Newsweek Magazine

9th Anniversary of “The Progressive Professor”, And 5,700 Entries!

It has been nine years since my son David, knowing how I have always had a strong desire to express myself in writing about my views of history, politics, government, and public affairs, suggested I start a blog.

And now, on this 9th anniversary, I am proud to report that there have been exactly, with this article I am now writing, 5,700 entries over the past 3,287 days, which means an average of 1.734 entries per day.

In reality, in the beginning, I did not contribute entries on a regular, every day, basis, but in recent years, there have been very few days when I did not contribute at least one entry, and many days I contributed multiple entries, so have arrived today at 5,700 articles, an average of 633 entries per year.

Along the way, I have been blessed with many readers who have contributed their comments and their articles from various sources to this blog, and I have been fully appreciative of their loyalty and passion to the progressive causes I have long committed myself to over my career and life.

And I have been fortunate, being semi-retired from college teaching for six years, but still teaching part time, to have had the extra “free time”, to have had the opportunity to write my Presidential Assassinations book, now out in paperback, which came along as a query from Rowman Littlefield, a sudden blessing four years ago this month.

And the book has led to increased lectures locally in South Florida; the opportunity for interviews on the book and on American politics for numerous radio stations and C Span; and the fantastic opportunity to write at this timing 68 articles on History News, with four of them being picked up by Time Magazine and three by Newsweek Magazine for republication, with all of my contributions listed on the right side of the blog.

And also, I have listed many different sources that any reader can click on and go to important websites in history, politics, government, and public affairs, which I gather have been useful to many readers.

So on this 9th anniversary, I pledge myself to a continuation of my commitment to work on this as long as I am able to do so, and welcome all my readers along for the ride!

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!

Here We Go Again: Sarah Palin, Feeling Neglected, Drops Hint She Will Run! Don’t Bet On It!

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is feeling neglected lately, so in an interview with Newsweek Magazine, she is dropping hints she will run for President.

It is very obvious that Palin is upset that Michele Bachmann seems to be sucking up all of the oxygen in the Republican Presidential race, and there is nothing like a woman who feels slighted by another woman! It brings out the aggressiveness that two ambitious women have in politics–to work to undermine their enemy who took away the attention they felt they deserved!

In this respect, Michele Bachmann is a lady, as she has made it clear that she has no desire to get involved in a wrestling match with Palin, but that does not mean that Palin, younger, less accomplished, and frankly more ignorant on all of the issues, is not resentful, behind the scenes, of Bachmann.

If Palin were to enter the race, one can be sure she would get nasty with Bachmann, and that would force Bachmann to become more so, and that would be something to watch, to say the least!

But it would also, sadly, undermine women in politics, as both Bachmann and Palin are poorly qualified to be President, and their ignorance is so total that they are both an embarrassment to their gender!

Oh, where oh where, are qualified women in the party, such as Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Kay Bailey Hutchison?

Oh, and how Hillary Clinton, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill and other Democratic women are looked at longingly, on the 27th anniversary today of the nomination of Geraldine Ferraro as the first female Vice Presidential candidate in 1984!

More Political Party Division Today Than Since The Reconstruction Era!

Newsweek Magazine this week has an article about the massive political divide that exists between the Democrats and the Republicans presently, and comes up with a shocking statement!

The partisan warfare between the parties, with each unable to cross the aisle for support in a bipartisan way, is the absolute worst it has been since the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, when the Republicans dominated, and depicted the Democrats as the “party of treason”!

Does this mean that the American people are more divided by ideological conflict than during other controversial periods, such as FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression; the McCarthyism “Red Scare” of the 1950s; the tumult over civil rights and the Vietnam War during the 1960s and early 1970s; and the administration of Bill Clinton in the 1990s?

Unbelievably, YES, as even in these periods of great conflict in the past, there were still the ability of a substantial number of the opposition party to work across the aisle, rather than the “lockstep” mentality of Reconstruction times, and the present period where the concept of cooperation has become totally repudiated, sadly! 🙁

It is tragic, that in the time of the Great Recession, and so many intransigent problems facing the nation, that we cannot have cooperation and bipartisanship! That is what is causing the dangerous levels of extremism that we are seeing with the militia groups and the Tea Party Movement!

Rather than uniting around our common American nationalism, we are dividing based on such factors as race, religion, geographical section, age, and widely varying views of the meaning of the Constitution!

What we need is statesmanship, rather than partisanship, but the likelihood of improvement in the relationship of the two major political parties is not likely at any time in the foreseeable future! 🙁