James Buchanan

Presidents Who Were Most Prolific Authors In Life Or After Their Deaths

The issue of the intellectual prowess of Presidents is a significant one, in a time of a President who does not display much intellectual interest or talents.

Of course, ability to write and communicate in diaries or in books is not the only area of competence for a President, but we are fortunate that so many Presidents contributed to our nation in their writings.

First, however, is which Presidents did NOT contribute any significant writings in print or in diaries, although many left behind a massive amount of manuscripts, which historians have utilized in their published books on Presidents.

The list would include, chronologically, the following 20 Presidents.

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester Alan Arthur
William McKinley
William Howard Taft
Warren G. Harding
Franklin D. Roosevelt

A long list of Presidents (24) wrote diaries, Memoirs, or autobiographies, or other published works in their lifetime, or after their deaths, including, chronologically:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
James K. Polk
James Buchanan
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Theodore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump

Of all of these 24 who contributed published works, only a few, however, were voluminous, substantial, and could be described as prolific.

John Quincy Adams, with his 69 year diary in 48 volumes, would be one such case.

James K. Polk. with his 4 volume diary, would be another.

Theodore Roosevelt was extremely active as an author, and Woodrow Wilson was an active academic, which explains his large amount of publishing.

Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, all with long retirements, were prolific, and Carter has continued to be so.

Barack Obama is expected to join this group of prolific authors, and had two books before his Presidency, similar to John F. Kennedy, who clearly would have contributed more, had he not been assassinated.

So this is a summary of the literary intellectual life of our 44 Presidents!

The Basic Tenets Of Democracy–Truth And Trust–Lacking In Trump Presidency

The basic tenets of democracy are a promotion of the truth instead of constant lies, and a trust in the leadership of government, that who is in power can be seen as acceptable to have power.

On both counts, Donald Trump fails miserably.

The man tells more lies than any President or any political figure in American history.

He refuses to admit any errors or mistakes, and never apologizes.

He cannot tolerate opposition, which is basic to any democracy.

He terrifies millions of Americans, who are fearful of the effect he is having on our system of government, and sense that he is going to lead us into World War III.

He consorts with dictators in Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, Russia, and elsewhere, and overtly praises the strong man leadership in nations, while attacking our allies in democracies.

He is dismissive of women, and one can see that his mixed relations with Great Britain and Germany are due to their having women leaders, Theresa May and Angela Merkel.

He is on the way to being rated the absolutely worst President in American history, and raising the image of failed or terrible Presidents, including Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding.

Donald Trump is a menace to American democracy and world peace and order.

A Clear Mental Illness: Donald Trump’s Massive Hatred Of Barack Obama And His Legacy

Never in our history have we seen such a massive hatred of a previous President by the newly inaugurated President, as we have seen with Donald Trump’s clear mental illness regarding former President Barack Obama.

Trump is obsessed with wiping out the memory and record in office of the 44th President, and it is clear that this is a dangerous sign of severe mental illness of the 45th President.

Trump has spent the last eight years hating Barack Obama, and no matter what one says to deny reality, a lot of it has to do with the fact that Barack Obama is black in appearance, although he is mixed race, and his mother was white.

One wonders if genetics had worked differently, and Obama had been born looking white, and his name had been changed to his mother’s name, making him Barry Dunham, how the story of the hatred of Trump and so many others towards him would have evolved.

Trump became the promoter of the “Birther” theory, that Obama was born in Kenya, and has never really reneged on that, although he stopped talking about it during the Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Trump was furious when Obama ridiculed him during the White House Correspondents Association event in 2011, making fun of Trump being a reality star, when Obama had to make life and death decisions in the White House.

Despite their history, Obama was cordial and offered help to Trump two days after the election, in their only personal face to face meeting, but Trump made up his sick mind that he was going to destroy the legacy of Obama, and so far, he seems to have accomplished that in regards to ObamaCare, the Iran nuclear deal, the environmental record in the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the treatment of the Dream kids who came with their parents to the United States when they were young.

Trump also accused Obama of wiretapping the White House, a delusional accusation already proved to be a crazy conspiracy theory.

What it comes down to is that Trump, an undeniable racist, cannot tolerate that a black man accomplished so much, and therefore, Trump is using a hatchet to destroy everything he can of the Obama legacy, as soon as he can do so.

But one can be assured that while much is being destroyed for now, a very upsetting development, that in the future, we will have a Democratic Congress, and a future President will work to restore all of the good work that Barack Obama accomplished.

Hopefully, Obama will have a long life so that he can witness the restoration of the Obama legacy, just as we honor the great accomplishments of other outstanding Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, with Obama joining them as among the most productive Presidents in American hstory.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump will end up in the bottom of the listing of Presidents, and nothing will be done to lift him from where he belongs, in the basement.

Obama, now listed in the C Span Presidential poll of 2017 as number 12, will likely rise to the bottom of the top ten in the future, while Trump will end up number 44 out of 44, realizing that Grover Cleveland is listed twice, as number 22 and number 24. Trump will fall below James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, and nothing he can do will allow him to rise, as he has done enough damage in nine months to prevent him from avoiding his fate as the worst and most dangerous President in American history!

Hardworking Presidents Vs. Lazy Presidents, And Then There Is Donald Trump!

The Presidency is an all encompassing job, one that the occupant of the Oval Office, particularly in modern times, cannot escape, even when on so called “vacation”.

Some Presidents stand out as constantly on the job, very active, very committed and hard working.

These would include in modern times, since 1900, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Note only three of these Presidents–TR, Nixon and the first Bush–are Republicans.

Indications are that James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, Democrat and Republican respectively, were also hard workers, dedicated, and committed, among pre1900 Presidents.

On the other hand, the following Presidents come across as far less committed, and in many cases, too laid back, and in some cases, purely lazy:

William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, all Republicans. All of these Presidents took many vacations, and had short work days much of the time, and it undermined America in domestic and foreign policy on a regular basis.

Pre1900 examples would include Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Ulysses S. Grant, the first two being Democrats and Grant being a Republican.

And then there is Donald Trump, whose work habits make clear that he is the LAZIEST President of the United States in all of American history, certainly since 1900 at the least!

He loves to sign executive orders, many which are symbolic, and to take a long time in signing in a flourishing manner at Presidential signing ceremonies, and then showing it to the gathered audience over and over, like a little child proud of his signature, absolutely unbelievable immaturity on the part of a President, who lowers the image of the Presidency every day.

He has taken no part in promoting Health Care legislation, and is simply ready to sign any bill that comes to his desk, as he told evangelist Pat Robertson in an interview before leaving for his trip to Paris, France for Bastille Day.

Trump knows no details on anything, and is not willing to do much reading or learning, and it is truly pitiful how he has degraded the Presidency daily!

The Most Massive Liar In American Presidential History? NOT Richard Nixon, But Rather Donald Trump, As NY Times Compilation Demonstrates!

Richard Nixon, in the afterlife, is celebrating big time!

Usually seen as a villain, a crook, and a liar, Richard Nixon now is witnessing his rise in rating, due to the reality that much of what he did in domestic, and even in foreign policy, has stood the test of time, while not whitewashing his illegalities and abuse of power.

But also, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has done a great job of reassessing Nixon, and showing all aspects of the 37th President, both good and evil.

Nixon’s reputation, despite some real contributions, is permanently harmed by his wrongdoings and his psychological issues.

But after Donald Trump’s first five months, it is clear that Nixon will ALWAYS rank above Trump in historical rankings, and that Trump will be lodged in the “basement”, in last place, even behind such failures as President as James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding.

There is no debate that NO President has been as massive a liar and one without any accomplishments that can been as positive, as with Donald Trump.

The New York Times has compiled all of the lies and false statements of Donald Trump, and they show that Trump lies and distorts the truth and undermines facts and reality more than any other President, with Nixon again being number 2 but way behind Trump!

Trump lies at least five times a day, and his spokesmen lie for him as well, and the truth on anything never crosses their lips, and statements that are issued.

Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth, or admitting any mistakes or errors, and in so doing, he has created a parallel universe of followers who live in “alternative facts”, meaning lies and distortions of reality.

Donald Trump has no shame, and many would say that he is a psychopath and sociopath, who has dictatorial and authoritarian bent, and we all have to worry that a crisis will arise, and the worst, most ugly side of his personality will come out, and he will do great harm to our nation and its democracy.

Trump acts more like a third world corrupt leader from Latin America, Africa, or Asia, and is destroying the First Amendment with his constant attack on the news media, and his claim that they are the enemies of the American people.

This is unconscionable, and he will pay for it long term in the judgment of history, but the question is how we survive his maniacal, unstable behavior, meanwhile!

The Experience Of Reagan And Trump A Lesson: Age Of Presidents Should Be Between 43 and 70, Election To Retirement!

The growing signs that President Donald Trump might be in the early stages of dementia, and possibly Alzheimers Disease, based on his speech pattern and delusional behavior, brings to the forefront the issue of Presidential age and health.

We live in a time of more and more Americans working into their 70s and 80s,although most only work part time, in jobs that are not highly challenging or stressful.

There is no desire to discriminate against people based on age, but when it comes to the Presidency, the most challenging and stressful job in the world, it would seem wise to learn from the experiences of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, as well as the illnesses experienced by Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Presidency.

Reagan clearly suffered from early dementia and Alzheimers, particularly in the second term, when his wife and his staff often were there to help him in what he said publicly. His public speeches suffered, as already Donald Trump’s public utterances are demonstrating.

Eisenhower had three serious illnesses in 1955, 1956, and 1957, with a massive heart attack in 1955. When Ike retired at age 70 and three months in January 1961,the oldest when leaving office until Reagan and now Trump, he said no one older than himself should be President, and that now makes a lot of sense.

And then we have Zachary Taylor who died in office, elected at age 64 and dying 16 months later; and William Henry Harrison, elected at age 68, and dying after one month in office.

Also, James Buchanan, elected at age 65 but nearly 66, and being unable to handle the job of President effectively, and he goes down in history as the worst President ever, in most scholarly polls of Presidential experts.

Only George Herbert Walker Bush, elected at 64, and defeated at age 68, might have been acceptable had he won a second term over Bill Clinton in 1992. And even he would have been past Ike’s age only for the last two years of a theoretical second term.

John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President at age 43 and seven months, with only Theodore Roosevelt being younger, succeeding William McKinley after his assassination, and being 42 years and almost 11 months.

The average age of Presidents is 55, and it would seem to make sense that we elect Presidents only from age 43 to age 62, when they first take the oath of office, so that the range of age when leaving office is 51 to 70.

Altogether, we have had 9 Presidents in their 40s when inaugurated, and 11 Presidents in their 60s or more when elected President.

So basically, the age of JFK when elected, to the age of Ike, when he retired, makes the most sense for the long term future.

From Richard Nixon And The “Saturday Night Massacre” To Donald Trump And The “Tuesday Night Massacre”: Same Result Will Occur!

It is hard to believe that we are reliving Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal, and specifically the “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20, 1973, when Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, followed by Elliott Richardson (Attorney General) and William Ruckelshaus (Deputy Attorney General), with Robert Bork, later rejected for the Supreme Court in 1987, finally dismissing Cox. But this shocking event created a constitutional crisis, which led to Richard Nixon facing impeachment, and ultimately resigning ten months later in August 1974.

Now, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, appropriately termed the “Tuesday Night Massacre”, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, claiming the reason being Comey’s decision to announce a further investigation of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent, including 11 days before the election in 2016, helping to cause the victory of Trump over Clinton. This is totally preposterous as an explanation. It also is a clear cut attempt to stop the FBI investigation into Trump’s connection to the Russian government of Vladimir Putin through various aides who had close ties with Russia. If it was to be found that Trump was engaging in what could be seen as treason, he would face impeachment and removal from office, even beyond other charges of corruption and malfeasance by Donald Trump.

One can now foresee that Donald Trump will NOT finish his term in office, and will be forced out by resignation or impeachment at some point.

It will NOT be soon, but this blogger did write on History News Network, and it went viral, that Trump might be forced out between the 199 days of President James A. Garfield (which would be reached on August 7, 2017), and the 492 days of President Zachary Taylor (which would be reached on May 27, 2018).

The manner of dismissing Comey, while he was in Los Angeles, learning from cable news bulletins that he had been fired, is very similar to Nixon ordering seizure of the offices of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, and expect that there will be moves now to demand a Special Prosecutor, or else resolutions of impeachment will commence.

Donald Trump is more corrupt than Richard Nixon, imagine that, and will elevate Nixon by comparison, and Trump will go down as the absolutely worst President ever, raising the stock of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding!

The “Middle” President: From Washington-Adams-Jefferson To Bush II-Obama-Trump

Now we can say that five times in our history, we have had three Presidents in a row, where the “middle” President of the set of three stands out as dramatically worse or better than the President before and after him.

First, we have George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, with Adams being seen historically as less in reputation than the other two Presidents.

Second, we have James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson, with Lincoln being the success between two total failures in the Presidency.

Then, we have Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, with Taft seen historically as less in reputation than the other two Presidents.

The fourth example is Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, with Bush seen historically as less in reputation than the other two Presidents.

And now, we have the fifth example, of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, but this time, as with the second case, it is the “middle” President, Barack Obama, who far outshines the other two Presidents!

Donald Trump Competes With Warren G. Harding And George W. Bush As Least Intelligent President Of The United States!

The more one observes President Donald Trump, the more one realizes that he is one of the most ignorant, ill informed, and least intelligent Presidents of the United States.

Many of our Presidents have been intellectual heavyweights (16), including:

John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Abraham Lincoln
James A. Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

Others, while not intellectually outstanding, were capable of good leadership (13) including:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush

Then, there are others who are mediocre by comparison, but had at least some redeeming qualities (12), including:

Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
Chester Alan Arthur
Benjamin Harrison
Calvin Coolidge

And then there are the three Presidents at the absolute bottom intellectually, and all three disasters in office, including

Warren G. Harding
George W. Bush
Donald Trump

At least Harding and Bush were decent human beings, who bumbled their way through the Presidency, but Donald Trump is, in many ways, more ignorant and dense than either Harding or the second Bush.

Harding was a lightweight intellectually, but at least he published a newspaper in Marion, Ohio, before his political career, and he had some outstanding cabinet officers including Charles Evans Hughes and Herbert Hoover.

George W. Bush, we know, read a great deal in the White House, while Trump is not a reader, and hardly gets past a page or two, even of important documents, as we learn that he counts on his top staff people to keep him up to date, and prefers Twitter and watching cable news as his main sources of information. His lack of intellectual curiosity, and willingness to believe conspiracy theories as fact is extremely alarming.

Trump has shown total ignorance of history and science, and is proving to be a true total disaster after only a little more than 100 days in office. He is much more destructive of the image of the Presidency than Harding or Bush could ever be!

Donald Trump’s First Hundred Days: An F Grade Is Appropriate! Neil Gorsuch Is The Only “Accomplishment”!

This is the season for judgment on Donald Trump’s First Hundred Days, and being a professor of history and political science, as well as a lecturer, blogger, and published author of two books and many articles, the conclusion is clear.

Donald Trump gets a F for his performance, easily the least accomplished President in the first Hundred Days, with only one major accomplishment, the approval by the US Senate of his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

But even that only came about because of the Republican decision to abandon the filibuster rule, therefore allowing Gorsuch to be confirmed without a 60 vote margin usually required before a final vote. And it seems likely that Gorsuch will, sadly, take America backwards, maybe more so than his predecessor, Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch will affect constitutional law in a detrimental way, based on his earlier record as a circuit court judge.

Otherwise, Trump has been all bluster and bullyism, who has made many promises, and none of them nearing fulfillment. Trump’s public opinion ratings are by far the lowest of any President since polling began, particularly at this early a stage of his time in office. He has never had the majority of the nation behind him, either in the election, during the transition, or now after a hundred days in office.

Donald Trump has done more to divide America in his first Hundred Days than any previous President, and he relishes conflict, rather than compromise and unity. He has pitted his white working class supporters against minorities, and yet he is showing lack of any concern about those who supported him. There are signs already of disillusionment and “buyer’s remorse” by many who voted for Trump.

He has promised a Mexico Wall which will not work, if it is ever built, and it will add many tens of billions to the national debt, and Mexico is not going to pay for the Wall, and one hopes Trump is not ready to start a war with our neighbor, as he has more than enough foreign policy problems as it is.

He saw his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, forced to resign in less than a month, and there has been total chaos, anarchy, and disarray with the White House staff, with the only good thing being the lessening of the influence of right wing radical Stephen Bannon, and the rise of the influence of Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner. It is hoped that the couple will have a humanizing influence on Trump, which would be a good thing.

Meanwhile, the Russian connection to Trump is still being investigated, and could force him out of office at some point. But meanwhile, Trump has been saber rattling with North Korea and Iran, and has bombed Syria and Afghanistan, and continues to promise the total destruction of ISIL (ISIS). Relations with Russia, at least publicly, are deteriorating as well.

Trump has managed to create hostility and antagonism with such allies as Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and Australia, while seemingly cozying up to China over the Korean issue, and therefore changing his hostile tone in the campaign toward China.

Trump has shown his total ignorance of history and of science, and has declared war on the environment, on consumer rights, on labor rights, on women’s rights, on the Hispanic community, on African Americans, and on the health care system itself. He seems unconcerned about the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, and is just out to trash his predecessor, Barack Obama.

His appointments to his cabinet are atrocious, and we have the most terrifying Attorney General in all of American history in Jeff Sessions.

Trump has failed to gain any legislative accomplishments, and has, instead, used twice as many executive orders than his last two predecessors, but many are mean spirited and negative, undermining our values and the historical accomplishments of government in the past hundred years since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and including Republican Presidents, as well as Democrats.

Trump makes Richard Nixon look much better, and even the weaknesses and shortcomings of George W. Bush pale by comparison, as at least Bush was a decent human being, while wrong headed.

His anti immigrant, nativist stand is a stain on history, and the tragedy of deportation of children protected under executive order of Barack Obama adds to the horrors of families being torn apart.

His condemnation of the judiciary is detrimental to respect for the law, and his Muslim bans have been held up by courageous federal court judges.

Trump, in many ways, is the third President without a party, as there is a major split in the Republican Party, and there are many officeholders and conservative journalists and intellectuals who have major problems with him. John Tyler and Andrew Johnson are the earlier Presidents who had no party backing, but Trump was elected, while they were not, but Trump’s constant switches of position, and his lying, and insulting, undermine his Presidency dramatically.

Donald Trump comes across, ultimately, as the least likable President, if one judges by his character, his behavior, and his basic values.

Trump has no background, experience, knowledge, or ethical standard to be our President, and one must recall that 54 percent of those who voted, were against him, and he is the 7th lowest popular vote percentage winner of all Presidents, with the others–John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and James Buchanan–all having two or three opponents who won electoral votes, while Trump only had Hillary Clinton as an electoral vote competitor. And Hillary won the biggest margin of popular votes of any losing candidate–2.85 million popular votes.

The nightmare of Donald Trump has just begun, and America is a loser for having, somehow, elected this egomaniac and narcissist, who is only out for his own glorification!