Monday, February 20, 2017

My favorite presidents on President Day

By SJ Otto
It is Presidents Day, so I decided I' mention my favorite and least favorite presidents of all times. So first of all, here in the US I like Thomas Jefferson. He is about my favorite. He was probably about the last US president who did not belong to a Church. He was not an atheist, but a theist. He believed in God, but did not practice religion or belong to a church.

He and Thomas Paine believed that focussing on the human race was the real way to honor God. His political work was his religion. He saw Jesus as a great philosopher, but not a divine person.
He was one of he last truely ideological presidents. He believed in the Republican movement, as did Paine. He believed the era was over were a person's politics and wealth were all dependent on their birth right. He and Paine believed that from now on, a person should earn their wealth and politics. It was the end of feudalism and beginning of the new capitalist era.

Almost everyone likes Abraham Lincoln. He was one of the few presidents to get the attention of Karl Marx. He originally just wanted to prevent the United States from dividing into two countries. He was willing to tolerate slavery in some parts to the US, in certain states. But he end of the war he changed his stated position and made the ending of slavery as the main purpose of the campaign. He was not an ideological man. But he ended slavery even if that wasn't really his goal.
Not many people appreciate Ulysses Grant. Although he accomplished little, he was the drinking man's president. He proved that a person can drink a lot of alcohol and still run a country.   

According to Wikipedia:

"Grant served as president during the Gilded Age, a time when the economy was open to speculation, western railroad expansion, growth in manufacturing, oil and steel industries, which in turn fueled corruption in federal offices. Against the harsh public revelation of the Credit Mobilier of America scandal, Grant responded to charges of misconduct in nearly all federal departments, engaging his administration in constant conflict between corrupt associates and reformers. Although Grant's reputation remained personally untarnished, he was trusting and had difficulty in accepting corruption charges against his associates."

What most historians have decided is that Grant was an honest man but allowed a lot of dishonest friends to run important posts in his presidency. He was not the worst president by a long shot. But he is best known as a benevolent drinking man.
Of course, as with anyone to the left, I liked the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He is responsible for almost all the social programs that protect the American public from the cold and cruel dealings of US business. He was also pro-union. He did more for the working class than almost any other president.

Another president that stood up for the poor and underprivileged was Lyndon Johnson. He took a lot of heat for creating public welfare. He still gets heat today. It is too bad his presidency was destroyed by his anti-communism. He built up the Vietnam War and invaded Dominican Republic to prop up an unpopular right-wing government. His anti-communist campaigns helped ruin his presidency.
Another president I like is Jimmy Carter. He was honest and tried to do what was best for this country despite all the right-wing jerks trying to destroy him. Life under Carter was not that bad compared to the ass hole Ronald Regan who replaced him four years later.
And that brings us to the worst presidents. In my lifetime Ronald Reagan permanently pushed this country to the far right and it has never recovered. He destroyed the power of unions and he kept working class wages down by 10 percent over his eight year reign. He helped destroy the Sandinista Revolution. He helped destroy the dreams of leftists and third world politicians everywhere. Few people have done as much damage to the national spirit as Reagan. Close behind him are Richard Nixon, who damaged civil liberties at home and cost the lives of at least 2 million people with his meddling in Indochina. George W. Bush may be the most moronic president we ever had. He stared the war in Iraq for no real reason.
My very favorite president is not even a US president. I admire Salvador Allende, the former president of Chile, who gave his life so that his fellow citizens might have some hope for the future. He was the first Marxist president in the American hemisphere.  

So there we have it- the good, bad and ugly presidents.

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