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Census Best U.S. President?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 13, 2016.

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Best President(s) of the United States of America?

  1. George Washington

    17.5%
  2. James Madison

    5.3%
  3. John Quincy Adams

    5.3%
  4. James Knox Polk

    8.8%
  5. Abraham Lincoln

    43.9%
  6. Theodore Roosevelt

    15.8%
  7. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    26.3%
  8. Barack Hussein Obama

    33.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Since I couldn't originally list all 43 individuals in one poll, I split it up by time period. Now enough time has passed to combine the highest-ranked presidents of each poll.

    Please vote on what they did and who they were as President, not before or after their presidency. Which is hard for some of them, like Washington as commander-in-chief during the revolution, Madison for helping write the Constitution, John Quincy Adams for his diplomatic work before becoming President and abolitionist work as a Congressman after leaving the presidency, etc. but I think it's fair to limit it to their time as President.



    1789-1808
    George Washington won unanimously
    beating Adams and Jefferson
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/best-u-s-president-from-1789-1808.50039804/

    [​IMG]
    Washington (the 1st President), is best known for
    - not trying to gain the power of a king
    - setting the precedent of term limits
    - creating the model of a strong but limited presidency and federal government for the country
    - creating the Cabinet
    - generally agreeing with Hamilton and the Federalists over Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans but emphasizing the nation should come before any faction
    - assuming the debts of the states and from the revolutionary period
    - creating the First National Bank
    - establishing the District of Columbia
    - personally taking command of an army to scare away and disperse the Whiskey Rebellion without a casualty
    - signing the Jay Treaty with Britain to demilitarize the border and normalize trade
    - proclaiming neutrality in European affairs
    - generally strengthening the nation after the turmoil of the Confederation years



    1808-1852
    James Madison won, but with John Quincy Adams and John Knox Polk almost making it a 3-way tie
    beating Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, and Fillmore
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/best-u-s-president-from-1808-1852.50039803/

    [​IMG]
    Madison (the 4th President) is best known for
    - leading the country into another war with the British in the War of 1812 due to British provocations (a war which included the burning of the White House, a failed invasion of Canada, and the Battle of New Orleans)
    - dismantling the First National Bank which made it more difficult to conduct the war
    - eventually signing a lasting peace treaty with the British
    - deciding a national bank was necessary and creating the Second National Bank
    - creating a tariff-based tax system
    - creating a standing army
    - financing some limited infrastructure projects and pensions for veterans
    - attempting to convert American Indians to an agricultural way of life
    - ordering the US Army to defend the lands of American Indians from invasion by settlers (but it still continued)
    - overseeing a domestic crisis during the war in which Federalist-run New England nearly seceded to form their own country and ended with the dissolution of the Federalist Party

    [​IMG]
    John Quincy Adams (the 6th President) is best known for
    - attempting to create a national university system funded by the federal government (and failing),
    - attempting to get federal funds invested to better promote science and the arts including as astronomical observatory (and mostly failing)
    - attempting to invest in several infrastructure projects (sometimes failing)
    - paying off almost all of the national debt
    - supporting the tariff to protect the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution
    - restricting and slowing Westward Expansion to protect American Indians (and almost causing a civil war over it due to the Governor of Georgia's treatment of American Indians)
    - keeping America out of a war with the Ottoman Turks when some called for the country to help Greek independence
    - fighting many battles with Congress because he opposed states rights and was opposed by the Andrew Jackson supporters
    - turmoil within his own administration and political establishment because he refused to be part of the patronage system

    [​IMG]
    Polk (the 11th President) is best known for
    - gaining the territory of the Pacific Northwest (which would become the states of Oregon and Washington) through a treaty with the British
    - admitting Texas to the Union
    - gaining the territory of California and the Southwest (that would become Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado) through the Mexican-American War after Mexico rejected the admission of Texas to the union
    - expanding influence in Central America
    - reducing tariff rates and ending economic protections for special interests
    - creating a more decentralized treasury system to replace the Second National Bank (and would last until the Federal Reserve replaced it)
    - overseeing the establishment of the Smithsonian Institute and Washington Monument and Naval War College
    - creating the Interior Department
    - refusing to run for a second term because he accomplished all the domestic and foreign policy goals that he campaigned on



    1852-1896
    Abraham Lincoln won, almost unanimously
    beating Pierce, Buchanan, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and Cleveland
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/best-u-s-president-from-1852-1896.50039802/

    [​IMG]
    Lincoln (the 16th President) is best known for
    - overseeing the American Civil War and settling the issue of federal supremacy over the states
    - overseeing the abolition of slavery and the 13th amendment
    - temporarily suspending habeas corpus (to allow imprisonment without trial for suspected traitors)
    - ordering the military to seize two newspapers for a few days in response to fake news of a military draft being spread by them to profit from an engineered panic
    - signing the Homestead Act, to sell public land to settlers at a very cheap price and encourage poor and middle-class settlers to move west while preventing the creation of plantation-style land ownership
    - providing government grants to agricultural colleges
    - supporting the creation of the First Transcontinental Railroad
    - restoring higher tariffs
    - creating the first federal income tax
    - tinkering with Polk's decentralized banking system to better standardize it and a national currency
    - creating the Department of Agriculture
    - creating Yosemite National Park, and the holiday of Thanksgiving

    [​IMG]
    Teddy Roosevelt (the 26th President) is best known for
    - establishing national parks and the US Forest Service
    - busting trusts
    - regulating railroads and other businesses
    - passing policies for consumer protection, like clean food and medicine
    - passing labor laws, including mine safety and workers' compensation
    - creating the Department of Commerce and Labor
    - beginning construction of the Panama Canal
    - mediating an end to the war between Russia and Japan, and a conflict between France and Germany in North Africa
    - setting the boundaries of the Alaska territory with British Canada
    - negotiating the end of a major coal strike
    - increasing the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission
    - prosecuting corruption in his administration

    1896-1960
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt won a large majority
    with only Theodore Roosevelt in a distant second
    beating McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/best-u-s-president-from-1896-1960.50039801/

    [​IMG]
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the 32nd President) is best known for
    - overseeing U.S. participation in World War II from Pearl Harbor until his death and helping to bring the Allied Powers to the brink of victory
    - overseeing the New Deal responses to the Great Depression, reforming the role of the federal government in the economy with the embrace of Keynesianism and business regulation, and vastly expanding the scope of the federal government
    - creating Social Security
    - instituting employment programs and infrastructure programs, such as the CCC, WPA, PWA
    - creating a minimum wage
    - passing banking and Wall Street reform laws, such as Glass-Steagall, including creating the FDIC and SEC
    - passing laws to protect labor unions, such as the Wagner Act, giving workers the rights to form unions, collectively bargain, and strike
    - outlawing child labor
    - passing overtime laws
    - passing laws to provide relief to farmers, such as creating the AAA
    - creating to Tennessee Valley Authority to help the Appalachian region
    - bringing unemployment down from 25% to 2%
    -subsidizing public housing agencies to help low-income families
    - being elected to an unprecedented 4 terms, before the constitutional amendment for term limits, creating a political coalition of the white working class working in rural farms and urban factories, African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, European Immigrants, White Southerners, Catholics, Jews, labor unions and big city party machines
    - overseeing the repeal of Prohibition
    - expanding the National Park and National Forest systems
    - passing the Indian Reorganization Act, to change federal policy from pressuring American Indians to leave reservation to creating a strong economic foundation for Indian reservations
    - ordering the Justice Department to work closely with the NAACP
    - renouncing the US's right to unilaterally intervene in Latin America by signing the Montevideo Convention
    - banning employment discrimination on racial or religious grounds among defense contractors
    - almost "packing" the Supreme Court
    - overseeing the internment of Japanese-Americans near coastal regions during the war, as well as Italians and Germans who hadn't yet become citizens
    - supporting the development of the atomic bomb
    - preparing for the creation of the United Nations, and the Bretton Woods global economic system



    1960-2016
    Barack Hussein Obama is in the lead with just over 33% of the vote
    with John Fitzgerald Kennedy in second at 23%, Ronald Wilson Reagan in third at 13.5%, and William Jefferson Clinton in fourth at 9.5%
    beating Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and both Bush's
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/best-u-s-president-since-1960.50039800/

    [​IMG]
    Obama (the 44th President) is best known for
    - overseeing the response to the Great Recession, passing the stimulus package, credit card reform, patent reform, the automobile industry bailout, "cash for clunkers," stabilizing the financial system, and lowering the unemployment rate from 11% to 4%
    - passing Healthcare Reform into law, lowering the uninsured rate and banning discrimination on pre-existing conditions (but not being able to pass more reforms since then)
    - passing Financial Reform into law (including the power to break up big banks if they pose a systemic risk again)
    - passing Student Loan Reform into law (including income-based repayment plans and automatic loan forgiveness, and ending subsidies to banks)
    - investing in clean energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas, lowering the price of gas
    - finding Osama bin Laden, after escalating then drawing down the war in Afghanistan, and escalating drone attacks against Al Qaeda throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia
    - ending the Iraq War, but returning some military forces to assist the fight against ISIS in Iraq and supporting some rival rebel groups in Syria, successfully pushing back against ISIS (but failing to address Assad after he crossed the "red line")
    - intervening to support the rebels in Libya, overthrowing Gadhafi
    - reaching and passing the Iran Nuclear Deal and improving our relations with them
    - restoring relations with Cuba
    - reaching out to Russia in the beginning and getting the New START treaty
    - leading an international effort to sanction Russia and diplomatically isolate them after their actions in Ukraine and Syria
    - securing loose nuclear material throughout the world
    - ending policies permitting torture
    - stopping the influx of prisoners to Guantanamo Bay without due process (but failing to completely close it)
    - attempting and failing to find peace between Israel and Palestine
    - effectively responding to disasters like Hurricane Sandy
    - drastically but responsibly reducing the deficit
    - ending the Bush Tax Cuts for those making over $400,000/year
    - passing the Lily Ledbetter Act to help equal pay for women (but failing to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act)
    - passing laws repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act (but failing to pass broader antidiscrimination measures to protect LGBT people)
    - expanding national service programs like AmeriCorps
    - repealing the No Child Left Behind Act
    - allowing marijuana legalization efforts in the states
    - signing significant executive orders on climate change, energy, carbon emissions, overtime pay, gay equality, immigration, gun violence, and net neutrality
    - attempting to pass a law on campaign finance disclosure (and failing)
    - attempting to pass a law on immigration reform (and failing)
    - attempting to pass a comprehensive law on climate change (and failing)
    - attempting to pass a law on gun background checks (and failing)
    - attempting to pass laws on the minimum wage, paid leave, childcare, pre-school, and labor unions (and failing)
    - attempting to create a National Infrastructure bank and more infrastructure investments (and failing)
    - attempting to pass laws to comprehensively reform taxes and entitlements in a "grand bargain (and failing)
    - attempting to pass the TPP (and failing), but strengthening our ties with China's neighbors
    - fighting many battles with a combative Congress




    Which of these were the best Presidents of the United States of America?
     
  2. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    It's insulting you need to even pretend like there's a question as to the right answer.
     
  3. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Where is the "FFS STOP WITH THE VACUOUS POLLS" option please?
     
  4. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Making the executive decision to put Teddy in the poll.
     
  5. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    It says best President, PG, not biggest.
     
  6. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    That would be Taft.

    Also making the executive decision to make this a single choice poll because having multiple choices for "Best" of anything is silly.
     
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    But he came in a VERY distant-second in his poll, I thought he would do better too but he didn't.

    That's because I was planning to do a run-off in a few months, if there isn't a clear winner


    Can you please change it back?
     
  8. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Fine, but I'm keeping Teddy there.
     
  9. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Lincoln.
    Saved the Union.
    Ended Slavery with 13th amendment.

    kay, let's go home.
     
  10. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    When are we going to move on to "Best California Almost-Governor" because I wanna talk about Upton Sinclair's candidacy.
     
  11. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006

    Gary Coleman in a landslide.
     
  12. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    I was totally going to do my troll vote standby of ALL OF THEM but nah it's Lincoln.
     
  13. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001

    That is tomorrow.
     
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Point Given, well then you can edit this in if you want above FDR, edit time ran out on me

    [​IMG]
    Teddy Roosevelt (the 26th President) is best known for
    - establishing national parks and the US Forest Service
    - busting trusts
    - regulating railroads and other businesses
    - passing policies for consumer protection, like clean food and medicine
    - passing labor laws, including mine safety and workers' compensation
    - creating the Department of Commerce and Labor
    - beginning construction of the Panama Canal
    - mediating an end to the war between Russia and Japan, and a conflict between France and Germany in North Africa
    - setting the boundaries of the Alaska territory with British Canada
    - negotiating the end of a major coal strike
    - increasing the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission
    - prosecuting corruption in his administration
     
  15. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    "trust busting" for Teddy is largely a myth, especially when compared to successors. Didn't bust them up as much as manipulated them. His successor, Taft, busted far more in less time.

    Teddy was also a voracious reader of books. Like manic about it. Read several weekly. I don't know when he slept.
     
  16. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    He was also a racist and an imperialist.
     
  17. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    If we want to play the racist and imperialist cards we will be here forever.
     
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  18. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001

    Well duh. Gee, okay Captain Obvious. Which ones in the poll weren't?

    Thanks for playing presentist.
     
  19. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Not really. His treatment of the Phillipines was pretty extraordinary even at the time. There was ample public opposition to his stance, so I don't think we can fall back on the "product of his times" concern.
     
    MrZAP, Darth Guy and Point Given like this.
  20. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Yeah I'm with Wocky (even though I put Teddy in the poll) Teddy was quite overboard with his bigotry and expansionism at the cost of non-white people.
     
  21. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    There's a bit of a gulf between "he was also a racist and an imperialist" and "his treatment of the people of the Philippines is disqualifying in its abhorrence" that should probably be noted in the initial argument.
     
  22. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001

    Except you can make that argument about any of them about numerous things. Lincoln, it could be argued, had half of the U.S. in opposition to him. Plenty of public opposition, even in the North.

    You also made a broad generalization in your post that you only elaborated on with your follow up.

    Nice try Wock.
     
  23. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Saying Teddy was a racist and imperialist is a broad generalization? Seems rather straightforward to me.
     
  24. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Sure, except in that argument it was the people opposed to Lincoln that were wrong. I guess I don't really see your point?

    I'm not saying it's intrinsically bad to have people disagree with you. I'm saying it's intrinsically bad for your bigotry to be so flagrant that a sizable number of your contemporaries call you out on it.
     
  25. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001

    It is in the context of this poll. You could call any of them that. So what was his point? There was none.

    Jabba-wocky, okay wrong to whom? See, this is where you fall off your historical perch and into advocacy. This is also why your post about Teddy being a racist and imperialist, when we are talking about mostly nineteenth century/early twentieth century U.S. Presidents, is ridiculous.