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Thread: Presidential Rankings of the United States - accurate?

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    Presidential Rankings of the United States - accurate?

    Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I'm sure many Americans, and perhaps even some not from America, know the names of George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. They routinely rank very highly on many lists for "greatest president ever" while others such as Warren Harding, often rank low.

    Of the presidents we have had in our history, are there any whom you feel are grossly misjudged and were far better or far worse than history remembers them?

    For me, I believe Ulysses S Grant is often ranked far worse than he really was. I understand this is about how they were as president and not their whole lives but as the man who finally stopped the great Robert E Lee and fought for the rights of blacks after the Civil War, he sure suffers in polls. Part of why he was viewed unfavorably back then was for trying to prosecute the KKK for hanging blacks. He should be viewed unfavorably for that action? Yes he had corruption galore in his "Executive Mansion" but I do not think it should drag him to the bottom 6-7 spots where some place him.

    Who else?

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    Truthfully, such rankings are totally subjective and there's little point in trying to give Presidents such a generalized ranking. However, it is much easier to rank them based on more specific criteria. For example, you could argue who was the most effective President in terms of policy implementation and their overall ability to manage the government. You could also argue which Presidents stayed the most faithful to their oath of office and the Constitution. Then, of course, you can come up with your own individual rankings based on whatever criteria you wish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fback View Post
    Truthfully, such rankings are totally subjective and there's little point in trying to give Presidents such a generalized ranking. However, it is much easier to rank them based on more specific criteria. For example, you could argue who was the most effective President in terms of policy implementation and their overall ability to manage the government. You could also argue which Presidents stayed the most faithful to their oath of office and the Constitution. Then, of course, you can come up with your own individual rankings based on whatever criteria you wish.
    So is your argument that one cannot say with ANY authority that Ronald Reagan was a better president than Jimmy Carter?
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    One can. Just as one can say with complete authority that Jimmy Carter was a better president than Ronald Reagen.

    I wouldn't be able to tell you one way or the other, I was not alive for one's presidency, and barely alive for the other's. Nor have I studied enough on the topic to be able to say one way or the other. But I'm sure there's someone out there who has that can say without a doubt and with complete authority that Jimmy Carter was a better president than Ronald Reagen, at least in certain fields
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    So is your argument that one cannot say with ANY authority that Ronald Reagan was a better president than Jimmy Carter?
    lol, I think it's pretty safe to say that Ronald Reagan ranks above Carter in virtually ANY category.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fback View Post
    lol, I think it's pretty safe to say that Ronald Reagan ranks above Carter in virtually ANY category.
    I'd agree with you that it's tough to get fidelity down to the individual rankings, but I think that the rankings are generally pretty solid at the quartile level and thus would disagree with your more general statement that the rankings are totally subjective and thus pretty much worthless.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    One can. Just as one can say with complete authority that Jimmy Carter was a better president than Ronald Reagen.

    I wouldn't be able to tell you one way or the other, I was not alive for one's presidency, and barely alive for the other's. Nor have I studied enough on the topic to be able to say one way or the other. But I'm sure there's someone out there who has that can say without a doubt and with complete authority that Jimmy Carter was a better president than Ronald Reagen, at least in certain fields
    I have never heard anyone say Jimmy Carter was a good President at all, much less a better President than Ronald Reagen.

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    Like I said, I haven't done any studies on the subject, so I wouldn't be able to say for sure, but I'm sure there's someone out there that can make that claim.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    I think the siting president is always judged most harshly. To compare presidents I beleive it is only fair to work with presidents on an equal footing, retired. I think time improves the perception of most presidents, it is easy to say Washington or Lincoln were great presidents, since their unpopular acts have faded, the press was also less observant. It is much harder to forget the day to day problems of more recent administrations.
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    "The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances."

    Chicago Times criticism following Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    "The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances."

    Chicago Times criticism following Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    Sounds like a line from Monty Python
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

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    Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and FDR rank way too high if by good we mean true to the constitutional spirit. Lincoln at least free the slaves, but that one act does not or at least should not place him higher than Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Monroe and Madison.

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    zraver,

    i understand the first two, maybe even three...but why monroe and madison? all their greatest achievements were done before their presidencies. i'd say freeing millions of americans from being subject to murder, rape, beatings, and unpaid work trumps what they did.

    and in one swoop solving TWO problems that had bedeviled our founding fathers, ie the problems of secessionism and slavery.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freeloader View Post
    Of the presidents we have had in our history, are there any whom you feel are grossly misjudged and were far better or far worse than history remembers them?

    Who else?
    My tops(not in order);

    Washington
    Jefferson
    Coolidge
    Kennedy
    Nixon
    Reagan

    My worst;

    Lincoln
    Roosevelt(both of them)
    Wilson
    LBJ
    Ford
    Carter
    Obama

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    When you say Wilson, do you mean just him, or him and his wife?

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