Zachary Taylor

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!

Eight Months Of Donald Trump: Destabilization Of Domestic And Foreign Policy

Today marks eight months of the Donald Trump Presidency, eight months of destabilization of domestic and foreign policy.

One wonders how much more of this America and the world can stand.

The good news is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is steaming ahead in his investigation of the Trump scandals, including Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Mueller has his sights on Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, and has gained a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) wiretapping order that indicates evidence that can be used against many Trump associates and the President and family members as well.

This author published an article in February on HNN, picked up by Newsweek, that went viral, stating the belief that Trump would leave office between the James A. Garfield assassination death after 199 days and the Zachary Taylor natural cause of death after 492 days, which is matched on May 27, 2018.

Now this author would change the date to predict that by the Ides of March (March 15), the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, that we will see Trump leaving office, which would be 419 days.

The clock is definitely ticking for Donald Trump, but meanwhile, there is great concern that Trump could launch a nuclear attack or declare martial law, and it is essential for the military people around Trump–John Kelly, H. R. Mcmaster, and James Mattis–to work to prevent such actions as the investigation continues toward resolution.

James Comey’s Testimony Before Senate Intelligence Committee, Plus Jared Kushner Controversy, Further Steps Toward End Of Trump Presidency!

Former FBI Head James Comey, by giving testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on his dealings with Donald Trump, is raising the ante on Trump’s being eventually forced out of office. It was stunning to hear Comey state that Donald Trump is a liar, who he knew was from the beginning, and that, therefore, Comey needed to keep notes of his meetings and conversations with the President. No matter what the criticism of Comey in his handling of the Presidential Election of 2016, which many think undermined Hillary Clinton’s candidacy dramatically, it is clear that Comey is much admired by fellow workers in the FBI, and that he has no record of lying, while Trump has been the most outstanding example of a liar ever to hold the office of the Presidency, even more than Richard Nixon,

The Jared Kushner controversy of dealing with the Russian Ambassador during the transition, before being appointed as an adviser to his father in-law is another issue that will make Trump’s life much more difficult.

With the process moving ahead in Congress and with the Special Counsel Robert Muller, former FBI head, and with Trump constantly making things worse with his own utterances, the clock is ticking on the duration of the Trump Presidency.

It still seems highly likely that Trump will not last in office as long as Zachary Taylor, who died after 492 days, on July 9, 1850, a date which will be reached in the Trump Presidency on May 27, 2018.

Donald Trump Has Divided America More Than Any Other President Since The Civil War, Including Richard Nixon!

America has had 44 men who have served as President.

We have had a person who had no issue with slaughter of Native Americans—Andrew Jackson.

We have had a person who chose to give his loyalty to the Confederate States of America in the Civil War—John Tyler.

We have had a person who warred with our southern neighbor, Mexico, on the basis of promoting slavery expansion and American imperialism—James K. Polk.

We have had a person who was openly racist after the Civil War, and was impeached, more because of his disagreeable personality and stubbornness—Andrew Johnson

We have had a person who presided over the worst, most scandalous Presidency of the 19th century—Ulysses S. Grant.

We have had a person who presided over the worst scandals since Grant, and was seen as very lacking in any intellect—Warren G. Harding.

We have had a person who was the most crooked President in American UNTIL NOW, and caused the greatest division since the Civil War a century earlier, and resigned from office under certainty of impeachment and conviction—Richard Nixon.

All of these seven Presidents had major issues and characteristics that undermine their historical reputation, but NONE, I repeat NONE, have divided America so much as Donald Trump. not even Richard Nixon, who actually had major domestic and foreign accomplishments, despite his many shortcomings.

But Donald Trump will go down as the absolute worst President in all of American history, and my prediction in February on History News Network, which went viral, still stands as of today—that Donald Trump will leave the Presidency by one method or another no later than the range of time between August 7, 2017–199 days of James A. Garfield and May 27, 2018–one year from today–or 492 days of Zachary Taylor!

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!

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!

News Media, With All Their Shortcomings, Preserve Freedom And Democracy In Age Of Donald Trump Presidency

The news media had been, justifiably, criticized at helping Donald Trump to become President, through their focus on the faults and shortcomings of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election campaign.

Particularly the electronic media, the cable channels, have been attacked for giving Donald Trump a forum through phone calls and attention to his rallies, which helped him to stage an upset victory.

With the truth of those accusations, it is also reality that it is the news media, called the “enemy of the American people” by Donald Trump, which is preserving freedom and democracy in America, as they expose the corruption, scandals, and truth about Donald Trump and his administration.

Attack the news media all you want, but without it, we would not have learned about Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, or anyone else around Trump, along with his own hypocrisies.

It is the news media that helped to bring down Richard Nixon, particularly the Washington Post, and it is the news media, led by the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and others that will eventually bring down Donald Trump.

This author got some notoriety for his article, available on this blog on the right from February 15 on HNN and reprinted on Newsweek on February 19, and a TV Interview on CTV News Channel in Canada on February 16; and radio interviews on the John Gaunt Show in Great Britain on February 17 and WWGH in Marion, Ohio with Scott Spears on February 22. I made the assertion that Trump would be out of office either before 199 days of James A. Garfield, or possibly as long as 392 days of Zachary Taylor, and that belief still is strongly held by this blogger.

This is not a happy assertion, as Mike Pence, while not mentally unhinged as Donald Trump is, has a greater agenda to promote Christianity and extremist right wing views, so the Trump Presidency, whether Trump remains in office or not, is a dangerous turning point to the extreme right, unseen since the 1920s.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey Results On George W. Bush And Bill Clinton: Little Hope Of Further Rise, And Never Above Barack Obama

The C Span 2017 Presidential survey gives evidence that the two Presidents before Barack Obama–George W. Bush and Bill Clinton—are unlikely to rise very much from their positions in the recent polling.

George W. Bush was a very low 36 in 2009 and now has risen a few notches to 33, while Bill Clinton, who had been 21 in 2000, and rose to 15 in 2009, remained at 15 in 2017.

Bush’s slight rise is due to recognition that he did have some virtues, as with his promotion of immigration reform although it failed to be achieved, his education reforms (No Child Left Behind), his promotion of tolerance toward Muslims after September 11, his prescription drug program for seniors, and his aid to Africa on AIDS.

But there is little room to move up, as to believe that Bush’s failures will ever be overlooked enough that he will rise above Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford, seems delusional.

So at the most, Bush might move above Rutherford B. Hayes, who has had a dramatic drop from 26 in 2000 to 33 in 2009 and slightly up to 32 in 2017; Zachary Taylor (who died after the third shortest term); Benjamin Harrison (who was sandwiched in between Grover Cleveland’s two terms); and James A. Garfield (who died after the second shortest term due to assassination). It is not really an accomplishment to pass two short term Presidents, and two one term Presidents of the Gilded Age. No one higher from Number 28 Richard Nixon upward is a likely candidate to fall below Bush ever in the future. So Bush will not be like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Lyndon B. Johnson, who started off low and then rose to the top ten over time.

As far as Bill Clinton is concerned, his original low standing was due to the fact that he had the most corrupt Democratic Party administration, although it was on a lesser level than Republicans Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant, and Ronald Reagan. His personal sex scandals brought him down as he was leaving office, but his rise in 2009 seemed reasonable, but really what will allow him to rise further, as he did not do in 2017?

The more one looks at Clinton, the more one realizes that his time in office is best remembered for a good economy which just happened to be lucky to coincide, but which included the moat conservative Democratic administration of the 20th century, with him cooperating with the Republicans on ending the Interstate Commerce Commission; ending the federal guarantee of welfare; passing very strict crime bills that backfired over time; and allowing corporate mergers that no other Democratic President would have allowed. And his shortcomings became more evident as his wife, Hillary Clinton, pursued the Presidency, and ultimately lost, even though she won the popular vote by three million.

The only practical way for Bill Clinton to rise is to overcome James K. Polk, who was extremely successful in his one term; or James Monroe, who in his two terms, accomplished enough that his significance has been recognized. So do not expect any rise from number 15 for Bill Clinton, despite his great charisma and personality.

When Bush and Clinton pass away in the future, it might cause some rise in their ratings, but unlikely long term, and it is a reality that Barack Obama, already ahead of both and likely to rise, will always be ahead of the two Presidents before him, as well as certainly so above the President who has succeeded him, Donald Trump, who has in one month set his legacy, that he will be at the bottom or close to the bottom of ratings in future surveys after he leaves office, hopefully sooner than one term.

Donald Trump keeps on saying he inherited a “mess”, a total lie, which will not stand now or in the long run of historical analysis!

The Reality: Mike Pence Likely To Become President

The situation Mike Pence faces as Vice President after less than a month in office is that he must be starting to realize that he will become President at some point during this term.

The same situation faced Gerald Ford in December 1973, when he became Vice President under the 25th Amendment, the first such use of that amendment just passed six years earlier.

Ford knew that Richard Nixon was in trouble, and Mike Pence knows Donald Trump is in trouble.

Both Ford then and now Pence must “walk on eggs”, and be careful about what they say and do, in order to avoid any untoward indications of interfering with the procedures used to judge whether the President they serve is someone who should be removed from office.

But at the end, it is likely that Mike Pence will feel a need to utilize Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, to remove Donald Trump from office as a danger to national security and stability, due to reckless and unstable behavior in the Oval Office.

Both Ford and Pence owed their elevations to the Vice Presidency to their Presidents, but just as Ford was prepared to take over the Presidency. so will Mike Pence be ready when the time is right. which is likely sometime later this first year of the Trump Presidency, which seems assured to be abbreviated to probably more than James A. Garfield (199 days) but much less than Zachary Taylor (492 days).