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Thread: Favourite American President

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    Default Favourite American President

    Okay let's balance things a bit. We all tend to look at the negative side of things when we discuss politicians. But they must have some good points and I do not for one minute believe every president since Kennedy has been a dud.

    I'm not an expert on American politics at all, but I believe Kennedy was a good president despite his failings, Johnson was a man's man and I think Jimmy Carter was a decent man out of his depth and perhaps could have been a better president had he been more solid on foreign affairs.

    Regards digger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    Johnson was a man's man

    Regards digger
    Mate, he was a turd. Like most politicians.

    If only because he did sweet FA to earn the Silver Star he proudly wore for being on a plane that turned back from anywhere he might have been at risk. And did nothing to correct the sorry record which gave him that totally undeserved award.

    He was just one of many that MacArthur sucked up to in his usual shameless and self-seeking fashion.

    There are thousands of American blokes who dug rear area shit pits all over the Pacific who took more risks, and contributed more to the war effort, than Johnson did with his useless little flight.

    http://www.b-26marauderarchive.org/ms/MS1709/MS1709.htm

    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001...storypage.html

    And just for a little balance on WWII myths claimed by Cold War politicians, what was the true background to JFK and the sinking of PT 109?

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    Good US presidents? The only ones I can think of since WW2 are Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan (and I suspect Reagan may have been good more by accident than design).
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Good US presidents? The only ones I can think of since WW2 are Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan (and I suspect Reagan may have been good more by accident than design).
    Bit of a conflict here.

    Truman was an accidental president, like Johnson. Unlike Johnson, he was a better president. If only because he had a clear and simple vision and pursued it, unlike Johnson' pusillanimous approach to Vietnam.

    JFK was good but offended some powerful interests. He was the most popular of all the post-war presidents, which means something in a democracy.

    Carter is regarded as a lame duck by many, but he made a sterling effort to bring peace to the world. Only Clinton approached him in that area. Oddly enough, they seem to be regarded by many Americans as the two worst post-war presidents.

    That's gotta tell us something about American popular sentiment, and why America mightn't be the greatest force for peace in the world.

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    My pick is Linclon, man had to deal with some strife, country was split, his family wasn't doing well and yet he single handly help bring unify a country, Now I'm sure someone is going to shit on me for this one but I personally think he did an awsome job atleast from what I read, not like l knew the guy.

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    i think truman was the best us president, his decision with the A-Bomb brought a quick end to the war, plus he showed great leadership during the Berlin airlift as well as aiding europe with the marshall plan helping to contain communism. He also did alot for civil rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Bit of a conflict here.

    Carter is regarded as a lame duck by many, but he made a sterling effort to bring peace to the world. Only Clinton approached him in that area. Oddly enough, they seem to be regarded by many Americans as the two worst post-war presidents.
    JFK was killed too early to really be able to draw significant conclusions about him. I liked him, though, and that means something to me. He was a bit of a scoundrel and a bit of a poet which sounds like an Irishman if ever I heard of one.

    I disagree with all those who dislike Carter. Carter did more for Middle East peace than any of the people who followed him, including Bill Clinton. Carter is more intelligent than most of our presidents have been, a true humanitarian and a christian in the best sense of the term, and not the phony sense of.... yeah, you know. Carter actually instigated the first green movement in the world. He was way ahead of his time.

    Reagan, well, what can I say? He was incredibly lazy - something the people of California were well acquainted with, but then he wasn't a young man, either. He could tell a story and a joke better than most. I believe he was a genuinely nice person. But he was terribly flawed. He sent planeloads of arms to Iran in exchange for the hostages; he racked up deficits in his administration that actually equalled ALL of the deficits of all of the presidents before him combined. LOL. He encouraged, aided and abetted Oliver North in his clearly criminal and illegal dealings with the Contra rebels, and there is a lot of suspicion that Oliver North dealt in drugs in order to raise cash to finance the Contras.

    And then there is Dubya who, we can now say authoritatively, has managed to rack up larger deficits than even Reagan and of course there's the small matter of a war and calling the Constitution "just a piece of paper". Lower than the belly of a snake, as they here in Texas.

    I agree on thew comments about Truman. He was honest, straightforward, hated liars, spoke plainly and never flinched from making hard decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    I agree on thew comments about Truman. He was honest, straightforward, hated liars, spoke plainly and never flinched from making hard decisions.
    There's no risk of anyone like that being elected nowadays in any poll-driven, spin-doctor dominated excuse for a principled democracy like America, Australia or Britain. That sort of candidate would be the last thing any party machine would want, or put forward. I don't know about Canada, but New Zealand seems still to value plain speaking and has a Prime Minister who does it. I wish we had one. Actually, I'd be happy with just one person like that in either of the major parties which always will form our government. If only for the brief amusement of seeing them suffer political execution for daring to speak plain common sense.

    On a separate aspect, it's dawned on me why my, and probably many other non-Americans', opinions about US presidents have for so long been at odds with Americans' opinions about their presidents. Those of us outside the USA see and are interested mainly in the international aspects of American presidential actions, while Americans naturally are more interested in domestic aspects. As are we all more interested in our own turf than somewhere else.

    This difference in perspective may be illustrated from this end by Dubya calling our weasel Prime Minister a 'Man of Steel" whose word can be relied upon. Americans reading such bullshit might well believe it because their President said it, but for many of us down here he's Bendy Man made of soft rubber who'll bend to any opinion poll that seriously threatens his position and, contrary to his self-promoted moniker 'Honest John, that latter term is used derisively by many of us accustomed to his habitual lying and deceit.

    I expect that exactly the same problem occurs with external and domestic perceptions of American presidents.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 06-16-2007 at 08:02 AM. Reason: error

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    Nixon deserves more consideration than he usually gets.

    Nixon’s problem is that he is an example of Shakespeare’s observation that the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.

    Nixon was up to his ears in various forms of misconduct, notably Watergate, which probably reflect more about his personal paranoia and nastiness (as evidenced in his earlier incarnation as a McCarthyite Commie hunter) than his qualities as a president.

    Nixon’s greatest achievement, which still benefits America and the wider world, was engaging with China. Which, oddly enough, began to bring to fruition Roosevelt’s oft expressed belief several decades earlier that China was the future and had to be nurtured by America and the rest of the world. Both Nixon and Roosevelt have been proved right by China’s emergence as the next great economic, and military and global, powerhouse. Which will dwarf America if things continue on their present path.

    While there are many aspects of Nixon’s handling of the Vietnam war which can be criticised, if we get away from selected events and look at the general thrust of his policy and actions he succeeded in extricating America from Vietnam, which his predecessors had not managed to do, by a mixture of diplomacy and firm handling of North Vietnam and strong military responses when required.

    I remember being in the audience of Hair (the musical, not the body fur although there was a bit of that around in the map of Tassie area in the parachute scene) in the early seventies when members of the cast ran through the audience with protest placards, one of which read ’Pull out Nixon. Like your father should have.’ It was bloody funny at the time, with its reference to Vietnam, and expressed a widely held sentiment. What we all failed to recognise at the time was that the Republican Nixon was the prime mover in getting us all out of that miserable conflict, which the sainted Democratic JFK had got us into.

    And Nixon, unlike Kennedy who got America into it and Johnson who made it worse despite his best intentions, managed to resolve that conflict without bringing anyone to the brink of nuclear war (excluding his not very subtle threat to North Vietnam if they continued pissing about in their quaint Oriental fashion in the peace talks while pressing militarily at home). And he did it while engaging with China behind the scenes, which was one of North Vietnam’s two sponsors against America in Vietnam.

    It’s worth noting that Nixon did all this by bypassing the State Department etc and using Kissinger as his emissary. These were the independent acts of a president in control pursuing his own vision, not the acts of a wobbly mouthpiece for a bloc of blind opinion like Dubya.

    I think Carter tried to do the same as Nixon by imposing his independent view on American foreign policy but, because he was at heart a more or less good (to the extent that any politician is remotely ‘good’) man who lacked the nastiness to crunch those in his rear, he failed to impose his will on them and therefore failed to achieve his aims.

    Nixon imposed his will on those in his rear. If he’d been more successful in doing it to all and sundry, and hadn’t been caught out doing the wrong thing in other areas, he could have gone down in history as the president who did the most to assure America’s future by getting out of Vietnam and engaging with China and, to a lesser extent, with the USSR. Instead of a dope like Reagan being credited with destroying communism through Star Wars when Nixon and Carter had laid the foundations for engagement with the already crumbling communist world by less aggressive and more productive steps.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 06-16-2007 at 08:04 AM. Reason: typo

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    me,I would have to say Lincoln, Reagon reasons, lincoln is a honest man, he pratically ended slavery and said the most famous speech of all times "The Gettysburg Address" and Reagon.........I have no idea except that I heard he was good......and that he was a actor


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    On a separate aspect, it's dawned on me why my, and probably many other non-Americans', opinions about US presidents have for so long been at odds with Americans' opinions about their presidents. Those of us outside the USA see and are interested mainly in the international aspects of American presidential actions, while Americans naturally are more interested in domestic aspects. As are we all more interested in our own turf than somewhere else.
    LOL. Well, if Bush said it was raining outside, you can be sure I would go to the window and make sure. He says he is a "born again Christian" - whatever that is - but I doubt it.

    A man died and went to heaven. As he approached the Pearly Gates, he saw a long counter stretching into infinity. Behind the counter was an old, wise-looking man, and behind him was a wall as long as the counter.

    "May I help you?" said St Peter.

    "Yes, I'm so-and-so. Excuse me, but what are those things on the wall?"

    "Ah yes. We've been expecting you. Those," he said gesturing into the distance, "are Lie Clocks. Look at this one, for example," St Peter said turning and pointing to one. "The hand is on zero."

    "Whose is it?" asked the man.

    "That's George Washington's clock. He never told a lie."

    "And that one, next to it?" The hand had moved over a notch on that one.

    "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. Pretty good and better than most."

    The man scanned the Lie Clocks on the wall. "Where's George Bush's clock?"

    St. Peter said, "Oh, it was hot in Jesus' office and he needed a ceiling fan."

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    Speaking to RS's point about exterior and interior perspectives of a President, Bush seems to get failing marks on both counts. His foreign policy isn't so much a policy as a continuous series of pratfalls leading to ever greater disasters, the end of which we have not yet seen. We can only hope that he doesn't start a war with Iran over yet more trumped up reasons.

    His interior policies are sickening at best and utterly disgusting at worst. He seems to have the quaint notion that he's really King of America and not the President, servant of the people. He has attacked the Constitution and the civil rights of all Americans; he has sanctioned domestic spying; he signs bills and then either ignores them or attaches "signing statements" that negate them; he ignores the clearly expressed will of the people and thumbs his nose at those who disagree with him. It will be hard to top him as the worst American president in history - so far the only thing going for him seems to be that he is not an out and out criminal and he has a nice wife and an OK father. Other than that, he belongs in the trash dumpster of history.

    I should mention that although I am a fairly steadfast admirer of Franklin Roosevelt, he was in nearly every way imaginable the opposite of Harry Truman, whom I also admire greatly. FDR was a very intelligent and canny politician. He was an expert at dissembling bordering on deceit in order to get his way. Lend Lease would never have happened under Truman because FDR understood that you had to be sneaky around such isolationist politicians as Robert Taft. On the other hand, Truman made the tough decisions and made them stick. He passed the Marshall Plan (should have been called the Truman Plan, actually) and it was the least sordid act ever passed by an American administration other than the Emancipation Proclamation under Lincoln.

    We have been blessed with some great presidents; some have been bad; some excruciatingly horrible; and some good and very good. We will survive this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    JFK was killed too early to really be able to draw significant conclusions about him. I liked him, though, and that means something to me. He was a bit of a scoundrel and a bit of a poet which sounds like an Irishman if ever I heard of one.
    Im a big fan of Kennedy but I wouldnt say he was our best president by any means. One of our best speakers.

    However I still think he should have been court-martialed for the lost of PT109. Seem clear to me that he was asleep as the wheel. But you can argue that many way.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gen. Sandworm View Post
    Im a big fan of Kennedy but I wouldnt say he was our best president by any means. One of our best speakers.

    However I still think he should have been court-martialed for the lost of PT10. Seem clear to me that he was asleep as the wheel. But you can argue that many way.
    The problem wasn't him being asleep, but two of his three engines being asleep.

    The common versions have him being unable to manoeuvre to avoid the collision.

    Well, that's bound to happen if he's only got the centre screw available, although it was common practice to run on only the centre deep screw to minimise wake.

    You wouldn't gather any of this from the navy report.

    At the time of turning, PT 109 was seen to collide with the warship, followed by an explosion and a large flame which died down a little, but continued to burn for 10 or 15 minutes. The warship when it was about 3000 yards away headed toward them at high speed. The PT 169 stopped just before the warship hit PT 109, turned toward it and fired two torpedoes when abeam at 150 yards range. The destroyer straddled the PT 169 with shell fire, just after it a collision with PT 109, and then circled left toward Gizo Island at increased speed and disappeared.
    http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-11.htm

    I have a recollection that Kennedy had previously been instructed or ordered never to turn off his engines, but I can't find my source.

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    Default Nixon: Very Sneaky

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Nixon deserves more consideration than he usually gets.
    This is definitely one of those perspective things, RS. Personally, I think Nixon was simply a horrible person, probably a criminal but unfortunately unindicted and therefore "innocent" in the eyes of the law, a near total maladroit, extremely sneaky, secretive, prejudiced (bigoted and probably racist) and an all around awful man. He was intelligent, yes. So is the Devil.

    I guess you had to be there. He never should have been president. Eisenhower couldn't stand him and didn't want him at the head of the ticket. He was temperamentally completely unsuited to be President. He thought about money all the time and couldn't stop talking about people who had a lot of it. He spent enough time with the "Rev" Billy Graham casting slurs in the direction of Jews (with Graham agreeing with him) for it to be recorded on White House tapes. He not only countenanced the whole Dirty Tricks operation by the Plumbers, he openly aided and abetted them. Incidentally, Karl Rove worked for the puerile Donald Segretti, one of Nixon's plumbers, but that's a whole other thread.

    He got out of Vietnam, thank heaven, but would have been thrown out of the White House if he had not. The same cosmic eruption that caused Johnson to not run for re-election would have sundered Tricky Trick. Incidentally, Nixon really hated Kissinger and vice-versa, but they needed each other - Nixon needed Kissinger's realpolitik and Kissinger needed Nixon's power to make his realpolitik work. It is true that "Nixon opened China" by sending Kissinger there. Nixon was not stupid in every way, just most. It was said by some Democratic wags, that only a so-called "conservative" like Nixon could have done this. If a Democrat had tried it he would have been labeled as "soft on communism and a pointy-headed liberal intellectual freak", so it took a right winger to do it. I give him credit for this.

    Nixon, like Bush, brought terrible shame to the Presidency of this country. He should have been indicted and should have done jail time. When President Ford pardoned him, it cost him the Presidency. Ford had his reasons, however. He is definitely in the running for the top spot, but he has competition.
    Last edited by royal744; 06-21-2007 at 08:30 AM. Reason: content

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