Presidential Rankings

FDR Death, And Harry Truman Succession To The Presidency Commemorated!

Sixty nine years ago, in the midst of late stages of World War II, the longest serving American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, passed away at the age of 63 in Warm Springs, Georgia.

The impact of FDR in his years in office, and the continued significance of his policies and actions, reverberates in America seven decades later, and he is usually ranked second or third among all Presidents in polls and surveys of Presidential scholars.

Serving more than 12 years and starting a fourth term in office, he had a far greater impact in many ways than Abraham Lincoln, who is usually ranked as the greatest American President.

FDR’s “New Deal” still affects America, and his leadership in World War II was crucial for the survival of democracy in the nation and the world.

The death of FDR also led to the Presidency of Harry Truman, tremendously underrated throughout his Presidency and for a generation after his retirement.

But once Truman passed away, recognition of his courageous, principled leadership emerged, and now he is ranked in the top five or six of all Presidents!

His continuation and expansion of the New Deal through the Fair Deal, and his strong leadership in the emerging Cold War made his Presidency extremely significant!

Donald Trump Condemned To Last Place In Presidential Rankings For All Time!

It is now official: Donald Trump is condemned to last place in Presidential rankings for all time!

With two impeachments and four indictments, and with a total of 91 counts against the 45th President, he falls into the basement, so to speak, as for all time the worst, most corrupt President, and it is hard to imagine any future President being as horrendous as he has now been judged by facts and reality!

His mugshot will reverberate in history for the long run, a symbol of a would be tyrant who would never leave office, if it had not been for courageous and principled people around him who stood in the way of the establishment of an autocracy that would have destroyed the American Republic!

A lot of this tragedy was caused by Donald Trump himself, and his desire to destroy American democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law, and puts him in an exclusive spot as a wannabe Fascist authoritarian who almost succeeded in his quest to be President for life!

And Trump is delusional, trying to raise money on his mugshot from gullible Americans, when to believe that he will evade ALL 91 counts in four cases against him, is truly a warped mind who lives in an alternative universe! Why would any sane American wish to buy a T shirt with the Trump mugshot on it is beyond all sanity!

Realize that almost all of the witnesses in the various cases against Donald Trump are REPUBLICANS, who thankfully refused to participate in the attack on democracy, at the same time that so many others, including present Republican contenders for the Presidency either stayed on the sidelines or participated in trying to overthrow the accurate results of the Presidential Election of 2020!

Yes, other Presidents have been judged in the past as the worst, including James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding, but none of them, with their faults and shortcomings, come anywhere near the venality of Donald Trump!

Even the other most corrupt President, Richard Nixon, would be stunned at the level of evil that Donald Trump represents, and Nixon had some real accomplishments which have prevented him from ending up in the bottom few Presidents!

One might say Donald Trump accomplished some noteworthy achievements, but his level of evil is so massive that it cannot save him from the basement of history long term!

Ironically, Donald Trump will have a full scale Presidential funeral, and likely will have, at some point, a Presidential Library and Museum, as even Richard Nixon had, but the stain of what he did and tried to do to subvert American democracy will never be overcome in the annals of history!

Presidents Day 2023: The Changes In Rankings Occurring

Every Presidents Day is a time for reflection on rankings of Presidents by Presidential scholars and by ordinary citizens.

As more evidence comes out about Donald Trump, it just moves him closer to the bottom of the list with James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

Neither of them, as horrendous as they were, took action to stage a coup by inciting violence and bloodshed at the US Capitol, and no President was as immoral and unethical as Trump, not even Richard Nixon.

The reputation of Jimmy Carter, even before his announcement of going into hospice, has been on the rise, as it is understood that he was horribly underestimated, because of his loss in 1980 to Ronald Reagan.

The record of Barack Obama also looks better all of the time when compared to the Presidents before and after him—George W. Bush and Donald Trump!

Joe Biden is in midstream, but his record of accomplishments and his common decency and empathy are causing him to be seen in sympathetic eyes by most observers, except the hate mongers, of which there are, sadly, too many!

Gerald Ford’s reputation is also improving, as the Republican President truly seen as saving the Presidency after the tragedy and corruption of Richard Nixon. His pardon of Nixon cost him in rankings, but in recent years, Ford is seen in a different light!

Donald Trump The Most Corrupt President In American History By Far!

Sadly, America has had Presidents whose time in office included scandals and corruption on a wide scale.

But no President has been as corrupt personally and politically as Donald Trump.

It is also telling that the Presidents whose administrations stand out for their corruption are all Republicans!

The list would include Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877); Warren G. Harding (1921-1923); Richard Nixon (1969-1974); Ronald Reagan (1981-1989); and George W. Bush (2001-2009).

But the closest in level is Nixon, and yet, if he were here today, he would be shocked at the level of corruption, most of it personal, of Donald Trump!

Trump out of office faces legal challenges in Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, and New York, and he is the only President to be impeached twice, and have some members of his own party vote to convict him of impeachment charges!

That is why Trump has already been rated by scholars as in the bottom three of all Presidents in history, only ahead of James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, who battle each other for last place!

The “Ups And Downs” Of Ranking Presidents Over Time

Historically, many Presidents have gone through periods of low esteem, and then, suddenly, high esteem in the minds of public opinion and also, Presidential scholars.

Abraham Lincoln had a very divided nation in response after his assassination, and only in the early 20th century, did the nation decide to honor Lincoln with the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922. He has been rated Number One by just about every Presidential scholar and poll, except those right wing Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists

Harry Truman left office in 1953 with a very low public opinion rating, and was regarded poorly in assessments of Presidents, until after he passed away in 1972. In the next five years, as TIME Magazine termed it in the late 1970s, we had “Truman Mania”, as massive research and writing on Truman caused his rise in stature to as high as Number 5 in scholarly polls on Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower left office with an image of a passive, lazy President, and the vitality and youth of his successor, John F. Kennedy, did not improve his image, and he was seen as not an outstanding President. But his historical reputation has risen dramatically to the point that in many scholarly assessments, he is now seen as number 5 or 6 among all Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson suffered mightily in assessments due to the Vietnam War, despite his amazing domestic accomplishments of the “Great Society”, and was poorly rated for 20 years. But now, he is somewhere between number 9 and 11 in rankings of Presidents.

Jimmy Carter has never risen from the mid to low 20s in rankings and popularity, but it seems possible to imagine that when the longest lived President eventually passes away, that his rating may go up much more than many might now imagine.

Donald Trump Is Both Paranoid And Pronoid At Same Time! He Has Delusions About How Others See Him!

Donald Trump is a paranoid, someone who thinks, without any basis in reality, that everyone is out to “get” him!

But, Donald Trump is also a “pronoid”, someone who thinks, without any basis in reality, that everybody likes him!

For instance, Donald Trump thinks the foreign governments around the world admire him. And he has delusions that the American people really wanted him despite all of the facts that show otherwise. He cannot accept the concept that his reputation is in tatters, and that those who support him in the political world do so more out of fear and concern of crossing him, than true loyalty!

Donald Trump thinks he is a popular person, even though he NEVER hit 50 percent of the population of America voting for him, rather losing both national elections by a total of 10 million votes, but the Electoral College kinks gave him, with Russian collusion, the election in 2016!

Donald Trump is not admirable in any sense, and certainly not a “gentleman” as he perceives, wrongly, that he is!

A “gentleman” is a man who is modest, well mannered, self deprecating, quietly intelligent, considerate of other people’s feelings, and well informed, but Donald Trump does not fit any of these descriptions!

Instead, Donald Trump is vulgar, inflated in his own belief in himself, vain, boastful, noisily ignorant, bullyish, sleazy, mean spirited, and is no model for young people to emulate!

Donald Trump is an obnoxious human being, a womanizer, a person who ridicules disabled people, a white supremacist, a full scale nativist, a promoter of conspiracy theories, a sore loser, and has no capacity for empathy, compassion, and concern about anyone but himself! If he had to abandon his own wife or children, he would do so to save his own skin!

Donald Trump is seriously mentally ill, a danger to America as he has incited domestic terrorism, and even now, six months after the election he clearly lost massively, he refuses to concede, and clearly never will!

Donald Trump insures that he will rank at the bottom of the list of all Presidents for anyone who has any sense of what Presidential leadership and personality means, in analyzing Presidents. Already, in the American Political Science Association Poll in 2018, and the Siena College Research Institute 2018 Presidential Survey, Trump is rated at the bottom of the listings of all Presidents. So much has happened since, including the two impeachment trials of Donald Trump!

Even those Presidents who have major character flaws, including most notably Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, are elevated by the horrors America has gone through, and the damage done by a man who should never have been allowed in the Oval Office, and has done lasting harm to the institution of the Presidency!

Latest Presidential Ranking Survey For Presidents Day Changes Ratings Of Several Presidents Upward And Downward

The game of Presidential rankings is one always changing, and the newest survey of scholars, including this author as a participant, does not disappoint in that regard.

The Siena College survey, now done six times since 1982, once for each new President being considered in the rankings, has some surprises.

157 experts, questioned by the Siena College Research Institute, raised two of the Founding Father generation to the top ten, with James Madison number 7 and James Monroe, his successor at number 8. In so doing, two modern Presidents were dropped out of the top ten, with Ronald Reagan at number 13 and Lyndon B. Johnson at number 16.

A rare occurrence was that Abraham Lincoln was number 3, when usually he is on top, although in earlier Siena College surveys, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been number one, now number two, with George Washington moving up to number one.

Barack Obama, number 8 in the American Political Science Association survey in 2018, and number 12 in the C Span 2017 survey, ended up number 17 in the Siena College survey, so below such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, James K. Polk, John Adams, and Bill Clinton.

And Donald Trump, who was dead last in the APSA poll, was number 42, above James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, with Johnson ending up below Buchanan, the opposite of both the C Span and APSA surveys.

Of course, the game of Presidential ranking is a never ending and highly debatable one, and the way that Presidents are ranked is purely in the eyes and expertise of the beholder.

Should a great man, such as Madison or Monroe, but not as accomplished as more modern Presidents, such as Reagan or LBJ, be higher in the ratings?

That is left up to how people perceive Presidents, and whether they include the whole life, or just the actual years of the Presidency, in their judgments.

Two Years Of Donald Trump, 148 Days Of Presidency: 60 Percent Disapproval, Higher Than Any President In Public Opinion Poll History This Early!

It has been two years since Donald Trump announced he was running for President. and it has been 148 days since he was sworn in as President.

And Donald Trump reached the age of 71 on June 14, two days before the two year anniversary of his campaign beginning.

And what does he have to show for it?

He has divided America like no one else, and has only gained a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, after the Republicans in the US Senate changed the filibuster rules to allow a nominee to be confirmed with only 51 votes.

Everything else is hot air, lies, and coverup of Russian collusion, and trying to get the intelligence agencies, Congress, and the news media to stop investigating the corruption of his Presidency and the campaign before the election. And Trump has helped to indict himself with his Twitter activity, and his teenage emotional IQ.

So therefore, it is not surprising that the latest polls show 60 percent of the American people disapprove of his record and performance, the earliest in a Presidency that such a high disapproval rating has occurred since polls began to be taken in the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The following nine Presidents never reached a 60 percent disapproval rating–Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama.

Four Presidents did reach 60 percent disapproval, but at very late dates in their Presidencies.

Truman reached 60 percent after 2129 days; Nixon after 1736 days; H W Bush after 1290 days; and W Bush after 1758 days.

So Trump is a total failure, and even 25 percent of Republicans are totally disillusioned, while his approval rating is as low as 35-36 percent.

This insures that Trump will end up at the bottom of the heap in ranking of Presidents, except by totally delusional and ignorant people, who have no clue as to what good Presidential leadership is all about.

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

The Vindication Of Barack Obama: A 58 Percent Public Opinion Approval Rating In His Last Months In Office!

Barack Obama will go down as one of the top quarter of American Presidents, and finally, public opinion has caught up with reality.

Obama now sports a 58 percent rating, a level he had not reached since his first year in office, 2009.

Through thick and thin, crises, intransigence, and challenge, Obama has emerged as a path breaking President who has transformed America in many ways.

He has shown courage, principle, determination, and has added class and dignity to the Oval Office.

He will be much missed when he retires on January 20, 2017.

Those who are his critics, and in many cases his dire enemies, who have wished him ill and even death, will go into the dustbin of history in an unflattering way, while Obama will shine as, in the estimate of this author, as number 11 out of 43 Presidents (counting Grover Cleveland only once), and will, over time, end up in the top ten of all Presidents.

The Obama years have been historic, and will have a great impact on the future of the United States!