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  • Sep 24, 2007, 10:47 AM
    Wondergirl
    Best president
    Who gets your vote as the best U.S. president during the past 50 years? Why?
  • Sep 24, 2007, 10:55 AM
    Dark_crow
    Ronald Reagen, because he negotiated with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to shrink both countries' nuclear arsenals and contributed greatly to the end of the Cold War.
  • Sep 24, 2007, 11:22 AM
    ETWolverine
    Without a doubt Ronald Reagan. I would vote for him as the best president ever.

    Reasons:

    1) Lowering taxes and implementing economic policies that served to bring about the greatest era of economic growth in American history, with the lowest unemployment.

    2) Solid support for our allies in the international community.

    3) His ability to communicate his ideas and ideals to the people, and to onvince the people to follow him. He was a LEADER!

    4) He created a new surge of support for conservativism and his ideas of "compassionate conservativism" served to create an entire new generation of "Reagan Conservatives" or "Neo-Cons" as they are commonly called.

    5) He reinvigorated the US military after the evisceration (emasculation?) it received from the Carter Administration. In fact, Reagan is, by most accounts, the President most responsible for helping our military recover (financially and in terms of morale) from the fiasco of the Vietnam War.

    6) He recognized who the USA's enemies abroad were, and he took action to strengthen our position and weaken the positions of our enemies. He made strategic alliances that strengthened us and that weakened the enemies... for instance, alliances with the UK (Maggie Thatcher) and Rome (Pope John Paul II) and even Afghanistan against the Soviets.

    7) He is one of the three people directly responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union: it was Reagan, Thatcher and Pope JP2 that together set the conditions that led to the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Any one of these events would have made him a great president. The fact that he was involved in all of them... and many more... makes him the #1 President of the past 50 years in my book.

    There are only 3 Presidents in our history who have been as influential as Reagan, in my opinion. Those are Washington, Lincoln and FDR. All three of those Presidents predate the 50-year limit that you put on this question. And I would argue that Reagan is as important to American History or more so than either FDR or Lincoln, and as much so as Washington. That is not to diminish from Washington, Lincoln or FDR. Each of them was a great President and leader. Washington was the father of our country and possibly it's greatest war hero (certainly the greatest to hold the office of President). Lincoln is the man who abolished slavery (and arguably brought about the economic industrialization and revitalization that started with the Cotton Gin). And FDR was possibly our greatest war-time president.

    But Reagan stands up there near the top as the Man Who Won the Cold War, who brought about economic prosperity through conservative economic principals, changed the way Presidents communicate with the people and with other nations and brough back the honor and loyalty (squandered by LBJ and Carter) to the American Presidency. So he definitely deserves the top honors, in my opinion.

    Elliot
  • Sep 24, 2007, 01:37 PM
    Choux
    I think that Dwight Eisenhower was the best President since 1950. His leadership was magnificent. America built a strong post WWII economy under his leadership and legislative initiatives(federal highway system for one); and strong relationships with our foreign neighbors. We stood strong against the Soviet Union; the decision was made to have a cold war, no violence, and defeat Communism without war.. which WE DID THOUGH ECONOMICS... the Soviet Union fell naturally of decay in the late 80's. We were truly the Golden Country of all time during that phase of American history and under **excellent leadership**.

    The worst President was Ronald Reagan... he ignored the problem that vast imports of oil presented to our country even after the Saudis tried, under Jimmy Carter, to ruin the American economy by manipulating oil. The Presidents since 1980 all bear guilt for the terrible predicament we are in concerning the middle east and Islam. Jimmy Carter began initiatives for conservation and energy awareness which Reagan swept away...

    Note: I was interested in hearing Greenspan's replies to questions about Presidents... he said the two SMARTEST presidents were Nixon and Clinton... and made very convincing arguments. This was on Meet The Press yesterday. Great show!
  • Sep 24, 2007, 02:34 PM
    shygrneyzs
    Dwight D. Eisenhower gets my vote. Eisenhower was the only postwar president who received more positive than negative ratings for his entire time in office.

    His first task in office was to call an end to the Korean War. In 1954, Eisenhower refused a request from the French for US intervention to save their troops fighting in Vietnam, at Dien Ben Phu. He felt the US had no business fighting in what he called, "an inhospitable environment." He favored Vietnam to be divided into the North (Communist) and the South (non Communist).

    He was a vigorous supporter of the Federal Interstate Highway Program, whose aim was to connect the States through an integrated, contiguous highway program. Finally, Eisenhower decided to introduce Federal troops to implement the Brown vs. Board of Education landmark integration case. This put the Federal government in the forefront of the integration struggle.

    He was not a perfect man nor a perfect President. Still better than any who followed him.
  • Sep 24, 2007, 03:19 PM
    sGt HarDKorE
    There's only been 2 presidents in my life but from what I know from my parents Ronald was a good president and my dad likes George Bush and from what I know he seems all right.

    Since he has been in control, there has been no terrorist attacks. 9/11 happened during the exchange.

    He removed a dictator who would have been a threat to america

    And the economy has been good except in Michigan
  • Sep 24, 2007, 07:28 PM
    CaptainForest
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sGt HarDKorE
    Since he has been in control, there has been no terrorist attacks. 9/11 happened during the exchange.

    George Bush became the President in January of 2001. 9/11 occurred in September of 2001. It was not in any “exchange”. Bush had been the President for about 8 months when the terrorist attacks happened.

    I don’t believe anyone can pick Bush or even Clinton for that matter as the greatest or worst President in history because not enough time has passed to properly sit back and reflect on what they have done.
  • Sep 25, 2007, 09:46 AM
    excon
    Hello Wondergirl:

    JFK. Why? Because he was right, pure and good.

    excon
  • Sep 25, 2007, 11:47 AM
    ETWolverine
    I don't need to insult you, Chou. You do that just fine by yourself.
  • Sep 25, 2007, 02:24 PM
    BABRAM
    With the exception of escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War, which was lost not due to the additional troops, but because of the rules of engagement, I think Lyndon Baines Johnson was perhaps one of the forgotten, yet more active presidents in the last 50 years. He had a previous long career in the U.S. Congress. After the nation was emotionally torn following President Kennedy's assassination, he then put forth legislation including civil rights laws, Medicare (health care for the elderly), Medicaid (health care for the poor), and aid to education.

    Honorable mention: Jimmy Carter for his humanitarian efforts that continued long after his Presidency. Ronald Reagan for his charisma, yet straight forwardness in handling the cold war with the former USSR.





    Bobby
  • Sep 26, 2007, 07:47 AM
    Dark_crow
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BABRAM
    With the exception of escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War, which was lost not due to the additional troops, but because of the rules of engagement, I think Lyndon Baines Johnson was perhaps one of the forgotten, yet more active presidents in the last 50 years. He had a previous long career in the U.S. Congress. After the nation was emotionally torn following President Kennedy's assassination, he then put forth legislation including civil rights laws, Medicare (health care for the elderly), Medicaid (health care for the poor), and aid to education.

    Honorable mention: Jimmy Carter for his humanitarian efforts that continued long after his Presidency. Ronald Reagan for his charisma, yet straight forwardness in handling the cold war with the former USSR.

    Bobby

    "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today? "
    Anti-war slogan
  • Sep 26, 2007, 08:53 AM
    BABRAM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dark_crow
    "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today? "
    Anti-war slogan

    Yup, I remember. I prefaced his accomplishments by the one glaring miscalculation and horrible advisement. My grandmother and LBJ went to college together. However LBJ was an average student and my grandmother was the salutatorian. :)




    Bobby
  • Sep 26, 2007, 12:00 PM
    Dark_crow
    Hmmm so you did :D
  • Sep 26, 2007, 12:26 PM
    Choux
    I skipped over LBJ automatically because of the Viet Nam War. A reflex.
    "Hey Hey LBJ, Who ya gonna kill today?" -- Crow remembers. Very very emotional times, and we anti-war folks were RIGHT ABOUT THAT WAR...
    AND ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ. :)

    That war aside, he had the most sweeping domestic legislation passed for the benefit of the vast majority of average Americans under his program "The Great Society". I was a social worker at the time, and the goal was to *end poverty in America* through various programs. I remember when my clients got their Medicare cards, all were dated 7-1-66; poor seniors could go to the hospital and get treatment; they were so happy.

    What a life! I've had such a full and interesting life.
  • Sep 26, 2007, 12:38 PM
    Dark_crow
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Choux
    I skipped over LBJ automatically because of the Viet Nam War. A reflex.
    "Hey Hey LBJ, Who ya gonna kill today?" -- Crow remembers. Very very emotional times, and we anti-war folks were RIGHT ABOUT THAT WAR...
    AND ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ. :)

    That war aside, he had the most sweeping domestic legislation passed for the benefit of the vast majority of average Americans under his program "The Great Society". I was a social worker at the time, and the goal was to *end poverty in America* through various programs. I remember when my clients got their Medicare cards, all were dated 7-1-66; poor seniors could go to the hospital and get treatment; they were so happy.

    What a life! I've had such a full and interesting life.

    You're right Choux, we left our Nation Friends and went to Viet Nam , again we left our Nation Friends and went to Iraq... :rolleyes:
  • Sep 26, 2007, 01:37 PM
    BABRAM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dark_crow
    You're right Choux, we left our Nation Friends and went to Viet Nam , again we left our Nation Friends and went to Iraq...:rolleyes:





    The problem with this war is how we are going about it. Not the principle matter of the war. Hussein was a dictator in an Islamic regime. Gone! Bye-bye! Ahmadinejad is basically the same deceitful person and deserves the noose as well. Ironically they both wanted to be king of the world via political and Islamic persuasion. Ahmadinejad is still kicking, unfortunately.

    The rules of engagement hurt us in Vietnam. Iraq has had tactical errors considering the history of that region. My family has served in both wars.



    Bobby
  • Sep 26, 2007, 02:13 PM
    Wondergirl
    But we are not the world's policeman and eradicator of evil regimes!!

    "Tactical errors"?? --like not understanding the Mideastern mind before bashing our way in there, like not securing the country as we marched to Baghdad, like dispersing the entire Iraqi army and then wondering why we don't have enough of our own soldiers to keep the peace, like not having an exit plan?? Should I go on??

    My family has served in both wars too. So what!!
  • Sep 26, 2007, 02:18 PM
    BABRAM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wondergirl
    But we are not the world's policeman and eradicator of evil regimes!!!

    "Tactical errors"????--like not understanding the Mideastern mind before bashing our way in there, like not securing the country as we marched to Baghdad, like dispersing the entire Iraqi army and then wondering why we don't have enough of our own soldiers to keep the peace, like not having an exit plan?????????? Should I go on????

    My family has served in both wars too. So what!!!


    Woe! Maybe there is a difference. My family served our country PROUDLY in both wars. I can't make it any plainer. I would not had gone about this war the same way as our President. I'm not making any excuses for Bush. He was either stubborn and/or badly misinformed for taking on such a task.




    Bobby
  • Oct 1, 2007, 06:52 AM
    ETWolverine
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wondergirl
    But we are not the world's policeman and eradicator of evil regimes!!

    Aren't we, though?

    When there is genocide in Darfur, who is called?

    When Slobodan Milosovich starts an ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe, who does the world look to to solve it?

    When North Korea starts testing nukes, who is called in to manage the situation?

    When the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians heats up, who does the rest of the region call to put pressure on the principals to cool things down?

    When Africa suffers another war of the warlords, whe gets pulled into the situation?

    The USA.

    We are indeed the policeman and eradicator if evil regimes, not because we want to be, but because the rest of the world puts us in that role. To believe anything less is naïve and simplistic. We ARE the world's policemen. And in Iraq, we laid down the law against Saddam. That role became ours because the UN, who's role it SHOULD have been, didn't do its job properly.

    Quote:

    "Tactical errors"?? --like not understanding the Mideastern mind before bashing our way in there, like not securing the country as we marched to Baghdad, like dispersing the entire Iraqi army and then wondering why we don't have enough of our own soldiers to keep the peace, like not having an exit plan?? Should I go on??
    Oh, there were pleanty of tactical errors. Most of them can be boiled down to the same one that we made in Vietnam... the rules of engagement. If we had used rules of engagement that are based on fighting a war instead of "winning the hearts and minds of the people" most of those tactical errors would never have occurred. There would have been no issue with "securing the country" because we simply would have bombed anything that caused us any trouble rather than trying to keep the neighborhood safe. There would have been no issue with dispersing the Iraqi army, because we would simply have destroyed anything that Iraq would have needed an army to fight against. And we wouldn't have needed to worry about an "exit plan" because the war would already have been over. But these stupid rules of engagement that are designed to keep civilians safe and win hearts and minds actually accomplish neither of those two goals, as has been demonstrated. So, if we had avoided using those stupid ROE, (which were created by politicians and armchair generals with no combat experience and no practical knowledge of how to fight a war, and thus do not take the realities of war and combat into account), the result would have been a very different engagement in Iraq.

    As for understanding the Middle Eastern mindset: that's easy. Very simple, in fact. Mercy is seen as weakness. Weakness is to be exploited. The rules of engagement are a form of mercy, and are therefore a sign of weakness. Ergo, the US troops are weak and should be attacked, and the Iraqi civilians are weak and should be attacked. Therefore, the rules of engagement are a detriment to the war effort. And the proof is in the pudding: since we changed the ROE with the troops surge, the number of attacks have been halved, the number of casualties have been cut by at least 1/3, and we have captured or killed hundreds of top-level bad guys in Iraq. Ergo, with stronger rules of engagement that do not exhibit the weakness of the original ones, we make more progress, the results are fewer friendly casualties (military and civilian) and higher enemy casualties and captures. A show of strength changes the entire equation in Middle Eastern relations. THAT is the Middle Eastern mindset.

    Quote:

    My family has served in both wars too. So what!!
    That's a stupid kind of pissin' contest that I refuse to get involved in. I did my time in uniform, and I have nothing to prove to anyone.

    Elliot
  • Oct 2, 2007, 04:33 PM
    Skell
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ETWolverine
    Aren't we, though?

    When there is genocide in Darfur, who is called?

    When North Korea starts testing nukes, who is called in to manage the situation?

    When the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians heats up, who does the rest of the region call to put pressure on the principals to cool things down?

    When Africa suffers another war of the warlords, whe gets pulled into the situation?

    Elliot


    You guys aren't doing a very good job if you claim to be policing these things!

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