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Ranking of the worseness of presidents.

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Friedrich Dominicus Posted: Mon, Aug 6 2012 2:41 AM

I'm wondering what presidents do you think were the worst?

 

I'm currenlty undecided, but high on my list are

- John F. Kennedy.

- Roosevelt

- Bush II

- Obama

 

I tend to see Kennedy and Roosevelt as the worst presidents, but that's just my opinion.

What was indeed worse:

- the "new deal"

- the question what you can do for states (which implies, to me it's fine if states go to war and let their solidiers die for a "higher good".

 

What do you think?

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JFK doesn't come close to the others at all.  Even his quote, while kind of stupid, said 'country', not 'state' - there's nothing necessarily statist about it.  The worst (i.e most destructive) presidents in my opinion were FDR, Wilson, Lincoln, LBJ, Hoover, Theodore Roosevelt, Grant, Jackson.  Bush and Obama deserve to make the list but they seem more like puppets or simply the frontmen for others while the presidents listed had greater individual power.

EDIT: Can't believe I forgot Nixon.

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Would you mind to elaborate why you choose whom for what?

 

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Sure:

FDR: Massive increase in the power of the state in many ways (the so-called 'New Deal').  Military interventionism (WWII).  Propaganda.  Arbitrary imprisonment.  (He did end prohibition, however)

Wilson: Income Tax.  Federal Reserve.  Military interventionism (WWI).  Propaganda (he was one of the modern pioneers).  Arbitrary imprisonment. 

Lincoln: Wanted to create huge tariffs and increase state expenditure for the benefit of his cronies.  Started a war that resulted in 700,000 dead and the destruction of the South.  Illegally called up the militia.  Suppressed dissent through shutting down newspapers and illegal arbitrary imprisonment.  Exiled opposition.  Secured power in central government and set a precedent that prohibited secession.

LBJ: Welfare state crap.  Vietnam.

Hoover: Tariffs, agricultural subsidies, taxes, labour market interference, make work projects.  Giving laissez-faire a bad name even though he was clearly an interventionist.

Theodore Roosevelt: Imperialism and standing army.  Populist redistributive crap.  Personality cult.

Grant:  Generally corrupt, war criminal.

Jackson:  Began 'democratic' political games in earnest, suppressed Indians (but ended central bank).

Nixon: Ended the gold standard.

Bush-Obama: Wars, bailouts, police state, interventionism.

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The top three worst are Lincoln, FDR, and Wilson in no particular order.

 

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Judging them by their deeds and the consequences thereof, not by their motives:

1. Wilson

2. Wilson

3. Wilson

4. Wilson

5. Wilson

....

99. F. Roosevelt (pun intended)

100. Lincoln

 

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? What's so good about Lincoln's motives??  Should I assume you are talking about ending slavery?  Well, he was opposed to the idea before and during the first year of the war (at least).  It was merely a political measure, and he didn't even come up with the idea of using the issue as a political measure.  He initially opposed this because he felt that the costs of freeing the slaves were too great, even if it helped to re-unite his beloved Union.  He finally gave into the idea perhaps a couple months before the Emancipation Proclamation - which of course did not free the slaves under the USA's control.  It was essentially a threat: rejoin the Union or lose your slaves (his advisors also suggested it would help to get the Europeans on side).  But Lincoln certainly did not want former slaves roaming around the USA: for him the only options were slavery or deportation.  He had earlier voted to keep blacks out of Illinois, and after the Emancipation Proclamation was looking for places in the Caribbean to send all the ex-slaves. 

For Lincoln, the emancipation was an unintended consequence of his war of aggression, and a further problem to be dealt with.

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What's so good about Lincoln's motives??

Nothing, where did I say he had good motives?

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Oh, I didn't know there were 98 President Wilsons!  I must be living in an alternate dimension.  And I actually think he had worse motives that FDR, who was just about politics really.  Wilson vs. Lincoln is debatable.

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cab21 replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:08 AM

wilson for womans suffrage

lincoin for black suffrage and abolishing slavery

taft for the income tax

fdr for repealing prohibition

 

 

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:15 AM

Hurr durr libertarians are anti-freedom.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:16 AM

+1 Aristippus on everything

@cab21: Go away, troll

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:35 AM

I think Truman deserves honorary mention as the mass murderer of peaceful Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ronald Reagan is also one of the rank worst Presidents not because his Presidential acts were so relatively evil (he was par for the course and far less bloodthirsty than Bush or Obama) but because he mutilated small-government conservatism in the worst possible way. His hypocrisy is unsurpassed by any President when it comes to the issue of how large a role the government should play. Bush II is a runner-up in this department.

Clayton -

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cab21 replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:58 AM

Thomas Jefferson for the Louisiana Purchase

george washinton for the whiskey rebelilion

john adams undeclared war

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Jefferson as  a worse president? No  I do not agree.

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Well I did not fell especially well about Lincoln and Nixon either.

Ending the gold standard was bad but I think the whole war machinery tops this. But wel with Gold he would not be able to  finance that war...

So what comes first? Unsound money and after that  war or first war and after that unsound money? I guess both things had have happened.

I agree also about the arguments about Hoover, one of the real bad interventionists.

Anyway unders which presidents the first fed was established? I think it was around 1847 or the like, which has crashed soon thereafter,

 

 

 

 

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Would you mind to tell me what you find so extraodinary worse about Wilson?

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cab21 replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 3:20 AM

Jefferson owning slaves in principle breaking to me. the Louisiana purchase was constitution  and principle breaking to me.

it's hard for me to think someone has a appreciation for letting people keep their hard earned money when they had slaves.

for the lp, while Jefferson did propose a amendment to the constitution, the land was bought without one, and that was part of precedent for violating the constitution.

i think i am ranking partley in intention here

with fdr, he said he would expand government and he did, so it's consistent with the message, with Jefferson  going on a reduce government platform, and expanding seems less consistent.

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Would you mind to tell me what you find so extraodinary worse about Wilson?

The fed, the income tax, the worst violations of civil liberties up to that time, sabotaging the possibility of a negotiated peace in 1916, pushing the U.S into the war, pushing the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations after the war, on and on.

His involvement in the war is what bothers me most. In a nutshell, he consciously assisted in the destruction of Western Civilization so that J.P. F-in Morgan could make money on English war bonds.

...and for all these wonderful services which Woodrow Wilson rendered mankind he has been effectively canonized by court historians.

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eliotn replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:22 PM

It seems to me that, to some degree, people are looking at a policy and attributing it to a president.  Just because a certain policy was enacted when a president was in power doesn't mean that the president is responsible.  Also, I wouldn't necessarily put full responsibility on the president, there are other people in government who help to push along these statist policies.

Something to keep in mind in the analysis.

Schools are labour camps.

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Lincoln, then Wilson.  I totally agree with what Clayton said about Reagan so he is one of the worst along with Washington.

the very best president was John tyler.  He ended the wars against the Indians, he vetoed a central bank twice, he took in more than he spent, he didn't invade any foreign countries, he was pro states' rights to the core, and he was good on civil liberties.  It is a shame that Polk had to start a war with Mexico, but just because Tyler annexed Texas didn't mean that war had to happen.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Aug 7 2012 12:46 PM

Truman being very bad is a good point. Jeez, we can find faults in all these guys :(

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@eliotn

The Presidents were rarely the authors of their own policies. As I implied, Wilson was a pure tool of the Morgan interests. However, that does not absolve him of his responsibility. Wilson could at any time have used the immense power of the Presidency to reverse harmful policies. Instead, he used the power of the Presidency to push those harmful policies. He is as responsible as anyone, and more so than most, his being a hand-puppet notwithstanding. The same for the rest of them.

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cab21 replied on Wed, Aug 8 2012 2:47 PM

they all could have vetoed anything, or not became presidents, so they are all bad. the ideal would have been no government and then people rolling over and the territory being captured and claimed by european imperialism.

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He is responsible. It's him who can veto everything, it's him who should fight for the constituion. If he chooses bad advicers it falls also back on him.

NO presidents are "responsible"

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