Theodore Roosevelt

One Term Presidencies That Mattered: Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush!

President Joe Biden stated at his end of first year press conference yesterday, that he planned to run for a second term in 2024, and that Kamala Harris would again be his running mate.

That is to be expected at this time, but by early 2023, Biden will need to make a final decision on running, so as to open the race to alternative choices if he announces he will retire.

The concept that a President must seek reelection was not the case with three Presidents, who decided not to run–James K. Polk in 1848, James Buchanan in 1860, and Rutherford Hayes in 1880. But Polk, despite not running for another term, is considered to have accomplished his goals, and as it turns out, his health was not good, and he died 105 days after leaving office in 1849.

Buchanan and Hayes are not considered to have had successful terms, and they may have sensed that they could not win reelection.

Other one term Presidents, such as Benjamin Harrison and Herbert Hoover, had horrible depressions to deal with, helping to cause their defeats in 1892 and 1932, and William Howard Taft had a split in his party with former President Theodore Roosevelt, which doomed his campaign for reelection in 1912.

Gerald Ford was a special situation, having not been elected, succeeding Richard Nixon, and having a bad economy, which doomed his desire for election to a full term in 1976, although he is considered in a kind manner at this point, having worked to unite America after the Watergate Scandal and resignation of Nixon.

But the two most recent Presidents defeated for reelection, before Donald Trump, had real accomplishments in office, although they were unable to win a second term, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Clearly, all Presidents since Rutherford Hayes in 1880, who have survived a term, have attempted to be reelected, but since Biden will be 82 years old weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024, he might decide not to run, or his health might be such that he is told he should not run.

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Jimmy Carter Closing In On 15,000 Days In Retirement From Presidency On Valentine’s Day!

Former President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) keeps adding to his record as the longest lived American President, being now 97 years, 3 months, and 17 days, at this writing!

His wife, Rosalynn Carter, is 94, and 5 months, as this writing, and the couple are married more than 75 years!

On January 20, Carter will have been out of the Presidency for 41 years, nearly ten years more than Herbert Hoover!

And hard to believe, Carter will be closing in on 15,000 days in retirement from the Presidency on Valentine’s Day, February 14!

Carter is amazing, and the longer he lives, the more his stature rises, as he is certainly considered the greatest retired President, in the sense of his contributions to American society and the world community, through his commitments to the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter is such a good, decent human being, and he will always stand out for his major accomplishments, including the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; the Panama Canal Treaty; diplomatic relations with China; the promotion of human rights in foreign policy; his presiding over three Cabinet agencies being created (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); his promotion of diversity in his appointments to all kinds of posts; and his exceptional environmental record, the greatest of any one term President, and considered the third best by Environmental historians, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon!

The Republican Party Of History Is Gone! 1854-2022!

The Republican Party of history once stood for human rights, civil rights, racial equality, in the age of Abraham Lincoln.

The Republican Party of history once stood for progressive reforms, in the age of Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Sr., and George Norris.

The Republican Party of history once stood for promoting internationalism and fighting the Cold War for democracy and against the threat of totalitarianism, in the age of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party of history once stood for Civil Rights in the age of Senators and Congressmen who joined with Democrats to promote political and social reform.

The Republican Party of history had its elements which were evil and divisive, but the party overall stood for basic principles of decency while promoting conservatism and the concept of limited national government.

But now, the Republican Party has promoted massive give aways to the wealthy, while having no concern about the needs of the middle class and the poor.

But now, the Republican Party consorts with authoritarian regimes of the Left and the Right, including collaborating with Vladimir Putin to fix the Presidential Election of 2016, and to make concessions to the Russian Federation during the era of Donald Trump.

But now, the Republican Party has the craziest conceivable elements in its party, who promote sedition, treason, and attacks on the Constitution and the rule of law.

Only a small element of the 2021-2022 Republican Party is part of the mainstream of American politics, and they are outnumbered and attacked for their commitment to decency, honesty, and the tenets of American democracy. Plaudits to Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Tom Rice, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and a small group of other courageous, principled Congressmen and Senators!

Donald Trump and his ilk, which include millions of ignorant, prejudiced white supremacists, antisemites, Islamophobes, racists, nativists and misogynists, represent a dire threat to the American republic, and must be combatted by every legal tool available, to allow America to reach its 250th anniversary in 2026 as a nation still keeping its values and heritage that are a model for democracy around the world in the 21st century!

Republican Party: From Joseph McCarthy In The 1950s To Kevin McCarthy In 2021!

The Republican Party has fallen from the time of such leaders as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and innumerable decent Republican Senators and Governors over the years!

But there has always been an ugly side to the Republican Party since World War II, characterized by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s and now the disgraceful leadership of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California!

The first McCarthy set out to destroy the lives of Americans by labeling them “Reds” or “Pinkos”, and now the modern McCarthy, NOT a family member or relative, has set out to destroy any decency in the Republican Party by backing a criminal attempt of Donald Trump to come back to the Presidency, “by hook or by crook”, with emphasis on the latter, and by promoting the “Big Lie”!

Kevin McCarthy is willing to destroy any honest, decent Republican in his quest to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, even though he personally condemned Donald Trump after the January 6, 2021 Insurrection at the US Capitol!

Joseph McCarthy was a horror and a villain in the 1950s, and now another McCarthy is a villain in the 2020s!

It is essential that Kevin McCarthy be required to testify in the House January 6 Committee investigation, and that his immoral, unethical behavior be called out, and that he should pay the price for undermining American democracy!

America survived the first McCarthy after nearly a five year nightmare, and America needs to survive the era of the modern demagogue, Kevin McCarthy!

Theodore Roosevelt 163rd Anniversary Of His Birth At Time Of Destruction Of His Reform Efforts

Theodore Roosevelt, the second greatest Republican President (after Abraham Lincoln), born on this day in 1858, represented progressive reform, the use of the federal government to promote and monitor political and economic reform.

He saw the danger of unbridled capitalism, and the need to recognize labor rights.

He saw the need for political reforms, bringing government closer to its citizens, through the utilization of direct primaries, initiatives, referendums, the recall method, women’s suffrage, and proposals to modify the powers of the Supreme Court and the life term of its membership.

He wanted limits on outside groups spending on political campaigns, which he saw as undermining American democracy.

He was the heroic promoter of the environment, regarded as the greatest President on conservation of natural resources, and the promotion of the expansion of national parks and monuments.

He was the first President to suggest the need for a national health care program, and so much of his agenda on social and economic reform came about with the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and now, Joe Biden wishes to extend what TR first promoted more than a century ago!

His 1912 Progressive (Bull Moose) Party had a platform that makes it seem more like 2012, and he still represents the Republican Party at its best since the time of Abraham Lincoln, and particularly as compared to now. The Republicans have become a Fascist authoritarian party that is undermining American democracy, and working to limit the right to vote despite the various constitutional amendments (15, 19, 23, 24, 26) to insure that right, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

TR was certainly imperfect, as he promoted white supremacy typical of his time, and was imperialistic in his treatment of Latin America, as well as his promotion of an expansion of the military, but it is clear he would repudiate the Republican Party of the 2020s.

And notice how the Republican Party glorifies Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, NOT Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt!

The Presidency And Native Americans

A recent article on History News Network has rated Presidents on “Integrity and Humanity in Dealing with Native American Nations”, a significant analysis of how the “original” Americans have been treated by American government.

It is not a positive picture overall, and we have had Presidents who were particularly horrid in their treatment of native Americans, and others who had a more open minded and considerate reaction to the plight of native Americans.

The list of Presidents who are seen as villains includes:

Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Andrew Johnson
James Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
Donald Trump

The list of Presidents who are seen as reformers includes:

John Quincy Adams
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

Overall, sadly, native Americans were treated with violence, disrespect and paternalism, with their lands stolen, and forced out of their ancestral lands!

America Is In A New “Gilded Age” Of Obscene Wealth And Monopoly Capitalism: Reform Is Essential!

At the beginning of the 20th century, America escaped the Gilded Age period of obscene wealth and monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Robert LaFollette Sr., George Norris, and others who promoted the Progressive Era.

The Progressive Era was far from perfect, but it gave hope of escaping the worst elements of the GIlded Age in the last third of the 19th century.

We have had ups and downs since the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the New Frontier, and Great Society, particularly with the triumph of conservatism under Ronald Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, and then made ever worse by Donald Trump.

But now, the news of billionaires having arrangements to keep their wealth from being taxed by overseas havens and even South Dakota allowing such reprehensible tactics is highly disturbing. This, along with the clear cut monopoly of Facebook promoting division, conflict, polarization, and affecting even young girls’ self image due to the toxic Instagram social media site, cries out for strong movement toward another “Progressive Era”.

The idea that concentration of wealth and power rivals and is clearly greater than the time of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and other monopolists of the late 19th and early 20th century is totally outrageous!

But is it possible in a nation with a 50-50 US Senate and a six vote margin in the House of Representatives to accomplish necessary reform?

This present, disturbing situation is a massive crisis of American democracy, with the threat of Donald Trump possibly regaining power, and destroying any possibility of reform!

The Nation Salutes Former President Jimmy Carter On His Record Setting 97th Birthday!

Former President Jimmy Carter celebrates his record setting 97th Birthday today, and this is a cause for national celebration!

The 39th President of the United States has lived more than two and a half years longer than the second longest lived President, George H. W. Bush, who died in November 2018 at the age of 94 years and about five and a half months.

Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover in 2012 as the longest retired President, and on January 20 of next year, he will have survived as a former President for the amazing total of 41 years!

His wife, Rosalynn Carter, turned 94 in August, and the couple have been married longer than the Bushes were, a total of 75 years as of July of this year.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy and genuine nature of Jimmy Carter stand out as virtues not shared by many Presidents, although Joe Biden fits those descriptions for sure.

While Carter has not stood out in polls of experts or of the general public as outstanding, it is a certainty that his historical ranking will rise after his eventual passing.

Carter will be remembered:

for the Egyptian Israeli Camp David Accords;

for the Panama Canal Treaty;

for his environmental activism, ranking as the most successful one term President in this regard, and ranked as number 3 all time by environmental historians, just behind Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon

for his brilliant intellect, with many thinking he is one of the few Presidents to have an extremely high IQ;

for his promotion of the values of human rights around the world in office and ever since leaving office through the Carter Center;

for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for all of his good works;

for demonstrating what true religiosity was, as he was a genuine “good Christian” rather than being a hypocrite as so many supposedly devout people have been and continue to be;

for engaging in building housing for the poor through Habitat For Humanity;

for creating three Cabinet agencies, in Health and Human Services, Education and Energy;

and for having the closest, most engaged Vice President in history in Walter Mondale, who was a team for more than 40 years until his death in April of this year.

The Afghanistan Crisis Likely Insures A One Term Joe Biden Presidency

Only about one of every three Presidents historically (14 of 44) through Inauguration Day 2021 has served two terms:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Additionally, 7 others served more than one term, but not two complete terms:

Abraham Lincoln
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Calvin Coolidge
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon

And only Lincoln, McKinley, and Nixon were actually elected to two terms, so a total of 17 Presidents elected twice, while TR, Coolidge, Truman, and Johnson succeeded after deaths of their predecessor, and were only elected once to the Presidency.

So a total of 21 Presidents served more than four years, although Lincoln and McKinley for just a few months more, and Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon only months more than a year. So only TR and Truman were very close to two complete terms. Ultimately, 16 out of 44 basically served two terms.

Now we can add Joe Biden to the list of those who will not serve two terms or even be elected a second time, as with the Afghanistan debacle, it seems certain that he will not run again in 2024!