American Presidency

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: The Golden Age Of The Presidency, 1933-1969 (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ) With Five Of The Top Ten In History!

One final commentary on the C Span 2017 Presidential Survey is in order.

Based on the results of this survey, including 91 Presidential scholars, it is clear that there was a Golden Age of the Presidency from 1933-1969, a 36 year period in the 20th century when we had five Presidents–4 Democrats and 1 Republican—who had a transformational effect on American history.

All five of these Presidents—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson—had bright moments in their Presidencies, but also times when their actions caused problems down the road of history. But they had a massive impact on the office and the nation, and they were ranked as Numbers 3, 6, 5, 8 and 10 in the most recent C Span survey.

Three of them—Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson—left the Presidency with very low public opinion ratings, but have recovered to rise dramatically in image and reputation over the decades.

The four who followed FDR institutionalized the New Deal and expanded it, and yet now in 2017, everything that was accomplished in both domestic and foreign policy is in danger from the anarchistic, chaotic forces of Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon et al, who are ready to use a sledge hammer to destroy all of the progress and growth of the federal government to protect the population, particularly the vulnerable groups—the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, women, ethnic and racial minorities, labor, and those concerned about the environment.

Since 1969, the Presidency has been going through crisis, first through the shortcomings and paranoia of Richard Nixon, through further decline under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter (despite their well meant intentions), and then through the Presidency of Ronald Reagan which revived the image of the office, but started the long term decline of the middle class by its actions, continued under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton despite some reforms, and then reaching a low under George W. Bush, leaving Barack Obama with a challenge unseen since FDR.

Obama’s response in the midst of constant obstructionism was miraculous, and his number 12 rating upon leaving the Presidency insures his eventual rise to the top ten of the list, likely through a decline of Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan by a few notches.

Donald Trump will cause the rise of all of the Presidents who have not done well in the rankings—Nixon, Ford, Carter, and the second Bush—but that reality is a sign that the American Presidency has been under attack as an institution since 1969, with the only bright moment being the rise of Barack Obama. So we are unlikely to see a new Golden Age, and the five Presidents from 1933-1969 are likely to be well entrenched in the Top Ten for the long haul of American history.

The Republican Party Assault On The Institution Of The American Presidency: Battle For The Past And The Future!

The Republican Party brought about the evils of the Imperial Presidency under Richard Nixon.

The Republican Party expanded the American Presidency further under Ronald Reagan after weakening the office with their conservative attacks on Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in the White House.

Under Reagan, and the two Bush Presidencies, they expanded their power and influence over the Courts, particularly the Supreme Court, but also lower federal courts.

In the process, however, they forgot the middle class; alienated women; attacked the environment; undermined education; utilized racism and hate against African Americans and Hispanics and Latinos, and even Asian Americans; showed less concern than ever before for children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor (often including these precise groups); leagued themselves with hate mongers on talk radio, and allied with powerful elite wealthy people to promote right wing propaganda that influenced many who were hurt by their policies and views, but did not realize it. And they set out to destroy Bill Clinton first , and now Barack Obama, including the boldness to attack a federal program (ObamaCare) that was backed by a majority in Congress, the Supreme Court majority, and the second term victory of Barack Obama!

The decision was to bring down the government by promoting economic chaos and anarchy, doing whatever had to be done!

And today, the Republican Party has 70 percent of the American people alienated by their tactics, aims, and practices, and sees the only way to survive is to assault the American Presidency, an office they have not won in the popular vote for five of the past six national elections, and have little hope of winning anytime soon in future Presidential elections!

So their goal is to continue to win state legislatures and congressional districts through gerrymandering, and weaken the Presidency, and stalemate the US Senate, which they also have little hope of winning in the future, with their agenda exposed for all to see through coverage provided by major national newspapers and liberal and progressive media that keep us informed as to the truth of what is going on!

The ultimate goal of the modern Republican Party is to wipe out, eliminate, destroy the great advancements under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, even Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

This is a war for the future and the past of the American Presidency, and we cannot allow the systematic destruction of that office which has made for so much good in America in the past century!

Five Year Anniversary Of “The Progressive Professor”, And 4,000th Posting!

Today marks exactly five years since the inception of “The Progressive Professor” blog by this author!

It has been a wonderful, fascinating, and fun time expressing my views, opinions, and analyses of the political events of the years since the nomination and election of President Barack Obama as our 44th President.

It has been also an opportunity for this author to discuss and evaluate American historical events and personalities, including a detailed analysis of the Presidency and Vice Presidency, our Presidential elections, and of our Congress and Supreme Court, relating past historical events to our present times.

Along the way, it has been a pleasure to have debate and commentary with many readers, including some who are my “supporters”, and some who have been my ‘rivals” in my views and interpretations of the controversies which have been the subject of discussion on this blog.

And perfect timing, as it turns out on this 5th anniversary of “The Progressive Professor”, this posting is my entry number 4,000, a great accomplishment, considering my other professional responsibilities, as I continue, even in “retirement”, as an Adjunct Professor of History and Political Science at Florida Atlantic University, fortunate to have the opportunity to teach advanced courses on American Political History, American Diplomatic History, FDR and the New Deal Era, America in the 1960s, America Since 1945, The American Presidency, and other courses.

My intention is to continue this blog, writing on it nearly every day, and to continue teaching for many more years, as well as traveling this great country, and particularly, its Presidential sites, which included this summer a total of three visits, to the Museums and Libraries of Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as to the Congressional Visitor Center at the US Capitol and the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

To this author and blogger, American History and Politics is his passion, and I look forward to many more years of contributing to the profession, and to imparting my views and interpretations to readers, and opening up the eyes and minds of students to the wonderful world of American history, government and politics!

Short Term Retirements Of Six Presidents, And How History Might Have Changed Had They Still Been In Office!

Much more attention is paid to longevity of retirement of America’s Presidents, or those who died in office, than those who died within less than a term after leaving the Presidency.

So it is generally well known that some Presidents have had long retirements, including Jimmy Carter (who keeps on adding to his record of retirement, presently 32 years, seven months and two weeks as of today), Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, and John Adams.

And eight Presidents died in office (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy).

But it is also a fact that five Presidents who retired, died within the next Presidential term, and one died just two days after that next Presidential term ended, so we could have had at least five more Presidents die in office, and likely, due to the stress of the job, a sixth one, as well!

So who are these Presidents who would have died in office had they served another term?

James K. Polk, who died just 103 days after leaving the White House.
Chester Alan Arthur, who died 624 days after leaving the White House.
George Washington, who died 1015 days after leaving the Presidency (The White House was not yet built).
Woodrow Wilson, who died 1066 days after leaving the Presidency.
Calvin Coolidge, who died 1403 days after leaving the Presidency.
Lyndon B. Johnson, who died 1463 days after leaving the Presidency (two days after the next term of office ended).

Try to imagine Washington dying in office, our first President, and a Vice President having to challenge, earlier than John Tyler had to do in 1841, the issue of whether the Vice President could have all the Presidential authority by succeeding to the office, instead of being elected! Also, the reality that Washington would have set a precedent for a third term, which might have affected the views and attitudes of future Presidents on a third term!

Imagine James K. Polk dying in the midst of the controversy over the territories gained in the Mexican War, and how that might have affected the debates which led to the Compromise of 1850!

Imagine Chester Alan Arthur, having succeeded the assassinated James A. Garfield in office, being the second successive President who died in office!

Imagine Woodrow Wilson dying in office, after the American people had decided to elect him to an unprecedented third term, and how it might have affected the political realities of what became the conservative 1920s!

Imagine Calvin Coolidge having to deal with the Great Depression, as compared to Herbert Hoover, and the reality that he would have died just about two months before the end of his term, with his Vice President likely only serving those two months!

Imagine Lyndon B. Johnson in declining health in his extra term, and maybe dying earlier than two days after the end of that term, and his Vice President likely serving only a very short time in the Presidency, had Johnson died from the stresses of that extra term in office!

This is all theory, of course, what is known as “What If”, but it is food for thought regarding the short retirement of six of our Presidents!

Having stated all of the above, the odds are that Polk would not have been reelected due to the controversy over the Mexican War; that Arthur was denied the nomination in 1884, due to the civil service reform bill he signed into law (The Pendleton Act); that Wilson was still recovering from a stroke in 1920, and would unlikely have been reelected, had he been the nominee of his party; and that Johnson would have had trouble being reelected, due to the Vietnam War. Only Washington and Coolidge probably would have had another term, had they sought it, but even there, Washington might have had opposition to a third term on the basis that it would be creating an image of a monarchy for him to have more than two terms in office. So only Coolidge would have been likely to have had smooth sailing for another term in the White House!

The Growing Greatness Of Franklin D. Roosevelt, As His Renovated Presidential Library Enters Its Second Month!

This author has spent his career, 41 years in college teaching, more intimate with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal and World War II policies than with any other historical figure.

Exactly 43 years ago, this author spent time doing research at the FDR Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, just outside Poughkeepsie, for his doctoral dissertation, which was completed in 1975, and published in 1981 by The Johns Hopkins University Press under the title: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL.

This coming fall term, the author will again teach a course on FDR, THE NEW DEAL, AND WORLD WAR II, at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

This author has, therefore, spent his life dedicated to study of FDR, and he has always taught that FDR was the second greatest President to Abraham Lincoln!

This day of this posting, the author is with his younger son at the FDR Library and Museum for the first time in 43 years, and exactly one month after its first renovation since its opening in 1941!

The thrill, the excitement, of this return visit, now as a tourist, not a scholar, is overwhelming, and makes me ever more appreciate the greatness of this man, who did more to change America in domestic and foreign policy than ANY President has ever done, including Abraham Lincoln!

Sure, FDR had his faults and shortcomings, as all Presidents, and really all of us, have, but still he is the most transformational President in American history,and richly deserves constant study and interpretation, which I have, and will continue to do, throughout my life of teaching, scholarship, and blogging!

America’s Underappreciated Presidents—James K. Polk, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush

With Presidents Day celebrated on Monday, this is a good time to reflect on which Presidents are underappreciated for their contributions in the White House.

Five Presidents, four of them having only one term, and three of them soundly defeated for reelection, are often overlooked in an unfair manner.

These five underappreciated Presidents are as follows, chronologically:

James K. Polk (1845-1849), Democrat—-who did not wish a second term in office, died only three months after his term of office, but accomplished more than any President, regarding expansion of the nation, as he negotiated the gaining of the Pacific Northwest with Great Britain, and went to war with Mexico to gain the Southwestern United States. Because of Polk, highly controversial due to his manipulation of conditions setting up war with Mexico, and often criticized as an “imperialist”, we gained more land than any other President, including Thomas Jefferson with his Louisiana Purchase.

Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897), Democrat—-the only two term non consecutive terms President, although winning the popular vote three consecutive times, Cleveland accomplished the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, promoted civil service reform, and became regarded as a man of strong principles, including refusing to take over Hawaii, after a treaty was negotiated by the previous President, Benjamin Harrison. A rare President on the concept of opposing the addition of territory to the United States, he refused to go to war with Spain over the issue of Cuba in his second term, and opposed the Spanish American War and the Filipino Insurrection intervention under William McKinley, standing out as a leading anti imperialist.

William Howard Taft (1909-1913), Republican—-was unfortunate in coming in between two very charismatic Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom would end up ranked in the top ten of all Presidents, in most polls of experts on the Presidency. Taft also was the worst defeated President running for reelection, competing against both TR and Wilson, and ended up third, rather than second in defeat, and winning only 23 percent of the vote, two states, and eight electoral votes. But he deserved better, and did have the distinction of becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1920s, where he was much happier. But Taft actually signed a highly successful regulation of the railroads, the Mann Elkins Act of 1910; won lawsuits causing the breakup of the monopolies of Standard Oil, United States Steel, and International Harvester; and supported two constitutional amendments, the 16th (Federal Income Tax) Amendment, and the 17th (Direct Election of United States Senators) Amendment.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Democrat—served one divisive term, defeated for reelection by Ronald Reagan, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis, high inflation and unemployment, and the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, and faced primary challenges from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown. But he accomplished the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; the Panama Canal Treaty; the promotion of the principle of human rights in foreign policy; the advancement of the environment, making him the third best President on that issue; and creation of three cabinet agencies–Health and Human Services, Education, and Energy. And his post Presidency, now the longest in American history, has been a model for Bill Clinton’s post Presidency, and Carter continues to promote human rights and economic and social reform nationally and world wide, and is often considered the best former President of the United States in American history.

George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), Republican—the second worst defeated President in American history, despite having led the coalition which forced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, lessening a threat to the Middle East oil supply and the government of Saudi Arabia, in the Persian Gulf War of 1991; being the President under whom the Cold War came to an end in a stable manner in 1991; managing the unification of Germany between 1989 and 1990 in a skillful manner; and promoting the passage of civil rights law for the disabled population of America, a major reform in American history. Bush was always considered a master in the field of foreign policy, and for years after, had an impact on policy making through his significant staff members, who continued to have an impact.

All five Presidents deserve a better coverage and appreciation, despite the fact that each could be roundly criticized for events that would cause them to be overlooked as outstanding Presidents. Presidents Day is an appropriate time to do so!

Great Republican Presidents And Infrastructure Investment In The Future

As we come up on Presidents Day Weekend and Week, it is a good time to reflect on the record of the most outstanding Republican Presidents, and how they made great investments in infrastructure, in many ways their greatest contribution.

Abraham Lincoln made the building of the transcontinental railroad a high priority, although the Civil War slowed up the completion of the project, the finishing of the Union Pacific Railroad, to the year 1869, four years after his death. He saw the transcontinental railroad as a promoter of economic growth, and to make America truly a nation unified by a massive transportation system.

Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the importance of the development of the Interstate Highway System, and committed to it in the 1950s, as a way to promote economic growth and national security, and the continuous expansion of that system is a testimony to his commitment to this greatest of all public works projects.

Theodore Roosevelt saw the preservation of the environment through the building of a great national park system as good for the unity and growth of the nation, and he presided over the quadrupling of the our parks and other nature sites as the long range commitment to our future, as a nation which cared about its natural resources and respected the significance of nature.

Each of these three greatest Republican Presidents, about 40-50 years apart in their Presidencies, made a contribution to the future of our nation which cannot be measured by normal parameters. No wonder they are ranked as among the top ten Presidents in polls of intelligent observers of the office of the American Presidency!

Special Commemorative Issue Of Newsweek On “The 10 Best American Presidents” (Of The 20th Century And 21st Century)!

Newsweek Magazine this week came out with a special commemorative issue, dealing with the American Presidency since Theodore Roosevelt. It is well worth investigating and purchasing by all political junkies and Presidential followers!

Since the issue only deals with “modern” Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk, usually rated the best Presidents before 1900 in that order, are not discussed.

Instead, there is a look at the 19 Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, and it is certain that most Republicans and conservatives will have “problems’ with the discussion and ranking that Newsweek provides!

The rankings of the top ten by historians are as follows:

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Lyndon B. Johnson
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Woodrow Wilson
Harry Truman
Bill Clinton
John F. Kennedy
Ronald Reagan
Barack Obama

Note that seven of the top ten are Democrats, and only three Republicans are listed! And only Eisenhower and Reagan would not be considered “liberal” or “progressive” Presidents!

There is plenty of room for debate by all scholars, and most ratings of the modern Presidents would not put Johnson, Eisenhower, Wilson and Clinton so high; and Truman, Kennedy and Reagan so low, and even having Obama in the top ten!

But notice that one does not see “conservative” Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover mentioned, and only Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush are even picked in the “public’ poll, from the other nine Presidents who served since 1900, eliminating Johnson and Wilson altogether!

The “public” list of the top ten is as follows:

Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Barack Obama
Harry Truman
Theodore Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

The knowledge base and expertise of the “public” is obviously far less than the experts, as the ranking is very different!

The “public” poll, disagreeing in many ways with the historical experts, still shows that “conservative” Presidents other than Reagan do not make the list—not only Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, but also Taft, Nixon, Ford, and the second Bush! And the case could be made that Eisenhower and the first Bush were not really “conservative”!

First Ladies are also surveyed, and specific elections are discussed, and David Frum, a conservative, gives thumbs up to a Democrat, Harry Truman, while Sean Wilentz, a liberal, gives justice to a Republican, George H. W. Bush.

This issue is great food for thought!

The Parallel Universe Of Republicans And Conservatives On America’s Presidents Since Theodore Roosevelt

The modern Republican Party and the conservative movement are working in tandem to distort American history, particularly regarding our Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, and in the process, are promoting the Big Lie technique, that if you repeat a falsehood enough times, people who are gullible and poorly informed and educated, will come to believe it!

So let’s survey the thoughts of these “mind control” advocates on our Presidents in the past century. Realize that what is said below is myth and propaganda, not to be believed and accepted as factual, which it MOST certainly is NOT!

Theodore Roosevelt was a so called Republican, but he created a monster, the beginning of a powerful, assertive Presidency. He interfered in labor negotiations in the coal industry; started interference in business through lawsuits and federal regulatory laws; and started the modern environmental movement, and in so doing created the nightmare of land being taken away from economic development and private ownership. He also utilized the word “progressive”, the beginning of modern socialism and communism in America! (Really whacko viewpoint of TR)!

William Howard Taft, often called a conservative, was no such thing, as he advocated the direct election of US Senators (17th Amendment), the hated “progressive” federal income tax (16th Amendment), and promoted anti trust laws suits on a greater scale than TR, and also more effective regulation of the railroads! (Not conservative enough for today’s Republicans)!

Woodrow Wilson was a further expander of progressivism, with the hated Federal Reserve Banking system, the Clayton Anti Trust Act, and the Federal Trade Commission; along with labor regulation on the national level for the first time. He also created “Big Government” bureaucracies during the First World War! (An overly one sided view of Wilson)!

Warren G. Harding has been criticized unfairly, as he was the President who worked to limit federal government, and has, therefore, been mistreated by historians, to be the worst President of the century, an unfair assessment. (Of course, in reality, totally false)!

Calvin Coolidge was the “best” President of the century, as he worked to continue Harding’s lessening of Presidential power, and prosperity reached its peak under him, and he has been unfairly blamed for the Great Depression, which began months after he left the White House. (Also totally false in reality)!

Herbert Hoover abandoned conservatism, raised taxes, moved toward deficit spending, and was the forerunner of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. His policies made things worse for Americans, and ushered in similar policies by FDR! (A distortion of the truth, in reality)!

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a Fascist, and a Nazi all at the same time, creating an all powerful Presidency , making the Great Depression much worse and longer, creating programs and policies called the New Deal, which were the undermining of America, and remains part of our existence today, but which conservatives and Republicans are determined to eliminate in the future! He also promoted the expansion of the Soviet Union by his corrupt deals in World War II! (A great distortion of the truth by conservative haters)!

Harry Truman continued and expanded the New Deal with his Fair Deal, and refused to fight Communism adequately in the Korean War! He also interfered with states rights by his decision to promote civil rights in the military and in Washington, DC, and also promoted labor rights against the attempt of Republicans to undermine labor unions. (A distortion of the truth again)!

Dwight D. Eisenhower became part of the great Progressive “conspiracy” by accepting the New Deal, expanding federal government intervention, and having the “nerve” to intervene in the civil rights crusade on the side of “extremists”, and undermining the South and its tradition, still held a century after the Civil War, in states rights! ( A view not taken seriously by any reputable expert on Ike)!

John F. Kennedy worked to expand the welfare state set up by FDR, Truman and Eisenhower, and further intervened in the South on the civil rights issue, using the National Guard as Eisenhower had done. Kennedy refused to confront the Soviet Union adequately, instead negotiating an agreement with the enemy, rather than start a nuclear war! (Part of the great distortion of JFK by conservative critics)!

Lyndon B. Johnson further expanded the New Deal with his Great Society, making Socialism, Marxism, Communism, and Fascism advance further, and taking away freedom by civil rights legislation, the war on poverty, and the “terrible” Medicare and Medicaid programs, two more welfare programs, similar to FDR’s Social Security. He also failed to win the war in Vietnam, caving in to the Communist enemy! (Part of the bitter attack on LBJ by the far Right)!

Richard Nixon made deals with the hated Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China, and failed to win the war in Vietnam, which could have been won. He also became a traitor by promoting “progressive” programs such as Affirmative Action, the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration, and the greatest advocate for the environment among American Presidents since Teddy Roosevelt! (Forget his real faults with Watergate, as these are more important, according to conservative critics)!

Gerald Ford was too moderate and accommodating, and his wife Betty Ford, was a radical feminist as First Lady! Ford stopped the advancement of conservatism by defeating Ronald Reagan for the Presidential nomination in 1976, and had Nelson Rockefeller, the hated “liberal” as his Vice President!(Oh, and Ford was too centrist, and for social moderation)!

Jimmy Carter was a terrible President with no redeeming values,and is “rightfully”attacked on a regular basis by Republicans and conservatives. He undermined the nation’s foreign and domestic policies! He had no worthwhile accomplishments at all! (A total distortion of reality!)

Ronald Reagan was a “great” President, with no shortcomings or faults, and we need a President of his insights and courage in the future. Those who claim Reagan was other than perfect are to be ignored! (A total interference with reality and truth!)

George H. W. Bush was a moderate who compromised with Democrats, raised taxes which undermined the country, and failed to overcome Iraq’s leader in the Persian Gulf War, because he worked with the United Nations on the war effort! (An unfair assessment, trivializing him)!

Bill Clinton had many faults and shortcomings, but despite his being impeached, and the vicious attacks on him, now is the time to talk about how much better he was than Barack Obama, because he made some deals with Republicans, after first resisting them in the battle over shutting down the government in 1995. (An amazing rewriting of history, unbelievable)!

George W. Bush cannot be blamed for September 11 and the War on Terror, but he was too willing to bust the budget, and his spending was too much out of control. (An attempt to write Bush out of blame for much of what America has to deal with today)!

But, of course, the fact that we are in an economy which is the worst since the Great Depression is not due to Bush or Republicans or conservative philosophy, but because we have in office now a black guy named Barack Obama, who was actually born in Kenya, and is a Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Fascist and Nazi, and is the greatest threat to American freedom since—well—-TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter and to some extent, Clinton—-and all those Republicans Presidents who actually were “progressives” in some way—Taft, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and both Bushes!

If only we could eliminate all these Presidents except Harding Coolidge, and Reagan–this nation would be in fantastic shape! Right?

This is the deluded, nutty beliefs of many Republicans and conservatives–a great conspiracy by both Democratic and Republican Presidents against freedom and liberty and the best interests of the American people!

This is the “Know Nothingism”, the ignorance, the stupidity that intelligent people must fight against!

As Rick Santorum, the former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, and Presidential candidate, said recently—the smart, the intelligent people will not support the Republican Party–and FOR GOOD REASON!

Which Presidents Would Belong On A Second Mount Rushmore?

This morning, on MORNING JOE on MSNBC, there was a fascinating three hour discussion on the American Presidency, to commemorate the Fourth of July national holiday.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had many distinguished guests, journalists and historians, to analyze the office and the 43 men who have held that position.

Three distinguished historians–Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, and Evan Thomas–gave their view of which Presidents would be appropriate for a second Mount Rushmore, if such a momument were ever to be built in South Dakota or elsewhere.

Their selections were certainly fascinating, controversial, and highly debatable.

Goodwin’s list was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan.

Meacham’s list was Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy,and Ronald Reagan.

Thomas’s list included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

So FDR and Reagan are on all three lists, and would certainly please progressives and Democrats on the one hand, and conservatives and Republicans on the other hand.

But there the disagreements begin, and lead to a total of six other Presidents being listed–Jackson, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, and Bush No. 41.

One wonders if there has been disrespect shown toward Woodrow Wilson, who had such a long range impact on the office of the Presidency, although there has been a lot of criticism directed toward him over the years.

One also wonders about the famous “obscure” President, James K. Polk, who gained more territory in his one term than anyone other than Thomas Jefferson.

Also, the question arises whether Bill Clinton will see his historical stock rise as the years go by, to the point of possibly being a candidate for a second Mount Rushmore.

If this author and blogger were queried about his choices, the Presidents he would select would be to agree totally with Doris Kearns Goodwin: FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Reagan!

But now the reader can chime in with his or her views about a second Mount Rushmore, and the more the merrier!