C-SPAN recently released a new survey ranking all the American presidents from 1 through 44. (Biden, as he is still in office whether he knows it or not, is not yet ranked.) The survey of 142 mostly left-leaning historians, academicians and “professional observers” of the presidency, a 50-percent increase in those polled just since 2017, reflected a “new diversity in race, gender, age and philosophy” according to CSPAN.org. Well, maybe not in philosophy, CSPAN. The “experts” ranked the presidents on 10 characteristics of leadership, including “moral authority.”
Speaking of which, Donald Trump was ranked last for moral authority, well below Richard Nixon and famous prevaricator Bill Clinton, who was also charged with committing perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Preposterous.
Also preposterous was the historians’ and observers’ ranking Barack Obama, who despised the nation he led to such an extent that he attempted to “fundamentally change” it, as one of the best presidents, coming in at number 10. This is like saying Bob Uecker was a better baseball player than Willie Mays, Javaris Crittenton was a better basketball player than Michael Jordan or Larry Bird, and that Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan was a better navigator than Charles Lindbergh. It’s like averring that Timothy McVeigh was a more accomplished veteran than George Washington (#2 in the CSPAN rankings) or Dwight D. Eisenhower (#4 in the CSPAN rankings). Obama, ranked #12 in 2017 and #10 in 2021, will surely be ranked #1 by the time the survey is taken in, say, 2033, surpassing Lincoln and Washington.
Trump (number 41 overall) was also ranked far below Jimmy “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times” Carter who presided over years of stagflation and “malaise,” yet somehow came in 26th.
The elite presidential minds ranked Lyndon Baines Johnson (#11) and Woodrow Wilson (#13) well ahead of Calvin Coolidge (#24). LBJ, who reportedly often wielded his Johnson to stunned reporters and other onlookers alike, firmly ensconced the U.S. in Vietnam while initiating trillions of dollars in spending to eliminate poverty, the level of which is essentially the same today as it was all those years—and trillions of dollars—ago. Woodrow Wilson was a sanctimonious, classical racist who likewise wanted to grow government at the expense of the individual. Conversely, Coolidge was a down-to-earth, self-deprecating man who granted citizenship to all of the Native American residents in the United States so that they could remain in the country with their rights to tribal land intact. He believed in the Founding principle of limited government and that the people knew best how to govern themselves.
Interestingly, and illustrative of the change in Democratic values over time, the experts ranked Franklin Delano Roosevelt (#3) ahead of the supposed founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson (#7). FDR attempted to pack the court and skirt the Constitution. He dramatically—if ineffectively—expanded the size of government and interned Japanese-Americans. His policies aimed at lessening the effects of the Great Depression only exacerbated them and extended the misery. Jefferson, on the other hand, was the greatest champion of individual rights in the history of the world. The Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, both a result of his presidency, literally made it possible for the United States to become…the United States…at least as we know them today. And a world power.
Finally, I would note that the survey ranked Bill Clinton’s presidency just above that of Ulysses S. Grant’s. Grant defeated the South and destroyed the Klan (KKK). Clinton may have destroyed his clan, too, but only those that had dirt on him. Both enjoyed cigars, but in vastly different ways. Grant liked them in his own orifices.
Grant placed the good of his country above anything else. Much like Lincoln, Washington, Reagan, Coolidge… and Trump. No matter what the “experts” wish us to believe.