Favorite U.S Presidents

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Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby Cao Hong 14 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:39 am

Well I scrolled through 9 or so pages of this section and I saw a topic about the best U.S presidents but nothing about favorites. The two can be very different because I like some presidents that I personally think may not be in the top 5 best of all time but I just really like them.

My list would be:

1. John F. Kennedy
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
3. Bill Clinton
4. Abraham Lincoln
5. Barrack Obama
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:00 am

Theodore Roosevelt and William Henry Harrison are my favorite Presidents. The first one did a lot, and most of the things he did were good. The second didn't do a lot because he was only in office for a month, but because of that he did nothing bad. I also liked John Quincy Adams a lot.
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby SunXia » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:22 pm

Abraham Lincoln obviously, the man was an amazing politician and leader!! I would love to have recordings of his speeches!!

I love John F Kennedy and the whole story of him being the first Catholic president in a country that had its roots in extreme puritanism in the early colonies!! I also love the partnership between him and Robert like during the Cuban Missile Crisis!!
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby Cao Hong 14 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:13 pm

I agree with you SunXia! I love the relationship between the Kennedy brothers, I find it one of the most interesting relationships in all of American history. If only Bobby could have become president and not been assassinated, it would have made for one of the most tragically amazing stories ever, almost sounds like something you'd find in a story book.

I really wonder what JFK could have accomplished if he had been president for a full two terms, it will always be one of my biggest what-ifs of history, personally. I think he was such an amazing politician and charismatic leader, not to mention he was our "coolest" and most stylish president and best looking one to boot. :D
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:24 am

Honestly I think he died at the height of his powers and popularity. If he had served another term as president he'd have made unpopular decisions and ended up not being thought of anywhere near as highly by the time he stepped down.

If Blair had been assassinated after Kosovo for example he would have already dealt with Princess Diana's death and got the Good Friday agreement signed. If he'd died then all of Britain would rave about how incredible he was whereas he went on to get involved in the Iraq war and now the majority of people remember him negatively for that rather than in the positive way they thought of him in the years after his first election.
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby SunXia » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:57 pm

Well we don't really know what would have happened with JFK we can only play the What If game!! And I still love Blair he was an amazing politician!!
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:00 am

SunXia wrote:And I still love Blair he was an amazing politician!!


FTFY.

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, anti-racist 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.

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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby agga » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:05 am

WeiWenDi wrote:Richard Nixon


it's also fair to hold him responsible for maybe a million dead southeast asians. don't forget that part.

my list is partly fictional:
1. eugene v. debs. kept the US out of WW1, encouraged socialist policies at a time when the country could afford them, and suppressed racist politics all over the country. things were better when he was done.
2. george frisbie hoar. kept the US out of war with spain and the philippines. refused to enforce the chinese exclusion act, which was repealed. made america a nicer country, inside and out.
3. abe lincoln. mostly did the right things that needed to be done. exceeded his authority only when it had to be done. died before he could be blamed for any real failures.
4. andrew jackson. basically the big uncle of my home state of Tennessee. hated the british, which was fair and honest of him. did lots of terrible things but we are all instructed from a young age to love him anyways. and so we do.
5. ... i can't think of a fifth.
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:30 am

agga wrote:it's also fair to hold him responsible for maybe a million dead southeast asians. don't forget that part.


Perhaps, but I am highly loath to blame US presidents for conducting wars they don't start, or for being impatient to bring them to a close. I don't blame Eisenhower for the war in Korea (though I do blame him for Ajax); and I don't blame Obama for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nixon's bombing of Cambodia and Laos, though - okay, yeah, that I'll concede. Mostly I listed him because I think he's highly underrated, though.

And he was the most left-wing president we've had in living memory.

agga wrote:hated the british, which was fair and honest of him. did lots of terrible things but we are all instructed from a young age to love him anyways.


Those are all reasons why he ranks very low on my list. I detest Jackson every bit as much as Quincy did. (I also detest John Calhoun with a fiery burning passion for ruining conservatism's good name in America, and for generally being an evil unprincipled blackguard.)

Sorry. Personally I don't like being told what to think by authorities I don't have good reason to trust.

But yeah, Debs would have been awesome.
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Re: Favorite U.S Presidents

Unread postby Antiochus » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:36 pm

While I do not believe he was, objectively, one of the great presidents (the Vietnam War casts too big a shadow on his presidency), I do think Lyndon B. Johnson has been a great president in one regard: a keen understanding of the power structure of his political system.

Johnson might have been the most effective president in american history when it came to push a legislative agenda forward. The first example that comes to mind is obviously the Great Society, but we should also mention his legislative victories as a senator.
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