great inspiration for me.
2.) John Quincy Adams
- a master statesman but not a particularly great politician, who tried and failed to put a stop to both slavery and majoritarian politics in the US. He did the lion's share in paying down the national debt, but somehow his archrival, the notedly violent, tyrannical and genocidal bastard Andrew Jackson, gets all the credit. He met with more success in his diplomatic career, picking up where his dad left off in keeping us out of European wars and power struggles and opposing colonialism.
3.) Ulysses Simpson Grant
- the man who defeated Dixie and saved the Union made for a solidly anti-war
president whose reputation has been sadly dogged with unfair charges of corruption. Briefly a slave-owner who married into a slave-holding family, he manumitted his slaves in 1859. He did his level best to stop the slaughter of the Indians on the Great Plains, and succeeded in replacing the most egregious offenders with generals who understood the Indians as human beings. He crushed the Klan in its first incarnation in the South. He prevented war with the UK over territorial and fishing rights, and he delayed it a good twenty years with Spain over Cuba.
4.) Richard Nixon
- yes, yes, Watergate and all that. But clean water! Clean air! The EPA! Great Society and desegregation put into action
! Fair wages and fair prices! Peace in 'Nam! Détente with Russia! Open relations with China! His presidency may have ended in shame and scandal, but it cannot be denied that he was an incredibly shrewd and talented man who did a hell of a lot of good before that. The sad thing is, he's a Republican and probably among the greenest and most left-wing presidents in living memory
5.) Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- the New Deal was, at that moment in history, precisely what the country needed to get out of the economic doldrums it was in. It did a great deal for the working classes, particularly in the South and the rural West, who had been hit hardest by the Depression. Roosevelt was also wise and sensible enough a political realist to stay the hell out of WWII until it was absolutely unavoidable, and thus allow the UK and the Soviet Union to do most of the fighting and take most of the losses, and position the US to emerge from the aftermath an economic powerhouse. The one great stain on his record was his treatment of Japanese-Americans prior to and during the war.
Honourable mentions go to Dwight Eisenhower
for his approach to Korea and toward the Pacific theatre in general (I'm not that great a fan of his Iran policy), for his warnings about the military-industrial complex, for his preservation and continuation of New Deal policies, and for generally being a good guy who didn't seek the office of Presidency but rather had to have it foisted upon him. Also Abraham Lincoln
, for his presidency and for his pre-presidency career as an Illinois state senator, where he was an agitator against the Mexican-American War.<Mod Edit(SX):If you are going to quote someone, do not insert untruths, removed that>