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Newsweek's Top 10 Modern Presidents

1Historygenius
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4/25/2013 7:56:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
A while back, Newsweek did a top ten best modern presidents list. The modern presidents according to Newsweek are from 1900 to the present. Lets see this list:

Number 10 - Barack Obama

"Picking a sitting president in a tally of best is tricky"history hasn"t had time to put things in a more sober context. But the historic election of America"s first black president cannot be ignored. That a man whose ancestors included a slave could become the leader of a nation founded to some extent in slavery is as much an achievement for the country as it is a marker for Obama himself. Whether Obama stays or goes, his standing as a fundamentally groundbreaking president will remain."

Being black does not make you great and the country does not matter. There is nothing about policy here and that is exactly what matters. This is the small info they gave for Obama. No stimulus, no Obamacare, no killing Osama Bin Laden, no withdrawing from Iraq. By the way, every historian knows that a sitting president should NEVER be rated until that president is given some time after his presidency ends. I am still reluctant to put George W. Bush in a top ten list.

Number 9 - Ronald Reagan

"Reagan is revered by many Republicans and even some Democrats for his economic policies and his commitment to a streamlined, efficient federal government. His foreign-policy achievements most shaped his legacy. It was Reagan who ended the Cold War. His admonition to Russia"s Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall began the domino collapse of Eastern Europe"s communist regimes. Beyond simply a popular fan-favorite, Reagan was a foreign- policy phenomenon."

Much more fair. They talk about his economic policy and foreign policy. He should have been ranked higher.

Number 8 - Bill Clinton

"During his administration, the U.S. solidified its stance as the global economic leader, enjoying particular dominance in technology and the development of the Internet. U.S. monetary policy during this period, under Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, favored low interest rates and free lending"what was needed at a time of strong growth in the U.S. and abroad. After his presidency, the Arkansas native endured criticism over his economic policies, but he left office with the nation better than when he arrived"the truest test of presidential greatness."

Bill Clinton is not Alan Greenspan. No NAFTA, no welfare reform, not even the surplus. Another Newsweek fail.

Number 7 - Dwight Eisenhower

"At a time of intense debate over the income gap in America, it"s appropriate to salute the president who helped usher in the middle class. Dwight Eisenhower earns his spot for a quiet, sure-handed presidency that was entirely what the country needed following the tumult of World War II. He created the interstate highway system, intended for evacuation of big cities in the event of a nuclear attack. Instead, the system ushered in the growth of the suburbs"and with it, the American dream."

They only mention interstate. There's no civil rights, no military-industrial complex quote, no ending Korean War.

Number 6 - John F. Kennedy

"What did JFK give us as a nation? The moon. The Apollo moon-landing program began under Eisenhower but stalled after concerns about steep costs. But in April 1961, when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man launched into space, Kennedy recognized the importance of the space race. He called for Americans to support an audacious goal: to put a man on the moon, and get him safely home, by the end of the decade. Americans saw the challenge as a rallying cry, and the sense of purpose and common pursuit that it spurred spread far beyond the space program."

Only the moon. Wow. It's like they forgot the spending in NASA that went in under LBJ and Dick. No Cuban Missile Crisis, no Berlin Wall speech, no civil rights.

Number 5 - Harry S Truman

"Vice president for less than three months when FDR died of a cerebral hemorrhage, Harry Truman was catapulted out of the shadows and into the spotlight. His presidency"although accidental"was fortuitous. When he arrived in the Oval Office, he didn"t even know the Manhattan Project existed. But his order to use two atomic bombs to end World War II is credited as one of the boldest presidential decisions in history. Through the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine, Truman proved he could not only end the war but could build something better from what was left."

This is better, but they don't talk about the Korean War or actions in domestic policy.

Number 4 - Woodrow Wilson

"Wilson"s presidential contribution was nothing less than a rethinking of the country"s place in the world. Historians rank Wilson high primarily because of his work at the end of World War I. Believing it was crucial to temper America"s isolationist tendencies, he sought to export the American democratic experience to the rest of the world. His ideas culminated in the creation of the League of Nations in 1919. He would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts."

No economics or any of his progressivism. Instead we get his failed League of Nations.

Number 3 - Lyndon Johnson

"The list of legislative accomplishments achieved by Johnson"in a presidency born from tragedy"earns him a spot as one of the best presidents of the modern era. He pushed the Civil Rights Act through a defiant Congress in 1964, outlawing virtually all forms of racial segregation in the process. In the latter half of his presidency, Johnson would become entangled in the Vietnam conflict. Although it consumed the end of his presidency, it is not his legacy."

Much better. They described his domestic and foreign policy.

Number 2 - Theodore Roosevelt

"The father of the national parks system, Roosevelt strengthened the belief that America is a pioneering, free, and wide-open nation. Despite a busy progressive legislative schedule as president, he made the cause of preserving the nation"s natural resources his personal legacy. Setting aside more than 100 million acres as national forest, he changed the landscape of America forever."

He's also currently rolling in his grave because they forgot the Panama Canal.

Number 1 - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Newsweek"s panel of 10 historians"from different places and different parties"was unanimous in its choice of FDR as the best modern president. Choosing a single legacy for Roosevelt is difficult. A man of great depth and passion, he not only led the country through the Great Depression and World War II but was also a revolutionary for social justice, creating a safety net for every American that still exists today. Above all, Roosevelt"s biggest contribution may be in setting the bar of presidential greatness"a standard that no president since has been able to meet."

Also a better look at a presidency.

Here's my full review of there list. I felt Reagan, Johnson, and FDR are the only ones they did briefly professional for mentioning both domestic and foreign actions at the time. I am not showing any history or political bias, but the rest of these presidents were not given enough information to justify their ranking.

Finally, Obama should have never been mentioned. This top ten list should have never happened.
"The chief business of the American people is business." - Calvin Coolidge

Latest debate - Reagan was a better President than Obama: http://www.debate.org...
YYW
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4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK
(2) Clinton
(3) Bush
(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)
(5) Obama
(6) H.W.
(7) Truman
(8) Reagan
(9) LBJ
(10) Ike
(11) Wilson
Tsar of DDO
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/25/2013 9:10:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The top 5 on that list are just awful, bottom 5 are alright, though the verdict is still out on Obama.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
lewis20
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4/25/2013 9:17:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Top 5 in no order: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Carter, Hoover
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
lewis20
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4/25/2013 9:19:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Just think if any of the more recent presidents had brought about WWIII and won it for us, they'd be listed as one of the greatest presidents of all time.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
1Historygenius
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4/26/2013 6:45:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why Herbert Hoover?
"The chief business of the American people is business." - Calvin Coolidge

Latest debate - Reagan was a better President than Obama: http://www.debate.org...
1Historygenius
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4/26/2013 6:46:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 9:17:47 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Top 5 in no order: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Carter, Hoover

Why do you pick Herbert Hoover?
"The chief business of the American people is business." - Calvin Coolidge

Latest debate - Reagan was a better President than Obama: http://www.debate.org...
lewis20
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4/26/2013 7:50:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 6:46:15 AM, 1Historygenius wrote:
At 4/25/2013 9:17:47 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Top 5 in no order: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Carter, Hoover

Why do you pick Herbert Hoover?

I needed 5 ha
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
thett3
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4/27/2013 12:17:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never understood all the love for FDR. I can understand it if one actually lived during WWII or something, but in retrospect he was pretty abysmal.
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lewis20
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4/27/2013 1:40:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/27/2013 12:17:52 PM, thett3 wrote:
I've never understood all the love for FDR. I can understand it if one actually lived during WWII or something, but in retrospect he was pretty abysmal.

All you have to do to be considered a good president is oversee the slaughter of as many people as possible. President's don't get credit for avoiding wars ha
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
ConservativePolitico
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4/28/2013 6:38:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I hate people's infatuation with FDR. He really did jackshit when it comes to the Depression. World War 2 fixed the depression and yes he was a good war leader which I am grateful for but his social, economic and domestic policy overall was nauseating.
YYW
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4/28/2013 2:20:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/27/2013 12:17:52 PM, thett3 wrote:
I've never understood all the love for FDR. I can understand it if one actually lived during WWII or something, but in retrospect he was pretty abysmal.

He was simultaneously the best and among the worst presidents in US history. His fvcking with the agricultural industry in the US caused, and to a large degree prolonged the great depression. His leadership during WWII, however, was commendable.
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16kadams
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5/20/2013 8:18:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK

JFK was cool.

(2) Clinton

lol

(3) Bush

Interesting

(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)

He could have done better

(5) Obama

No

(6) H.W.

Sure

(7) Truman

Ok

(8) Reagan

Kewl

(9) LBJ

...

(10) Ike

He wasn't that special

(11) Wilson
N/O
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YYW
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5/22/2013 11:15:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/20/2013 8:18:10 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK

JFK was cool.

(2) Clinton

lol

(3) Bush

Interesting

(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)

He could have done better

(5) Obama

No

(6) H.W.

Sure

(7) Truman

Ok

(8) Reagan

Kewl

(9) LBJ

...

(10) Ike

He wasn't that special

(11) Wilson
N/O

I'm actually reordering due to Benghazi and the IRS nonsense. I won't disclose the reasons, but there is some seriously fvcked up stuff in both of these cases.

(1) JFK (9.5/10)
(2) Bush (9.5/10)
(3) Clinton (6.5/10)
(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII) (5/10)
(5) Truman (5/10)
(6) HW (5/10)
(7) LBJ (5/10)

I'm only ranking 7 now.

I agree that FDR could have been better, but I understand why he wasn't and I can't hold that against him. He was but a man.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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5/22/2013 11:30:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/22/2013 11:15:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/20/2013 8:18:10 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK

JFK was cool.

(2) Clinton

lol

(3) Bush

Interesting

(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)

He could have done better

(5) Obama

No

(6) H.W.

Sure

(7) Truman

Ok

(8) Reagan

Kewl

(9) LBJ

...

(10) Ike

He wasn't that special

(11) Wilson
N/O

I'm actually reordering due to Benghazi and the IRS nonsense. I won't disclose the reasons, but there is some seriously fvcked up stuff in both of these cases.

(1) JFK (9.5/10)
(2) Bush (9.5/10)
(3) Clinton (6.5/10)
(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII) (5/10)
(5) Truman (5/10)
(6) HW (5/10)
(7) LBJ (5/10)

I'm only ranking 7 now.

I agree that FDR could have been better, but I understand why he wasn't and I can't hold that against him. He was but a man.

.....WUTT. What distorted metric are you using to come up with Bush being tied for first on a list that isn't 'WORST PRESIDENTS.'
ConservativeAmerican
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5/23/2013 7:53:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
FDR should not even be on the top 10 list.

DDO is pretty intelligent, but no one here seems to get that war (regardless of if you are defending yourself or not) is not beneficial in the long run.

When you mobilize for a massive war, you are blowing through money you will never get back. You are using money and people to create weapons that will be blown up on the battlefield, and if they are lucky enough to survive will probably be blown up in the next war or used for scrap because they were obsolete. The funds spent on WWII (Over 1.2 trillion dollars) could have fed all the countries involved for a decade easily.
YYW
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5/23/2013 4:03:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 7:53:09 AM, ConservativeAmerican wrote:
FDR should not even be on the top 10 list.

DDO is pretty intelligent, but no one here seems to get that war (regardless of if you are defending yourself or not) is not beneficial in the long run.

When you mobilize for a massive war, you are blowing through money you will never get back. You are using money and people to create weapons that will be blown up on the battlefield, and if they are lucky enough to survive will probably be blown up in the next war or used for scrap because they were obsolete. The funds spent on WWII (Over 1.2 trillion dollars) could have fed all the countries involved for a decade easily.

That is one of the most profoundly ignorant posts I have ever seen. Had the United States not become involved in World War II, Nazi Germany would have overtaken the whole of Europe and Japan the greater part of the eastern hemisphere. The purpose wan't to waste money, and the money spent for WWII wasn't a waste. (1) It jettisoned the US's economic development to make it the preeminent global leader in military strength, political/diplomatic relations and global trade; (2) Restructured the international order at the expense of totalitarian regimes; and (3) defeated the single greatest threat to democratic order -Nazi Germany- in human history.

The view you're advancing -that WWII was a waste- is devoid of merit or value. The point that the money could have been used for humanitarian purposes is equally stupid, when it is invariably the case that there wouldn't have been a world as we know it with people to feed if the US hadn't intervened.

Now, in re FDR's leadership: of course he made mistakes, and the domestic policies were almost wholly damaging. That's not in dispute. He also made mistakes in WWII (like waiting as long as he did to intervene), which we can see clearly NOW and only with through the elucidating lens of hindsight.
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dylancatlow
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5/23/2013 4:58:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 4:57:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
YYW, I'd be interested in hearing you defend your decision to play Bush tied for first.

Place*
YYW
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5/23/2013 11:09:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/23/2013 4:57:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
YYW, I'd be interested in hearing you defend your decision to play Bush tied for first.

I posted a long time ago about why I like W. At some point, I'll do it again. 16k mentioned something similar recently though.
Tsar of DDO
Wallstreetatheist
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5/24/2013 12:41:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/28/2013 6:38:00 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I hate people's infatuation with FDR. He really did jackshit when it comes to the Depression. World War 2 fixed the depression and yes he was a good war leader which I am grateful for but his social, economic and domestic policy overall was nauseating.

You have to be f*cking kidding me. When will this economic incompetence die once and for all? I'll debate you on this topic.
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YYW
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5/24/2013 1:01:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/24/2013 12:41:13 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 4/28/2013 6:38:00 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I hate people's infatuation with FDR. He really did jackshit when it comes to the Depression. World War 2 fixed the depression and yes he was a good war leader which I am grateful for but his social, economic and domestic policy overall was nauseating.

You have to be f*cking kidding me. When will this economic incompetence die once and for all? I'll debate you on this topic.

That would be interesting, WSA... because that's not a debate I think you could win.
Tsar of DDO
FREEDO
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5/24/2013 1:12:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't rank the presidents politically but here's my list according to how I like their personalities:

1. Thomas Jefferson
2. John F. kennedy
3. Bill Clinton
4. Jimmy Carter
5. Teddy Roosevelt
6. Barack Obama
7. George Washington
8. George Bush (lol, no really)
9. Abraham Lincoln
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Cowboy0108
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5/24/2013 11:05:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. Reagan
2. Harding
3. Bush Jr.
4. Nixon
5. Eisenhower

These are my top five, Clinton should not be mentioned, nor should Obama.
Cowboy0108
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5/24/2013 11:06:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/24/2013 11:05:42 AM, Cowboy0108 wrote:
1. Reagan
2. Harding
3. Bush Jr.
4. Nixon
5. Eisenhower

These are my top five, Clinton should not be mentioned, nor should Obama.

FDR was also terrible. He did good for the war. He should be criticized for how he handled the depression.
Just-Your-Average-Atheist
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5/25/2013 12:56:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/25/2013 3:18:36 AM, Just-Your-Average-Atheist wrote:
My top 3(judging by ideals, work and/ or personality);

Jefferson(ideals)
He had advanced ideals even for his time. However, I can't rate his presidency well so I must base it on his ideals.

Clinton(personality)
He was a great speaker, seemed really cheery, and despite the scandal. I must put him here. He is awesome at speaking.

JFK (work)
Despite his deal with the mafia, this man helped with science. I truly thank him for this.

Whilst being in no particular order, I like them quite a bit.
Hugs and horns,
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innomen
Posts: 10,052
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5/25/2013 2:13:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK
(2) Clinton
(3) Bush
(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)
(5) Obama
(6) H.W.
(7) Truman
(8) Reagan
(9) LBJ
(10) Ike
(11) Wilson

That's just a really awful list. Other than the bulk of mediocrity, LBJ???? You must have a real love of Vietnam, or institutionalized poverty, never mind being just a really bad person. Ike was decent, and JFK had some vision, Reagan accomplished some great things, but the rest aren't all that "top".
Contra
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5/25/2013 2:36:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 8:57:52 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2013 7:56:47 PM, 1Historygenius wrote:
Here's the list by the way: http://www.thedailybeast.com...

YYW's rankings:

(1) JFK
(2) Clinton
(3) Bush
(4) FDR (but only for his leadership during WWII)
(5) Obama
(6) H.W.
(7) Truman
(8) Reagan
(9) LBJ
(10) Ike
(11) Wilson

JFK didn't do that much. Bush '43 was disappointing on many, many fronts. LBJ was the primary founder of our welfare state, and Wilson was a racist.

Clinton, Bush '41, and Reagan all weren't that bad at all, besides their stance on the war on drugs and expanding the gov't in general (though they were more conservative here).
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

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