Cold War

Is George H. W. Bush The “Best” One Term President In American History, Surpassing James K. Polk, And What About Jimmy Carter?

Now that George H. W. Bush is part of American history, the question arises whether he should be judged the “best” one term President in American history.

We have had the following 12 one term elected Presidents who finished their term, but were not given a second term:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

Eight of them, all but Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Hayes were defeated for reelection, with those four choosing not to run, and all of these four, except Polk, very unpopular and aware that they were not wanted to be nominated for another term.

The usual viewpoint has been that James K. Polk, with the acquisition of the American Southwest by war with Mexico, and acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon treaty with Great Britain, was the most successful one term President. Labeled an expansionist and an imperialist by many, the fact that he presided over the greatest expansion of US territory since Thomas Jefferson, has helped him to be regarded by scholars as a “successful” President, rated 12 to 14 in scholarly polls.

Now, some are saying that George H. W. Bush may be greater than Polk, due to his foreign policy accomplishments in particular, including the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany, and the Persian Gulf War, along with his domestic policies of “A Thousand Points Of Light”, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Some on this list, including Van Buren, Pierce, Buchanan, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Taft, and Hoover are seen in a poor light, while J. Q. Adams is seen as not having succeeded in his one term, although a great man, and his father, John Adams, criticized for the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, curbing civil liberties during his term.

The only other one term President who could be seen as competing would be Jimmy Carter, with his Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the Panama Canal Treaty, his Human Rights advocacy, his creation of new cabinet agencies (Departments of Education, Health And Human Services, Energy), and his exceptional record on the environment, but his negatives, including high inflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift all help to undermine his case.

So, one could argue that Polk and Bush may be competitive as the “best” one term elected President, without a clear cut answer to the question of who was the better President.

It might be best to say that Polk was the best 19th century one term elected President, while Bush was the best 20th century one term elected President, with Jimmy Carter as the runner up in that regard.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

One Hundred Years Since End Of The First World War: Nothing Learned From Sacrifices Of That War, And Danger Of Another World War

It has been precisely one hundred years, a full century, since the “Great War”, the First World War, ended on November 11, 1918. About 18 million military and civilians died in that war, as well as about 125,000 Americans, the second highest loss of life in America after the Civil War, and until the Second World War surpassed it, at least doubling the American loss of life in the First World War.

What Woodrow Wilson called “the war to end all wars” did anything but that, leading within a generation to the Second World War, followed by many other regional wars, and the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.

Now we have the age of world wide terrorism, and growing danger of another world war, and Donald Trump is in the midst of creating the conditions that would lead to this third World War.

America and the world have not learned from the sacrifices a century ago, as politics, religion, and egotism continue to cause conflict, and we are now moving closer to authoritarianism in the world than we have seen since the end of the Cold War a quarter century ago.

And Trump has disgraced the commemoration in France this weekend by failing to travel to a cemetery that contains many Americans and others who sacrificed for our nation a century ago.

And his promotion of extreme nationalism over patriotism has been rebuked appropriately by French President Emmanuel Macron.

This is a President who has not yet gone to a combat zone, as every other President has done, and is working to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would be a true disaster, and hopefully will be stopped by the 116th Congress, with a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

The Growing Danger Of Further AntiSemitic Attacks In America, Precipitated By The Right Wing White Supremacists And Religious Extremists

America is in a major crisis, now clearly the worst domestically in a half century, and the growing danger of further attacks on American Jews is alarming.

We have a President who consorts with white supremacists, and overlooks their antisemitic acts and utterances.

And there are right wing religious extremists, whose goal is to convert American Jews to their warped brand of Christianity.

The hatred that the Pittsburgh Massacre assassin possessed was encouraged by the hate filled websites on the internet, fueled further by the refusal of Donald Trump to hold many of his followers accountable for their hatred, and his actual encouragement of violence against the media, which he calls “the enemy of the people”, because they have the nerve to hold him responsible for his words and actions.

Face it, Donald Trump is a pure right wing demagogue who hates our democracy, and would love to persecute any minority and any individual which stands in his way of wanting absolute power.

There is no truce possible when a President, unlike any in American history, has declared war on our institutions and our traditions, so no one who feels Donald Trump is a menace can sit on the sidelines and just figure the future is preordained, as it most certainly is not so.

Resistance and opposition must continue for the preservation of the traditions and institutions of America to survive into the long term future.

We have not come through the trials of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Cold War to allow any mentally unhinged person to take away our future!

The Growing Danger To Ukraine (After Loss Of Crimea), Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, And Poland Of Invasion By Russia, With No Donald Trump Response

It is now clear that Donald Trump’s “Bromance” with Vladimir Putin, only increased by his decision to invite Putin to the White House this fall, is putting NATO and Eastern Europe under great strain and stress.

Trump’s constant attacks on NATO are a sign that he may refuse to come to the aid of Eastern European nations which are part of NATO, along with Ukraine (not a part of NATO), which already has lost its Crimean area to Russia in 2014.

Greatly endangered are Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, all part of the old Soviet Union, and Poland, which has always been unfortunate, as they were victims of Nazi Germany, and then the Soviet Union, until the Cold War ended, and they were liberated in the early 1990s.

Even Montenegro, a small area of the old Yugoslavia, has come under verbal attack from Donald Trump, and could face a threat.

Meanwhile, all of these nations have contributed to and fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now Trump seems unwilling to insure their safety, and that the US would come to their defense in case of a Russian attempt to seize control.

It is clear that Vladimir Putin is manipulating Donald Trump, and that he has something secret, either financial or sexual, on Trump, which would explain the President’s weird behavior, and his moves to undermine NATO and the European Union, as well as our relationships with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, as well as Japan and South Korea in Asia.

18 Months Of Donald Trump Presidency, And Crisis Atmosphere Grows

Today marks 18 months of the Donald Trump Presidency.

It has been 18 months of horrors, nightmares, disgrace to the office of the Presidency.

It has seen more corruption and abuse of power than any President in the past, including Richard Nixon.

It has put America into a massive foreign policy crisis, now marked by Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin of Russia to come to the White House this fall.

It has put America into a massive domestic policy crisis, as the the New Deal, Great Society, and everything good that Barack Obama did in eight years in office, is being systematically destroyed.

It has created the conditions for a potential Great Depression, with the imposition of tariffs about to explode into inflation of prices, loss of jobs and income, and alienation of all of our major trade partners with his crazy economic policies.

It has created the end of the post World War II alliance system of NATO that won the Cold War, but now the Russian government has declared a cyber World War on America, with a President whose loyalty is clearly with our rivals and enemies.

It has caused disarray among the two major political parties that have been our system since 1854, and now are in danger of total destruction, at least with the Republican Party.

It has demonstrated that the people who are elected and those who are appointed put their own jobs and wealth ahead of the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

It has shown us that our system of government, which allows a Supreme Court for life. It is guaranteed to create social and economic turmoil that will insure the danger of civil war, as the younger generation rebels against the future right wing extremist judicial system, packed with justices and judges who want to take us back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and wipe out the 20th century social safety network that has made us great.

It has divided Americans, with many, including this author and blogger no longer communicating with former associates and friends, when we have discovered how disgraceful these people are. This also includes family members, relatives, who make one realize the old saying, that you can pick your friends, but not your relatives.

Donald Trump is clearly out to destroy the United States as we know it, determined to keep his ethical and moral issues, and his violations of the law a secret that only Vladimir Putin knows, and holds over the head of the 45th President.

The danger of a violent civil war, as we had in the 1860s, is becoming more a reality unless somehow we can turn the tide and excise the cancer of Donald Trump. But sadly, Mike Pence is, in many ways, even worse, with his right wing religious crusade in a nation that was based on separation of church and state, precisely because of the religious extremism of Puritanism in our colonial history. The threat of racial and ethnic and even gender conflict is real, and the power of the National Rifle Association, now shown to be allied with the forces of Vladimir Putin, can bring about violence in the name of profits.

It is hard NOT to have despair as to how this nation survives long term, without major damage to the republic!

229th Anniversary Of First Presidential Inauguration Of George Washington In 1789: A Moment To Reflect On The Dangers To The Presidency As An Institution

On this day, April 30, in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated, 57 days late, in lower Manhattan in New York City, as the first President of the United States, setting important standards for Presidential actions and behavior over the next two and more centuries.

Washington arrived late due to the need to plant the crops on his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, and traveled by horse from Virginia to NYC, being wined and dined along the way.

So Washington was the only President to serve two terms, but less than eight years, due to the loss of those 57 days in his first term, but his second term ending on March 4, 1797.

Two hundred years later, President George H. W. Bush commemorated the bicentennial of that event in New York City.

Now we have a President who challenges the institution of the Presidency in dangerous ways, and wishes he could be President for life, rather than the constitutional limit of two terms or ten years if succeeding during the last half of the term, as set up in the 22nd Amendment, passed through Congress in 1947, and ratified and going into effect in 1951, affecting all future Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower onward.

Any person with rationality and knowledge of the history of America well knows that the threat of Donald Trump is real, and that the news media, the Congress, and the Judiciary must coordinate their efforts to remove him from office, as he has already done great damage to the institution of the Presidency.

We have not survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the danger of Richard Nixon, to allow ourselves to be undermined by the clear and present danger of Donald Trump!

The Outrageous Statement Of Donald Trump On Wanting To Be President For Life, As The President Of China: NO WAY EVER!

Over this past weekend, Donald Trump went one step further, a big step further, in his destruction of the traditions and accomplishments of America’s previous 43 Presidents.

Trump stated how much he admires the President Of China for becoming a person who did not have to gain approval anymore, and had declared himself President for life, effectively a totalitarian dictator, in the vein of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung. Trump has already praised the leaders of the Philippines, Turkey, Egypt, and China earlier, and has not a word of criticism against Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who has clearly undermined our election system, a declaration of war by means of technology.

Trump envisions himself in this manner, and yet the Republican leadership in Congress, which should have reacted in denunciation immediately, has remained silent, making them guilty of collusion with a person who clearly has Fascist tendencies, and is a danger to all civilized nations, as well as the American people.

This is a man who, by starting a trade war with tariffs against the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, is likely to lead us to another Great Depression, vastly increasing consumer prices, and destroying the ability of our nation to export goods overseas.

At the same time, he is clearly on the way to war with North Korea, including the possibility of nuclear war, which would kill millions, not only in North Korea, but in our allies, South Korea and Japan. And his goal to go to war against iran was emphasized today by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu, who like Trump, is power hungry and corrupt to the extreme, and in danger of being removed, as much as Trump is.

So we could have two wars at the same time, against North Korea and Iran, and Trump’s Russian collusion is getting clearer, and means our national security is threatened.

Trump is a man that is unhinged and unstable to the extreme, and is capable of declaring martial law, and suspending the Constitution.

Trump has already violated human rights of immigrants, racial minorities, women, and gays and lesbians, and has destroyed consumer and worker rights, and done great damage to the environment, and he has no limits in his attack on the entire American tradition and accomplishments of presidents of both parties from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

Trump is a clear and present danger to all of us, including his irrational, clueless followers, and he MUST be removed from office rapidly, as the American people and nation are under direct threat from his maniacal behavior and actions.

Mass demonstrations and marches are now required, or else the history of this nation will be permanently damaged, and we have not survived the Civil War, Great Depression, Cold War, and some failed Presidents, and some dangerous Presidents such as Richard Nixon, to sit back and accept the dissolution of the American nation, the best hope of freedom loving people everywhere!

Most Significant Years Since 1945: 1968, 1989, 2001 And Now 2017

When historians look back at the year 2017, they will agree that this year of Donald Trump, and the tumult and disarray it has engendered, will make 2017 a path breaking year in American history.

Every year is significant in some way or other, but 2017 will join four other years since the end of World War II as a turning point year, with the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the tumultuous events leading to the possible removal of Trump sometime in 2018 or beyond, due to the criminal activities of the President and many of his cabinet officers.

1945, the end of World War II, the atomic bombing of Japan, the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the evolution of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, will always stand as an especially pivotal year.

1968, the year of assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War which caused the withdrawal of Lyndon B. Johnson from the Presidential race, the disarray and tumult in America over civil rights and Vietnam, the election of Richard Nixon, has long been considered an historic year.

1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, the Tienanmen Square Massacre in China, and the inauguration of George H. W. Bush make that year historic.

2001, the year of the September 11 attacks which made us aware that we were no longer safe from worldwide terrorism, and the inauguration and crisis leadership short term of George W. Bush after a highly contested 2000 Presidential election, also always seen as a turning point year.

Trump Undermining Of NATO A Danger To Europe And The World: A Crisis Of Massive Proportions!

In 1949, as the Soviet Union exploded the atomic bomb, and the Cold War between the Russians and the West was in full swing, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed, with President Harry Truman committing American power to the defense of Western Europe, to keep it free from the spread of Communism.

After that, under Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush; and under Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, the NATO alliance was our major priority.

But now, after the NATO summit, it is well understood that Donald Trump refuses to commit America to enforcement of Article 5, which states that if any of the nations in NATO are attacked, it is considered an attack on all of the nations in NATO, as the allies followed through on after September 11, with all of them committed to military engagement in Afghanistan.

The Trump love affair, or “bromance” with Vladimir Putin of Russia is alarming, and it is grounds for the impeachment of Donald Trump as a traitor to the United States and its national security and safety.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel can say that Europe can no longer count on US backing, that is an alarm bell in the middle of the night, and is a shocking turn of events.

The leaders of the European nations—and particularly Great Britain, France, and Germany—realize they are dealing with a mentally unstable American President, who is totally unpredictable, and could, very easily, start a nuclear war. rather than engage in diplomacy.

They know that Donald Trump is, as the German media leader Der Spiegel has said, the most dangerous person in the world, because of his ignorance, lack of intelligence and knowledge, and reckless rhetoric and behavior.

It is time for action to be taken to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency as a danger to the nation and the world!