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The greatest US presidents of all time

Published: Monday, Feb. 17 2014 2:33 a.m. MST

Associated Press

Determining a president’s place in the history of American politics is no easy task. For obvious reasons, partisan politics often influence how one views the past and presidential legacies are no different. There are, however, certain presidents that have established themselves as important figures, despite partisan viewpoints. One may disagree with the policies of Ronald Reagan or Franklin Roosevelt, but denying their importance in the history of American politics would be difficult to argue.

We’ve compiled a list of the 25 most revered presidents in the history of the United States. The list comes from an aggregation of 17 surveys conducted over the last 60 years, each one rating the presidents according to their importance. The surveys reflect the opinions of prominent scholars and can be found in Wikipedia’s entry on “Historical Rankings of Presidents of the United States.”

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Joshua Steimle
Draper, UT

Well, I can't say I'm surprised to see that my favorite US President, Calvin Coolidge, is not on the list. After all, he didn't start any wars or preside over any other government induced calamities.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

The best definition of leadership I have ever read was given by Dr. Peter Drucker as thus: "Leadership is doing the right (correct) things while management is doing things right (correctly)." The "right things" implies moral, ethical and possessing qualities of character and integrity. If you construct a list of the greatest Presidents in our history with that definition, the list changes dramatically, doesn't it?

worf
Mcallen, TX

Too bad they don't make presidents like they used to.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Seemed relevant and interesting after the introduction and until seeing Reagan coming in 17th instead of in upper portion of the top 10. The slant of the pollsters used was evident.

justinbl
Portland, OR

I have to say it sickened me to see FDR over George Washington on the list. Especially considering that many of the problems we face today are linked to policies enacted during his reign as president

cscopper
AMERICAN FORK, UT

Abraham Lincoln single handily dismantled the American way of life, the constitution and every freedom human beings hold dear, while at the same time turned the country over to robber barons known as corporations.

Sure glad to see the greatest traitor to the American republic grace your list as #1... And a close second, Wilson, almost makes the top 5...

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

It's interesting, isn't it? . . . Every face on Mount Rushmore belongs to a President who was a Liberal in his day.

Washington and Jefferson fought against the ultra-Conservative forces of King George III, who supported a status quo consistent with the best interests of the ruling class to the detriment of everyone else.

Lincoln was the Great Republican Liberal who fought against the obstructionist, slave-holding states-rightists who tried to tear this nation apart. Those reactionary ultra-Conservative Southerners created a new Constitution for their Confederacy that left out any mention of "the General Welfare." Old Abe spanked those traitorous, union-destroying, self-described Conservatives pretty hard. Hopefully history won't have to repeat itself in that respect.

And then there is Theodore Roosevelt, the crusading Progressive who met the biggest of the big Capitalists head on, and broke their power. In the process, TR was able to redistribute money and power away from the big, oligopolistic, oligarchic Capitalists. TR created a much more vigorous and competitive form of capitalism that allowed little but smart innovators to develop their ingenious products and get them to market, thereby strengthening Capitalism itself.

Liberal Presidents are the visionaries. Gosh, I wonder if there's room for Obama's likeness on Mount Rushmore?

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

I'm stunned to see that obama is not on the list. I'm sure he should be number one on the list, just ask him.

He has been such a bipartisan leader. So willing to reach across the isle and work with others. So willing to negotiate on things and compromise for the betterment of all involved.

His signature legislation is just full of gems for all Americans. Higher premiums, dramatically worse actual insurance coverage in terms of benefits, losing your health plan/doctor, and the execution during implementation has just been stellar.

I could go on about the long list of achievements but we all know we have a limited amount of characters...there just isn't enough words to cover all the accolades he deserves.

I hereby petition the list be revised and we put our nobel prize winner at the top of the list where he undoubtedly believes he belongs.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the best. Don't believe a word Glenn Beck says about him. CS Copper. Your sentiments are right in line with a man named John Wilkes Booth. He didn't like Lincoln either.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

It is outrageous to see Reagan among the top 25. He shouldn't even be in the top 40. Reagan was an absolutely HORRIBLE President.

He campaigned as a Conservative, but he set THE precedent for running up the debt. The debt TRIPLED under Reagan, and completely unnecessarily.

Reagan bought votes by reducing taxes, thus reducing revenue from what it otherwise would have been, and he spent like crazy. Little Ronnie Ray Gun's great big, but ultimately worthless, Star Wars play set didn't come cheap.

Reagan did get lucky though. During his time in office, the price of world oil dropped to less than 1/3 of the price it had been during the Carter administration, no thanks to Reagan. And nothing stimulates the economy like cheap energy.

Unfortunately, simple minded voters attributed Reagan's dumb luck to sagacity on his part. In actuality, his policies had little to do with the economic rebound that occurred during his tenure.

The unabashed Reaganite, GW Bush, mimicked Reagan's policies to a T, and in the process he left us with two wars, low revenue, a doubling of the debt, and a country close to complete financial ruin.

That goes to show how well Reaganism really works.

chiefbrady
Draper, UT

Who came up with such a stupid list? LBJ better than Reagan? Whatever!!! Just go ahead and name Obama number 1 while you're at it.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

LBJ doesn't belong in the list. Woodrow Wilson very controversial choice. I am disturbed by that Andrew Jackson was responsible for the American Indian removal act. Not an accomplishment I would be proud of.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Anti's post tells us much more about him than it does about Obama.

Downtime
Saint George, UT

Kennedy would not even have been reelected. Assassination did more for his legacy than his work as President ever would have.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

"Liberal Presidents are the visionaries. Gosh, I wonder if there's room for Obama's likeness on Mount Rushmore?"

I certainly hope not.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

ChiefBrady and NeilT . . . Yes, LBJ does deserve to rank high on the list.

Afer all, it was he who spent a tremendous amount of political capital to do what he knew was right by selflessly promoting Civil Rights.

He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into Law as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In the process, he became hated by self-described Conservatives indignant about his refutation of the racist status quo.

In fact, it is largely because of Johnson, that the Republican's Southern Strategy, (look it up)that actively recruited angry white racists, worked so well.

As you may have noticed, most of the formerly Democratic Deep South is securely Republican now.

And that's because white racists despised and still despise LBJ and the legacy of fairness and justice he left the Democratic Party.

And that's the way it is to this day. The Democrats still enjoy the moral high ground, while millions of Republicans (many hiding behind a veil of religion) try to justify their anti-Christian, anti-fairness, anti-common-sense, greed-is-good stance.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

It's interesting, isn't it? . . . Every face on Mount Rushmore belongs to a President who was a Liberal in his day.

==========


Agreed.

Go Utes
Salt Lake City, UT

FDR is typically well regarded as a great president, and I will give him that. But he should not be ranked above Washington. Good heavens. Washington and Lincoln are clearly the top two, and probably tied for 1 in my opinion. FDR is up there, but not in the same league as those two. The survey has a credibility problem putting FDR above Washington.

Archie1954
Vancouver, BC

The presidents who should not even be on the list are the twelve who were slave owners!

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

@Mark B

Nobody is interested in what you think you know about me. The discussion here is about Presidential performance.

Maybe you could share with us which part(s) of my post regarding obamas repeated unwillingness compromise/work with the others or his insurance debacle are innaccurate?

I know its typically the strategy of liberals to avoid talking about substance/facts and attempt to divert attention by insulting me/anyone talking about actual results buy maybe you could deviate this one time?

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

I always thought we couldn't possibly have a worse president than Lyndon Johnson, but alas, we got Richard Nixon.

Now I'm thinking thee same thing about Obama.

13Bpatriot
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Hey GaryO-

You do know that the term "liberal" when referring to people of the 18th and 19th centuries means someone who was for less government and that the term "conservative" meant someone who was for more government, right? John Locke is credited with being the founder of liberalism, which at the time, championed individual rights which, through his social contract, government could not violate. So, in other words, the terms are the exact opposite of what they mean today. So, you keep using the word liberal like you know what it means, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

So, yes, Washington and Jefferson were liberals, but they would be the conservatives of today. Obama, and FDR for that matter, rather than have his "likeness" on Mount Rushmore next to truly great men and leaders, would be more comfortable and feel more at home with his face next to Marx and Lenin.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

To those of you who think G. Washington, Jefferson and A. Lincoln were liberals I remind you that Karl Marx famously said: "To each according to their needs and from each according to their ability"= socialism and very liberal. JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country"= very conservative self reliance. Which statement do you think A. Lincoln or G. Washington would have embraced? Which statement has Obama fully embraced? There is the difference!

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey 13Bpatriot, you do know don't you that George Washington anchored the Constitutional Convention that created a government much STRONGER than the one that existed under the Articles of Confederation, don't you?

And although Jefferson said a lot, much of what he said was self-contradictory, and it depended upon the position in life he occupied.

As a young lawyer from Virginia, he was extremely suspicious of the kind of centralized power exercised by the British Monarchy, but when he became this nation's third President, his attitude took an about face. He went so far as to approve the Louisiana Purchase without regard for anything Congress or anyone else had to say about it, and, in my opinion, he did the right thing.

The point is, each image on Mount Rushmore belongs to a Liberal, can-do President, who was above all, practical and pragmatic, and did not let stupid prejudices and ideologies dominate his actions.

That's true of our Liberal President now, in contrast to the Right Wing Ideologues who do everything they can to obstruct progress.

It's no wonder that Liberal Presidents are on Mount Rushmore and Conservative Presidents are buried in the slag heap of history.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

"I have to say it sickened me to see FDR over George Washington on the list. Especially considering that many of the problems we face today are linked to policies enacted during his reign as president"

Yeah defeating Fascism is a real bummer.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

"Well, I can't say I'm surprised to see that my favorite US President, Calvin Coolidge, is not on the list. After all, he didn't start any wars or preside over any other government induced calamities."

Nah, he just laid the ground work for the Great Depression with his "hands off - do nothing" approach to commerce.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I'll keep this simple.

Madison and John Adams were great founding fathers but not so great Presidents.

Neither Obama, or FDR or Reagan or W. or whoever these posters believe are the worst presidents in history. It all starts and ends with James Buchanan. Yes, the man who declared war basically on the Mormons and then actually watched the South secede and did nothing.

One guy up there wants to eliminate all the Presidents that owned Slaves. I think we need to not see things back then with our 21st Century lenses.

So in the end Howard' Top Five:

1A. Washington--set two term precedent, warned against foreign alliances and political parties. Too bad we didn't listen.
1B. Lincoln--ended Slavery, kept the Union together, did break some eggs with The Constitution but wasn't afraid to make the bold decisions.
3. Jefferson--Louisianna Purchase/
4. Truman--Made the tough decisions from dropping the bomb to firing McArthur. Took responsibility for his actions.
5. FDR/Reagan--Yes, we can argue their economic policies but they were leaders. They made Americans feel better and proud in dark times. One took us through World War II, one believed we could end The Cold War.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey Mountanman - Yes JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country"

And that is the exact opposite of what many modern day Conservatives believe.

Conservatives continually complain about taxes being too high, and taxes are the primary means by which US citizens contribute to the nation.

You can pretend otherwise, but that will not change the fact that Modern Conservatism is all about the greed-is-good ethic, and me, me, me. Contributing to the nation is anathema to what most Conservatives really believe.

Contributing to this nation is the last thing a typical self-centered Conservative wants to do.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Gary. 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all! And since about 80% of all income taxes are paid by the top 10% of all income earners, there goes your argument. Unless you can prove that liberals and not conservatives are the top income earners in America!

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

GaryO

You're view of our nation, more taxation, more government influence, more government control, out-of-control spending, doing away with the free market, wealth redistribution, creating a welfare and nanny state, weakening our national defenses so that we are no longer the 'bully' of the world, and so on. This is the trajectory you would have the greatest nation on earth head?

Let me tell you what conservatives believe. The strength of this nation is absolutely the families (Father, Mother, and Children) and communities...THE PEOPLE! We do have the power to govern our lives. The government does have it's place, but only to protect our freedoms. Opportunity and Hard Work are the hallmarks of what's made this country great, not the tax code and the irresponsible spending of the federal government.

We must be compassionate with a forward thinking perspective. But we cannot abandon that which has made our country great. Our country is in a bad way and headed for even darker times which has been exasperated by the current administration. Defend them at your, and the nation's, peril...

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

GaryO

Obama is the very definition of a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. He can schmooz and wow a crowd, but his policies and
actions have resulted in near irreparable damage.

Fortunately for the USA, we have a check and balance system. Obama, if given the green light, would have rewritten the constitution making him the supreme ruler over the land. There is no question that he would fundamentally change what our Founding Fathers scribed.

He has been a part of some serious scandals, but has the power of the media behind him. ObamaCare, his crowning achievement, has reeked havoc on this country and will continue to do so for many years. We haven't even seen the worst of it yet.

We are less safe, our country is in much more debt, more people are on welfare, and our economy is sickly and under an incredible amount of burden under Obama's watch.

If he were added to Mt Rushmore, the very mountain would crumble to the ground.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Mountanman, almost every American pays excise taxes, even the poorest of the poor. As a percentage of income, that 10 cent's a poor man pays for sales tax on that dollar burger he bought for lunch at McDonald's represents a much greater amount than the $20 dollars some high earner pays for sales tax on his shrimp cocktail and margaritas.

And a whole lot of middle income earners gleefully but not gratefully take advantage of the earned income tax credit instituted by Bill Clinton, especially middle-income Conservatives with lots of kids, while simultaneously lambasting food stamp recipients.

The nominal income tax for the highest earners was over 90 percent during the Eisenhower administration. And high earners complain now? Ridiculous.

You remember Eisenhower don't you? . . . The Republican President who built much of the very expensive interstate highway system and fought the cold war, while simultaneously keeping deficits low and even balancing the budget now and then?

How did he do it? With a solid Revenue stream. And where did that revenue come from? It came from taxes.

But the irresponsible Ronald Reagan and his greedy acolytes changed all that. And now Republicans think Reagan is a hero and irresponsibility is a virtue. For them, irresponsibility is the new normal.

LouisD
Las Vegas, NV

By the way, a civic lesson. Presidents only spend money appropriated by Congress unless they write a lot of executive orders and backdoor their spending without authorization by robing programs Congress authorizes. Obama, Clinton, Carter and Roosevelt were/are masters of this illegal tactic.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

This is a pure liberal Democrat list, not an objective one. This article is not worth reading. Why is it in this paper?

CC
Saint George, UT

Gary O, If being self-centered conservative means working hard, paying taxes, empathizing with those who are trying to do the same, being frustrated with those who want everything that I have earned but want it at someone else's expense..Then I guess I'm a self-centered conservative. Furthermore, I don't mind my tax dollars helping those who actually NEED help, but I simply ask that we are frugal with my taxes, and yours, before asking for more, and more, and more. When did it stop being acceptable to ask for financial accountability? If that makes me a self-centered conservative, so be it.

Interestingly enough, I like The New Deal of FDR because many people that received money earned it working jobs provided by the WPA,CCC, etc. America received schools, airports, art, history, conservation projects, etc. People were glad to work to earn the money. Unfortunately we get very little back in comparison to what we give, and fewer people want to earn the money they receive. Imagine working, developing job skills, contributing to America, and feeling thankful for efforts of government on your behalf. A far cry from the entitlement we see today. Yep, I'm a self centered conservative.

Uncagedthoughts
Wallsburg, UT

This list establishes one of three things, or a combination of them. 1) Those being polled do not understand the Constitution. 2) They do not care about the integrity of the Constitution. 3) Those being polled care more about immediate effects rather than long term consequences, i.e. they are willing to sacrifice a live time of liberty for immediate temporal well being.

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

I would put Lyndon Johnson dead last. He did more to destroy the competence and integrity of government and the trust and confidence of the American people than any other. Most of the problems we face today can be traced to him.

Itsjstmeagain
Merritt Island, Fl

There are a few adjustments needed in this list. To be demoted:
Wilson did do some good work, but he also conspired to turn the US Monetary system and policy making over to the banks. He was a banker. In the 1920's he recognized his mistake but was no longer in power to correct it. JFK wrote Executive Order 111110 that would have stripped the Fed of its power, based the money supply on silver and move policy to the Treasury Dept. This should advance Kennedy, but he was murdered before he signed the EO.

Reagan was the start of the decline of the middle class. Any tax cuts you so gleefully praise was for the rich, you received Pabulum. The Air Traffic Control issue was the end of Unions and the end of the rise of the middle class.

To be upgraded are Johnson who pushed civil rights and dealted with the Congress in a no nonsense way. Clinton left this Country with a windfall in the Treasury, used common sense when dealing with International policy and helped the Middle Class regain some momentum.

U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT

I can just picture Clinton during the civil war era. A lot of southern bells would be lined up to visit the White House. Unbelievable that he is on this list with truly great people.

California Steve
Hanford, CA

My personal favorite is William Henry Harrison. In 30 days as president he had no scandals.

worf
Mcallen, TX

George Washington is one of the five greatest men to have live. Period!

Just research his life, and see what he has done for this country.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

First, these comments have been read and (opposing views noted) are being considered. Thanks for the comments. One thought is about the Civil Rights legislation of the 60's and then Emancipation of slaves -- also in a different 60's. Have some understanding of how, despite the brilliant prose of the Declaration of Independence, slavery survived the founding of this nation under the Constitution. It didn't belong; it allowed our nation to be built at an immoral cost; ending it was bloody, another great cost; not totally effective necessitating mid-20th century retuning.

The problem? This same debate of government social engineering. We "compel" citizens to pay for other citizens well being. Much the same way we "compel" an end to bigotry and discrimination (by race in the 60's and now using that same logic for sexual preference). And despite the surface appeal and dressing these with good intentions, the compulsion reminds of a pre-mortal debate concerning agency.

And here we either seek to celebrate or denigrate those who led our nation through these issues. And clearly, accurately some presidents inherited the legacy, reaping the accolades or saddled with the problems, of other presidents.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

So my concerns? Things I'm sure of -- in a very unsure debate? We have erred in taking away the bulk of control ($ and legislation) from states and centralizing power to the federal government. Clearly this distances the people from governing themselves as the Founders wisely (and under divine inspiration) intended. While not new in Lincoln's day, certainly his actions weakened state's rights. Arguably those states should have been able to leave. But that would have had disastrous consequences reverberating into the 20th century where this United States saved the world from fascism and became a beacon...

FDR launched a great social experiment; LBJ went a step further with a great society. Heroes? More help or harm? Is charity by compulsion similar to thwarting anarchy with laws and legislating morality? It seems to me, in spite of benefits/pro's, the problem is centralized power -- our shift towards not solving everything we can at the local level in cities, districts and counties; in giving just a few things to the state level and few, very few things to a national government.

Looking back it appears Washington #1 understood this; and Lincoln #2 had to sacrifice this, wisely but with some reservation, for a greater good.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

worf
Mcallen, TX
George Washington is one of the five greatest men to have live. Period!

Just research his life, and see what he has done for this country.

8:54 a.m. Feb. 18, 2014

===========

I voted you with a "like" for that one worf,
only because,
George Washington was a LIBERAL.

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

Open Minded Mormon

He was a liberal for his time period. He would be vilified and hated as a Tea Party Member today.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

CC - I think you’re way off when you suggest that modern “Conservatives” demand financial accountability. The most vocal modern “Conservatives” are Reagan worshipers. And your hero, Ronald Reagan, TRIPLED the national debt during his time in office. That is neither fiscally conservative nor does it suggest a predilection for “financial accountability.” It suggests just the opposite. The proof is in the pudding, and recent conservative Presidents produce very expensive and horrible tasting pudding. GW Bush, another Reaganite, more than DOUBLED the debt by following the teachings of the Great Reagan.

Although you claim to have favored the New Deal, the vast majority of Conservatives do not. In 2011, when Obama proposed a similar jobs stimulus bill that would have built and renovated much needed infrastructure, while simultaneously putting millions of people to work, it was overwhelmingly voted down by Republicans.

And yes, it’s stupid to spend billions of dollars on extended job insurance benefits and get nothing in return, when we could have had people working and building necessary infrastructure; but that is what the Republicans insisted upon.

“Conservatives” once again got their way. The moral of the story? Never let “Conservatives” get their way.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

CC - I think you’re way off when you suggest that modern “Conservatives” demand financial accountability. The most vocal modern “Conservatives” are Reagan worshipers. And your hero, Ronald Reagan, TRIPLED the national debt during his time in office. That is neither fiscally conservative nor does it suggest a predilection for “financial accountability.” It suggests just the opposite. The proof is in the pudding, and recent “Conservative” Presidents produce very expensive and horrible tasting pudding. GW Bush, another Reaganite, more than DOUBLED the debt by following the teachings of the Great Reagan.

Although you claim to have favored the New Deal, the vast majority of Conservatives do not. In 2011, when Obama proposed a similar job stimulus bill that would have built and renovated much needed infrastructure, while simultaneously putting millions of people to work, it was overwhelmingly voted down by Republicans.

And yes, it’s ridiculous to spend billions of dollars on extended job insurance benefits and get nothing in return, when we could have had people working and building necessary infrastructure; but the Republicans insisted.

“Conservatives” once again got their way. The moral of the story? Never let “Conservatives” get their way.

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

Washington is easily one of the greatest Americans of all time, if not THE greatest - but his presidency does not compare to Lincoln or FDR - those two are above all others by a fair margin. I'd probably put Jefferson third. I do believe this list rated both Reagan and Clinton a bit too low. GW Bush and Obama both rank somewhere in the bottom ten unfortunately - maybe we're due for a good one in 2016.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Howard Beal
The South didn't secede until a couple months into Lincoln's term (I'd still rank Buchanan last though since his incompetence set the stage for it).

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Gary O

Not that he was on the list anyway, and likely never will to be, but If Reagan trippled the debt, what do you say Obama has done? The billions Reagan spent are pennies on the dollar to the trillions added by Obama in a little over 5 years. And, in Reagans case, the Congress did not make the cuts that we were told they would. So the debt increased as military spending went up.

In the meantime, I don't think Reagan gets enough credit for having pushed the end of the cold war by our military buildup. Imagine if that war had ever gone "hot". That would have literally been the war to end all wars. I notice he didn't get any Nobel Peace Prize for that. But Obama, wow, I feel so much safer with him having gotten one. What an accomplishment! Not!

SCfan
clearfield, UT

I actually put Lyndon Johnson as one of the worst in American history. I attribute most of the 57,000 names on the Vietnam memorial in Washington D.C. to his stupid war policy. I would hate to leave the Presidency having known that so many died because of my misguided war. I wonder how he felt about that? Probably just drank a lot to not remember. Should never have been President in the first place. And essentially resigned by not running for reelection. Which was a good thing..... well maybe not, because Nixon was next up. A bad period in American history not helped by Presidents like that.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

GaryO

Mount Rushmore, two Democrats, two Republicans. Now if you are trying to claim the Republicans were liberals, then I will take JKF, as being a consevative Democrat who would by todays standards be much more in line with todays Republican Party than he would todays Democrat Party. And JFK ranked pretty high on this (very subjective) list.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Let's look at policy in lieu of political party affiliation, shall we?:

Lincoln -
Seized the rich man's property, and set him free - without compensation.
Exanded Government,
Turn Federal Troops of States,
Increased Spending,
Made Federal superior to States.
...ie.e, Liberal.

Reagan -
Expanded Federal Government,
Increased Spending,
Increased the debt limit 17 times,
More Executive Orders than any modern President,
Banned hand-guns and assault weapons,
signed abortion legislation,
granted Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants,
Granted Universal access to Hospital ERs, regardless of Insurance or ability to pay,

Conservatives think Reagan and Lincoln were great [because they were],
but they hate theseLiberal ideologies, and would call them RINOs and castiate them today.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

SCFan, You have GOT to be kidding.

How on earth do you think would JFK "by todays standards be much more in line with todays Republican Party?"

After all, said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

And the greed-is-good, me, me, me Republicans don't want to do ANYTHING for this country . . . not even pay their fair share of taxes.

He started the Peace Corps and VISTA too. How many of you Right Wingers are likely to volunteer to actually go out and help somebody for no pay?

Not many, I'll bet.

Or are you eager to work with deprived youth in run-down inner-city neighborhoods, the way VISTA volunteers do?

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Will be no tea party President, ever.

Lanny
Bountiful, UT

One historian said it best: If Lincoln had failed, the result would have been 2 nations. If George Washington had failed, we'd have no nation at all. Washington was easily the greatest American of our presidents.

John Adams should be ranked in the top 3. If Lincoln is praised for winning the Civil War (as he should be), John Adams did something even better: It's not commonly known that our nation was on the brink of civil war during Adams' administration, and he prevented it. What's better: winning a civil war or preventing a civil war.

Also, Jefferson is praised for the Louisiana Purchase (as he should be). John Adams's actions in Haiti led to this purchase. Thus, Adams helped immensely in the Louisiana Purchase.

During the Revolutionary War John Adams started the constitution-writing movement that resulted in 12 state constitutions and our current U.S. Constitution. Adams started this great movement with his May 15, 1776 resolution requesting the colonies/states to write constitutions. Adams provided the oldest-functioning constitution in history: the Massachusetts Constitution: the model for the U.S. Constitution. Also, 1787 constitutional convention read excerpts of his political science book.

Adams deserves better than to be placed 12th.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Andrew Jackson were imo GREAT presidents. Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan were great minor presidents.

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