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Ranking the Presidents in your lifetime

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by Ruiz, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz New Member

    Jun 9, 2010
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    If you had to rank the presidents in your lifetime, how would you rank them?

    Here are my rankings.


    1. Ronald Reagan.
    2. Bill Clinton (he was socially liberal, but more conservative than W and actually did some great things like NAFTA)
    3. George H.W. Bush (If he would have stuck to his guns. Social Moderate)
    4. Gerald Ford (Fiscal Conservative and Social Moderate)
    5. George W. Bush (Horrible Economic policies, the only redeeming factor was that he was socially conservative).
    6. Jimmy Carter- The greatest thing he did in office was allowing the Fed Secretary to raise interest rates. That may have cost him the election but was the right thing to do. Other than that, he was incompetent.
    7. Barack Obama- Very Socially liberal and very economically liberal.
    8. Richard Nixon- He was a criminal

    Social Issues

    1. George W. Bush--perhaps the most socially conservative in my lifetime, and he spent a lot of political capitol on this issue. Hated so much about this man, but on abortion he was a friend to babies.
    2. Ronald Reagan--He made social issues popular.
    3. George H.W. Bush
    4. Jimmy Carter-incompetent, but while in office he was not as bad as he is today.
    5. Bill Clinton- liberal on some issues, but not as bad as Ford, Obama, Nixon.
    6. Gerald Ford- He could care less about social issues
    7. Barack Obama- As bad as they get and would get the worst on social issues if I didn't consider being a criminal.
    8. Richard Nixon-was not a social conservative, more like a social liberal but he was also a crook.

    I tend to vote on the social issues first.
    #1 Ruiz, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
  2. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 17, 2002
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    To really rate them over all is a complex undertaking I am not willing to do. So to make a somewhat educated guess about particulars, I would just try it for a few qualities or accomplishments.

    International relations... Nixon and Reagan.

    Judicial appointments... George W. Bush.

    Integrity... 1.Ford and 2.Carter.

    Compromiser [wishywashiness?]... Clinton.

    Alliance creator... George H.W. Bush.

    Farsightedness... Eisenhower (was in office in my lifetime, but have no first-hand memories).

    Political landscape changer... Johnson.

    Biggest fraud... Kennedy.

    Devious user of obscene gestures... Obama.
  3. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles New Member

    May 16, 2005
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    My quick and dirty take on the subject:

    Best to worst ranking with Pros & Cons

    1. Kennedy
    Pro: Stared down Kruschev until he blinked, set goal of moon landing during the 1960s
    Con: Bay of Pigs, escalated war in Vietnam

    2. Truman
    Pro: Decision on the bomb ended WWII
    Con: Decision on the bomb killed many innocents

    3. Obama
    Pro: Social programs, healthcare bill (with all its faults)
    Con: To willing to abandon core issues to appease the right wing

    4. Ford
    Pro: Tried to heal America from the wounds of Watergate, good caretaker president
    Con: Lame WIN buttons, pardoned Richard Nixon

    5. Eisenhower
    Pro: Interstate Highway System, Pushed for desegregation
    Con: Began US engagement in Vietnam

    6. Nixon
    Pro: Foreign policy, got US out of Vietnam
    Con: Watergate, Economic policy, opened door to economic engagement with China leading to current outsourced manufacturing and loss of American jobs

    7. Clinton
    Pro: Economic prosperity, balanced budget
    Con: Failure to get comprehensive health care reform through

    8: Carter
    Pro: Handling the energy crisis & Arab Oil Embargo
    Con: Airline deregulation

    9. G.H.W.Bush
    Pro: Detente with Soviet Union, START Treaty, Ended First Gulf War without invading Baghdad
    Con: "Read my lips..."

    10. Johnson
    Pro: The Great Society, War on Poverty
    Con: Escalation of Vietnam war

    11. Reagan
    Pro: Great communicator, engagement with USSR
    Con: Iran Contra, Reaganomics (which still haunts us), PATCO

    12. G."Dubya" Bush
    Pro: Might be an okay guy to have a beer with.
    Con: So many...Pulling out of Kyoto Treaty, invading the wrong country after 9/11, limiting stem cell research, Dept. of Homeland Security, "Mission Accomplished", accomplice in finally destroying the US Economy for years to come.
  4. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 17, 2010
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    1. Ronald Reagan. Restored America's standing in the world and pride in America. His tax cuts kick-started an amazing sustained economic recovery from a debilitating recession. Rebuilt the U.S. military. Also built the coffin for the Soviet Union with the SDI program.

    2. John F. Kennedy. He stared down Khrushchev in Cuba, was a supply side economist who favored tax cuts, campaigned for civil rights, and initiated the Apollo moon landing program which led to millions of jobs, economic security for middle class Americans, and an overall technical prowess for the U.S.

    3. George H.W. Bush. Probably the most qualified person for the Presidency ever as he was a former Vice President, former head of the CIA, former U.N. ambassador, former U.S. House representative, a business owner, and former WWII fighter pilot. He put the nails in the Soviet Union's coffin and saved the world's economy by kicking Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Also signed laws mandating equal public access for handicapped people.

    4. Bill Clinton. Gets points for staying out of the way of the U.S. economy during the computer/internet/technical explosion of the 90's. Grudgingly signed into law the welfare reform bill and the child tax credit. Ran a budget surplus the final two years of office.

    5. Richard Nixon. Opened up diplomatic relations with China which led to the Soviet Union softening their stance against the U.S., which led to arms control treaties with the U.S.S.R. Supported Israel in the Yom Kippur war. Ended the Vietnam war. Domestically, had a lackluster performance as he couldn’t tame inflation (brought on largely by the Arab oil embargo.) He tried price controls, a bad idea which didn’t work. He was a despicable person but he had many foreign policy breakthroughs which elevates his ratings.

    6. Gerald Ford. A caretaker President put in a tough situation. Didn't screw anything up except his knees while stumbling down airplane stairways.

    7. George W. Bush. Dramatically increased spending while simultaneously cutting taxes. Started a new entitlement with the Medicare drug benefit. We had our first $2 Trillion and first $3 trillion budget under George W. Bush. Not many spending bills got vetoed under Bush. Got us involved in two wars--the Afghan war was necessary, the Iraq war wasn’t. Tried to win these wars on the cheap, ignoring the Powell doctrine of overwhelming force. As a result we are still in these two countries and have spent over $1.2 Trillion on them. Left office with the economy in shambles.

    8. Lyndon Johnson. Mr. Regulation and Mr. Entitlement. Not since FDR has the U.S. seen such major spending and regulation legislation. It was called the Great Society, which meant that for the first time an American that was not elderly or disabled could receive a living from the United States. In addition, he escalated the Vietnam war and lied about it. He also passed gun control legislation.

    9. Jimmy Carter. A sincere humanitarian that was ill-suited for the job of President. Suffered through the Iran hostage situation and had the military bungle a long overdue rescue mission. Downsized the military. The prestige of the United States suffered worldwide. Presided over the worst economy of my lifetime--yes worse than the recent Great Recession--and didn‘t have a clue as to how to solve it. Props for getting a peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.

    10. Barack Obama. The most under qualified candidate to ever win the Presidency. The man has not done anything remarkable except getting voted to the Senate after the favored Republican incumbent decided not to run. You thought spending increases under LBJ and George W. were bad? Meet the new boss. His $780 Billion TARP spending legislation was not supported by a single Republican. Its positive effects on the economy were negligible. His sweeping health care bill garnered one Republican vote. His latest budget comes in at $3.8 Trillion. His solution to everything seems to be a government program. He has alienated his base by not living up to his promises, most notably not repealing the Bush tax cuts, not withdrawing from Iraq, and scuttling clean air legislation. He has no foreign policy accomplishments. He has not been able to get the economy going again despite carte blanche endorsements of his ideas by a democratically controlled Congress. Of late he is riddled with scandals like the Solyndra and Fast and Furious. For someone so smart, he is clueless.
    #4 InTheLight, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
  5. billwald

    billwald New Member

    Jun 28, 2000
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    LBJ might be the most evil man to run for public office in the USA.
  6. govteach51

    govteach51 New Member

    Oct 11, 2011
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    I have got to agree on LBJ. When I told LBJ stories to my high school seniors they were shocked...
  7. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 12, 2008
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    Pretty much on target IMHO.

    The Con ... depends on how you look at this one. I transcribed a Naval Admiral's oral memoirs years ago. He was on Nimitz staff that was planning the invasion of Japan. They were estimating that 5 million people would die before the war could be ended if the Japanese homelands were invaded. Weapons were being given to old men, women of all ages and children to repel the attackers.

    Truman made a lot of right decisions. He had been kept in the dark by Roosevelt about what was really going on ... or so I have read.

    Agree. When the Republicans decided to oppose anything and everything he proposed he should have started playing hardball. That seems not to be in his nature. We probably all have suffered and will suffer because of this and because the Republicans are continuing to oppose anything that Obama supports. This is a risky gambit on their part IMHO.

    Agree, though I have mixed emotions on the Nixon pardon.


    Nixon was paranoid, but that did not mean they were not out to get him.




    Agree. He did make some tough and right decisions on domestic issues.

    Conservatives love to point to him as a model and selectively forget that he raised taxes several times.

    Add to that the Patriot act that took away many civil rights. Bad advisers resulted in his failure as a president IMHO. Add to the Cons the cutting of taxes while raising spending. The trickle-down theory has never worked as advertised.