Franklin D. Roosevelt

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.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Barack Obama Is 12th, Highest Ranking In Any Such Poll For Newly Retired President Since Ronald Reagan

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey of 91 scholars of the American Presidency did true justice by naming Barack Obama the 12th Greatest President.

This is the highest first ranking of a newly retired President since Ronald Reagan in 1989, before there were C Span polls, but instead other polls existed, although not as organized and prestigious as C Span has now done three times–in 2000, 2009, and now 2017.

Obama was only 15 points behind Woodrow Wilson, and only 18 points behind Lyndon B. Johnson, often seen as the third and second, respectively, most accomplished Democratic President, particularly in domestic policy. And Obama was only 23 points behind Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon.

At the same time, Obama is 23 points ahead of James Monroe of the “Era of Good Feelings”; 31 points ahead of James K. Polk, who acquired so much territory in one term of office; and 35 points ahead of his major living competition, Bill Clinton.

Based on the stellar performance of Obama in the first competition, it seems likely he will move up to the top ten the next time this poll is done, or certainly at the least pass Wilson as a minimum, an interesting thought considering Wilson’s sad racial prejudices, despite his being the only earned Ph. D. President.

If Obama had been fortunate enough to have a Democratic Congress regularly, as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson had in their times, his ranking on “Relations with Congress”, rated 39th, would have been much higher, and he would already be in the Top Ten Presidents. Only Franklin Pierce, John Tyler, James Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson rank lower, which seems rather ridiculous in retrospect.

As it is, Obama rated 3rd in “Pursued Equal Justice For All”; 7th in “Moral Authority”;, 8th in “Economic Management”; 10th In “Public Persuasion”; 12th in “Vision:Setting An Agenda”; 15th in “Crisis Leadership” and “Performance Within Context of Time”; and 19th in “Administrative Skills”. In “International Relations”, much of it still unresolved on effect, Obama ranked 24th.

It seems clear that Obama will look even better in the long run, despite the racism, hatred, prejudice, and total obstructionism of the Republican Party and its leadership, which will pay for it in historical memory in the long haul, when these kinds of traits do not improve one’s historical standing!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Presidents Who Dropped In Stature Include Five Democrats, One Republican, One Democrat Who Became A Whig

The CSpan 2017 Presidential Survey saw several Presidents who dropped dramatically in stature and reputation over the history of the three polls in 2000, 2009, and 2017. This is defined as four or more slots in decline.

Woodrow Wilson (D) dropped from 6 to 9 to 11.

Andrew Jackson (D) dropped from 13 in 2000 and 2009 to 18 in 2017.

Grover Cleveland (D) dropped from 17 to 21 to 23.

Jimmy Carter (D) dropped from 22 to 25 to 26.

Rutherford B. Hayes (R) dropped from 26 to 33 and then up slightly to 32.

Martin Van Buren (D) dropped from 30 to 31 to 34.

John Tyler (D to W) was 36, went up to 35 and then dropped to 39.

At the same time that five Democrats dropped in the polls, 8 of the top 15 in the poll were Democrats (FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Wilson, Obama, Polk, Clinton), to 4 Republicans (Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan), 2 Democratic Republicans (Jefferson, Monroe), and 1 Federalist (Washington).

With only four Republicans in the top 15 (all in the top 10), the only other Republicans in the top 20 are McKinley (16) and Bush Senior (20), with the other three in the top 20 being Democratic Republican Madison (17), Democrat Andrew Jackson (18), and Federalist John Adams (19).

Executive Order 9066 On Japanese American Internment 75 Years Old, As Trump Starts Massive Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants, Mexico Wall, And Muslim Ban

It has been 75 years. since February 19, 1942, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the arrest and detention of about 120,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps, for no reason other than their race, 74 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 11,000 German Americans, including some German Jews, and 3,000 Italian Americans were also interned.

Japanese ethnicity citizens and aliens were put into camps in seven states, losing their businesses and homes and many of their possessions, and living in communal housing in remote locations, and when a few tried to escape, they were shot dead by tower guards.

Some were killed by civilians in the two and a half months before the internment.

The young men in the group volunteered for World War II service in Europe, in the 442nd Infantry Regiment,and won more medals, honors, and awards than any other military units in World War II, while their families lived behind barbed wire.

Finally released in December 1944, and nearly three years interned, they were not given any help to readjust their lives.

Only in 1988, after 44 years, did the US Government and President Ronald Reagan apologize for the internment, and each survivor, about 50,000 out of the 120,000, were given $20,000 compensation with no tax withheld.

Now we are seeing similar treatment against people of Muslim heritage, by the executive order utilized by Trump, but temporarily under hold due to federal circuit courts intervening to stop the ban, but with a new executive order on the way victimizing Muslims, as if they are all terrorists, when none of the nations involved have sent over terrorists, and we have had lots of domestic terrorists who are white Anglos perpetrating violence.

And massive deportation of undocumented immigrants, whose only crime is entering the nation illegally, but with very small numbers of criminals, is now growing, with the possible use of the National Guard and new immigration border staff, as Sanctuary Cities refuse to cooperate.

Many of these immigrants are utilized by the farm industry, hotels, gardeners and restaurants, and other service workers, who, if they are deported, will create a shortage of labor and cause massive increase in prices.

And of course, the proposed Mexico Wall will cost tens of billions of dollars, and will not be able totally to prevent migration and even crime, and funds for it will come from increased taxes, and cutting off federal programs that should not be ended.

Trump is involved, basically, in a reign of terror, which will look horrible in the future, when we look back at the deterioration of the unity of the United States, and the end of the land of the free and of opportunity.

C Span Presidential Survey: Great Consistency On Top Ten Over Three Polls Since 2000

The third C Span Presidential Survey, just out since Friday, shows a great consistency on the top ten over the three polls since 2000.

The top four remain the top four, with only FDR slipping from 2 to 3 in the second poll, and remaining number 3 in the most recent poll, and Washington moving up from 3 to 2 in the second poll and remaining there in the newest poll, and Lincoln and TR remaining consistently numbers 1 and 4.

Truman was 5 in the first two polls, and now is 6, with Eisenhower surging the most from 9 to 8 to 5 over the three polls.

Jefferson remains number 7 in all three polls.

JFK went from 8 to 6 and then back to 8 in the three polls.

Ronald Reagan rose from 11 to 10 to 9, while LBJ went from 10 to 11 to 10 over the three polls.

So only Wilson dropped from the top 10, from a high of 6 to 9 and now 11, just ahead of Barack Obama, who seems likely to rise above Wilson when the next poll is done in four or eight years.

It will be a tough battle for Obama to dislodge one of the top ten, but expect over the next four to eight years, with a right wing Republican government, dismantling a lot of what many of the top ten Presidents did (specifically TR, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ), that Obama will pass Reagan and drop him from 9 to 11, as Obama goes from 12 to 10, surpassing Wilson as well.

Donald Trump Dealt Defeat On Muslim Immigration Ban: Victory For The Constitution And American Democracy!

Donald Trump has been dealt a stinging defeat by a three member 9th Circuit Appeals Court, with one judge appointed by George W. Bush, one by Jimmy Carter, and one by Barack Obama, and this after a district judge, appointed by George W. Bush, had put a hold on Trump’s Executive Order establishing a travel ban, which is really a Muslim ban from seven nations, none of which have sent terrorists to America, while Saudi Arabia, as an example, has sent the 9 11 terrorists, but was not on the list.

It is clear that any nation that is Muslim but which Trump has business dealings with will never be on the list. This has caused tremendous consternation, inconvenience, and personal torment for many decent people who have been blocked from entering the United States for no good reason, but Trump has no empathy or compassion, and is clearly making a grab for dictatorial power.

This is a dangerous attempt to acquire absolute power, and it must be stopped cold by the Supreme Court, which it seems, assuredly, will happen.

This judicial intervention is a victory for the Constitution and American democracy!

Trump is a Fascist, a danger to our Constitution and our civil rights and civil liberties, and massive marches are continuing, and Republicans are getting the Town Hall treatment that Tea Party people gave Democrats right after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

It now seems possible that the Republicans, who cannot come up with a solution to ObamaCare, and are endangering so many of our accomplishments in the years from FDR through LBJ and beyond, could lose seats, and maybe control, if this discontent with them and Trump continues to evolve.

The country needs to stop this far right extremism desperately!

Presidents Judged On Compassion And Empathy: Few And Far Between

The traits of compassion and empathy are not automatic parts of any person’s makeup and character, but rather needs to be cultivated from childhood on by a family environment that emphasizes commitment to others, rather than exploitation of others for one’s own gain.

Difficult childhood experiences can, of course, affect personality, and often cripple any sense of compassion and empathy for others.

So one could argue that any President who had owned slaves, as ten Presidents did, are lacking in compassion and empathy, as they were able to separate their willingness to exploit others for personal gain.

One could also say that anyone who grew up in an environment that overlooked the human rights of native Americans, or displayed racism and nativism toward people of other races, nationalities, and religions, also would be seen as lacking in compassion and empathy.

So by this standard, the number of Presidents with elements of compassion and empathy are few and far between. However, there are some who have background that would seem to eliminate them from this category, but who, in reality, demonstrated growth and recognition of shortcomings and overcame them in the Presidency. In other words, they changed over time.

So who would fit on the list of compassion and empathy in office?

In the 19th century, we would place John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield in his few short months in office before the tragedy of assassination shortened his life.

In the 20th century and since, we would include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama.

This does not mean that one cannot find criticism of these ten Presidents’ policies, for surely one can.

But even with elements that can be seen as shortcomings, these ten Presidents in general can be seen as the most compassionate, empathetic Presidents we have had.

Which Presidents would be seen as having the least compassion and empathy in American history?

This author would say Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, with Trump at the head of the list.

44 Years Ago: Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson; Abortion Becomes Legal; End Of Engagement In Vietnam War–We Must Learn From These Events!

44 years ago, on January 22, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Roe V. Wade, that women had a right to abortion in the first two trimesters.

44 years ago on January 23, announcement of an agreement to end US involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in Paris, therefore denying LBJ the ability to know of the peace agreement before his death, in a war that had forced him out of the Presidential race in 1968.

Looking back 44 years and to today in 2017, we can reflect that the Great Society of LBJ is under attack in a massive way, as is the New Deal of FDR. We are going backwards in so many ways under President Donald Trump.

Also, abortion rights are being taken away in many areas and by government policy, and the danger is that Roe V Wade could be reversed in a future Supreme Court decision, once a Trump appointed Justice is added to the Court. So women’s rights to control their own bodies will now face new restrictions, and will lead to more deaths, and abuses.

And our engagement in Vietnam, a massive mistake, has not been learned from, as now there are hints that Donald Trump is ready to send troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), committing us to a massive war in the Middle East, and with Trump asserting yesterday that America might just seize the oil of Iraq for ourselves, which would be a war crime, and a continuation of US imperialism overseas.

This is why we have intervened so much since World War II in other nations in the Middle East and in Asia, as well as Latin America.

And do not be surprised by a move to engage in war with Iran, in support of the right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and more warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas of the Palestinians.

This is not to endorse Iran, the Palestinians, or anyone else, but to point out, it looks as if we are on the way to another major military conflict, that will cost American lives and make tons of profit for the war industry. And we are likely to see a new generation of American military personnel who end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are unlikely to gain proper medical treatment for that condition.

In many ways, America has learned nothing from our historical experiences, and we are reverting to past mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.

48 Vice Presidents, 45 (44) Presidents?

With the inauguration of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, we now have our 45th (really 44th) President, and our 48th Vice President!

Some reading this are saying: “Huh?”

So let’s explain the difference in numbers.

Donald Trump is the 44th person to become President, but Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897, although he also won the popular vote in 1888, but Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College, the third time out of five (with 2000 and 2016 the 4th and 5th cases) where the popular vote loser won the Presidency.

Now, as to the Vice Presidency:

Several Presidents had two Vice Presidents, and one had three Vice Presidents, therefore making for four additional Vice Presidents more than Presidents.

Thomas Jefferson had Aaron Burr in his first term in the Presidency (1801-1805), and George Clinton in his second term (1805-1809).

James Madison had Clinton stay on as Vice President in his first term, but he died in office in 1812, so only served from 1809-1812, instead of to 1813. In his second term, Madison had Elbridge Gerry as his Vice President, but he served less than two years and died in 1814, so only serving 1813-1814.

Andrew Jackson had John C. Calhoun as Vice President in his first term, but he resigned with three months to go in the term, after being dumped from the ticket for the 1832 election, so served from 1829-1832. Martin Van Buren served in the Jackson second term (1833-1837), and became the last Vice President to succeed directly to the Presidency by election for 152 years, when George H. W. Bush succeeded President Ronald Reagan in the 1988 Presidential election.

Abraham Lincoln had two Vice Presidents–Hannibal Hamlin (1861-1865) who he decided to replace for his second election, and Andrew Johnson for six weeks in 1865 until Lincoln was assassinated, and Johnson became President.

Ulysses S. Grant had two Vice Presidents–Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873) who came under investigation for corruption and did not run for reelection; and Henry Wilson (1873-1875) who died in office.

William McKinley had two Vice Presidents–Garret Hobart (1897-1899), who died in office; and Theodore Roosevelt, for six and a half months in 1901, until McKinley was assassinated, and TR succeeded him to the Presidency, and then won a four year term of his own in 1904.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, being elected four times to the Presidency, and prevented from occurring again by the passage and adoption of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, had John Nance Garner (1933-1941) in his first two terms; Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945) in his third term; and Harry Truman for 82 days of his 4th term in 1945, before FDR died, and Truman succeeded him, and then won a full term in 1948.

Finally, Richard Nixon had two Vice Presidents–Spiro Agnew (1969-1973), his first full term and nine months of his shortened second term, until Agnew was forced to resign due to corruption charges, and being replaced two months later by Gerald Ford (1973-1974) under the 25th Amendment, allowing for an appointed Vice President subject to majority approval by both the House of Representatives and the US Senate, with Ford serving nine months before he succeeded to the Presidency upon the resignation of Nixon, due to the Watergate scandal.

Realize that George Clinton served under two Presidents (Jefferson and Madison), and the same for Calhoun, who had served as Vice President to John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), before serving as Vice President under Jackson for all but three months of that term. So as a result, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson only had one DIFFERENT Vice President to add to the total number!

Also, realize that Grover Cleveland, in his separate terms, had two different Vice Presidents, Thomas Hendricks for 8 months in 1885, and Adlai Stevenson I (1893-1897).

Also realize that John Tyler (1841), Millard Fillmore (1850), Andrew Johnson (1865), and Chester Alan Arthur (1881), all succeeded to the Presidency because of the deaths of William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield, and never had a Vice President, since there was no 25th Amendment until passage in 1967, allowing Gerald Ford to pick Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President in 1974. And the other four Presidents who had been Vice President, and succeeded due to the deaths of the Presidents in office (Theodore Roosevelt after William McKinley; Calvin Coolidge after Warren G. Harding; Harry Truman after Franklin D. Roosevelt; Lyndon B. Johnson after John F. Kennedy) all were elected in the next term and had a Vice President.

So only 40 men (plus Cleveland in two terms, so called the 22nd and 24th President) in the Presidency chose a Vice President, and only Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, McKinley and Nixon had two Vice Presidents who were unique (not shared with another President), and FDR had three Vice Presidents with his four terms in office. So if you count 41 due to Cleveland’s unique situation, and add seven extra Vice Presidents, you get a total of 48 men who have served as Vice President of the United States!