Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

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Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:13 pm

Hello,

This topic is meant to discuss who your selections would be for the five presidents of the United States that best exemplified the level of integrity, stateliness, and dignity that the office of president demands. I asked this question of a friend and we came up with 10 pretty easily, so I cut that in half to make it more difficult to narrow down the five best. I'll drop mine in once things get started.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:15 pm

My personal top 5 presidents that I would think of for integrity and stateliness

5.  Ronald Reagan:  I disapprove of his politics, but even I admit he did much to improve America's image.  He was able to make many people hopeful and optimistic about the future, even after a nearly decade of stagnation and poor leadership, and Vietnam.  He also managed to be respected by many, even in solidly blue states that he managed to win over (many for the last time for the republicans).  He even managed to befriend the head of the USSR, despite being a vocal anti-communist.  I would put him higher, but he did have some issues, such as the Iran-Contra affair that showed some sides without integrity.  He's definitely a model for many presidents in what they want to be seen as (minus the economics, but that's not important for this discussion) both nationwide and internationally, although nobody has come close to his level of respect and integrity when seen from both sides of American politics today.

4.  Thomas Jefferson:  Perhaps an unexpected choice for many.  Jefferson did many things that aren't as noticeable on the surface, but definitely influential for integrity and prestige.  For one, he managed to legitimize the United States as a truly independent country.  From America's first real war when they attacked the Barbary States to the Louisiana purchase from Napoleon at a extremely small cost for the land they were getting, he was the first to push America into international affairs.  He also begun the exploration of the western part of North America, sending Lewis and Clark to visit the new lands, and help foster Manifest Destiny, which would be the leading outlook for the USA for several decades.  Without someone like him, America might have just remained a small upstart nation that would be invaded by the UK the moment they had the chance.  

3.  Franklin D. Roosevelt:  The only president in power for more than 8 years, FDR was able to gain support from nearly all sections of society.  From the farmers to unemployed factory workers, to liberals and conservatives alike (back when democrats actually had support from the south) to even to the middle and some of the upper class, he was able to show the president as a caring and helpful force, being able to convince many that government intervention in the economy can be alright and not make you a crazy commie (although some did and still think it did) but even so, he was able to convince people to let a welfare state start in the USA, and that takes someone with high integrity and trustworthyness to pull off.  Also the fact that he had to deal with one of the most unstable political climates the world has ever seen (The rise of Communism and Fascism during the great Depression after capitalism's biggest crash to date and the early nazi victories during WW2) and still giving people hope and courage and having support in the president and democracy is something quite extraordinary that I doubt could have happened under nearly anyone else in power, back then or now.  

2.  George Washington:  You need to be a very well liked and prestigious president to literally start a country from scratch with 13 colonies only united in their hatred of taxes (and Britain).  He was also a dignified war hero and general during the war of independence.  He did much to justify having a strong and powerful president (although the number 1 in my list is what truly made the president influential like the ones today)

1.  Theodore Roosevelt:  My personal favourite president, he is the biggest example of what people want a president to act.  He passed several acts to help both the common people (Meat inspection act, breaking of trusts) while still maintaining a pro-business stance.  He actually passed almost as many executive orders in his time as president than all previous presidents before him combined.  He also turned the United States into a more interventionist country that we all know today.  He was also one of the first presidents to be an environmentalist, creating numerous national parks, which is quite stunning when you realize this was several decades before people were talking about global warming and destroying forests.  Finally, he talked a lot to the press and made numerous interviews, exposing people to the President more so than anyone else in the past.  He literally started what many of us expect a modern president to be concerned about today.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Crazy Boris on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:04 am

Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Reagan.

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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Big_Appa on Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:43 am

In chronological order, not ranked. Keep in mind the question is about integrity and stateliness, not who was the best or most effective President.

1. Washington - Set the precedent for 2 term presidencies, thereby shielding the countries from having monarch-style presidents. Set the country off on the right foot and was able to maintain a universally acclaimed administration.
2. James Polk - He promised to be a one term president and kept that promise. Also managed to fulfill nearly all of his campaign promises. You may not like his promises but he did fulfill them, which is more than what most politicians anywhere can say.
3. Abraham Lincoln - Stateliness was needed during the Civil War. Lincoln was a political genius who maneuvered his way through his cabinet and Congress in order to achieve his goals during the War.
4. Grover Cleveland - I may not like his conservative policies but he did fulfill his promises to stay true to his beliefs. He did not take money from big businesses and challenged the corrupt leaders of his own Democratic party.
5. Theodore Roosevelt - An effective politician who was honest and did what had to be done. Increased the respect the rest of the world had for the US and challenged the corrupt rich of the Gilded Age USA.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:41 pm

There's actually a specific reason why I exclude Lincoln in my list

What all of my choices have in common is that both during their time as president and beyond, they were critically praised and did much to unite the country at various times in history. Lincoln did the opposite, and got half of the country to support him, but he also got another half to separate and start a 5 year civil war. Don't get me wrong, he was still a good president despite his short term, but he was very polarizing for his time. True, he was a stateliness president for the union, but I'm referring to all the USA, including the states who joined the confederacy, so I can't put him ahead of any of my other choices.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Cold War Communist on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:51 pm

I thought Reagan would be an excellent choice at first, though the Iran-Contra Affair put the kibosh on that.

My list would be as follows in no order: Washington, both Roosevelts, Monroe, and Lincoln. It is hard not including Jefferson on this list, but his second tenure as president was besieged with issues.

What all of my choices have in common is that both during their time as president and beyond, they were critically praised and did much to unite the country at various times in history. Lincoln did the opposite, and got half of the country to support him, but he also got another half to separate and start a 5 year civil war.

That is an interesting reason to exclude Lincoln. I don't know that he can be blamed for that, though. My reason for saying that is because the slaveholding Southern States were the ones who acted, and this was largely out of paranoia that slavery was on the out (and it was). Any leader who seemed to be remotely abolitionist, or to have any sort of traits that would lend themselves to abolition, would have probably had the same effect. I look at the response and the result to what I perceive as inevitable and conclude Lincoln belongs on my top five list.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:01 pm

True, but I personally believe it would be possible to get the southern states to stay while still getting slavery to slowly disappear. Perhaps a reformer in the Democrat side who could gain the support of the south while still slowly making it more unreasonable to continue slavery before finally getting it abolished. But true, I think it would be very hard for anyone on the republican side back then to get elected and not get the South to seperate, so in that sense Lincoln was the best choice, but I personally believe it was possible for someone even better (even if unlikely) to do a better job in that era and possibly avoid a civil war altogether.

Another interesting thing to think about is what would people feel if these people were elected president today. I personally think there would be no way Reagan would win (at least not in a landslide) simply because of how polarized the USA population has become where just hearing the word republican or conservative will get one part of the country to hate you and lose their vote.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Cold War Communist on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:16 pm

I agree with you that a creeping abolition would have been workable. It was definitely happening on its own regardless of who was in office, which is what gave the South pause in the first place. So I think your rationale is solid.

I also do not think Reagan would win in a landslide. Though I do think most Republicans today are more Reagan-minded than anything else. That might be something worth starting a discussion of its own on.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by DuceMoosolini on Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:20 pm

Dwight Eisenhower--He's generally ranked somewhere in the top ten presidents in US history, and for good reason. He presided over a strong economy, opposed and worked against McCarthy's witch hunts, earned the grudging respect of Khrushchev, did not drag America into any wars, ended the Korean War, desegregated the military, sent troops to enforce the will of the courts on Little Rock, and never (that I know of) engaged in any foolish fear-mongering. Even when he was working himself half to death the man never let the public see him sweat. He also managed to avoid any massive scandals or embarrassments, which puts him above a great majority of our other modern presidents.

Ronald Reagan--He's had his fair share of screwups, and I won't wallpaper over that, but he's still one of the greats in my book. As Trolldemort said above, Reagan was the man who pulled America out of one of its darkest chapters. His crisis leadership was truly excellent. He was also the man who, more than just about anyone else, solidified the image of America as the world's champion of democracy. He could also give a darn good speech.

F.D Roosevelt--Two words. Fireside. Chats. With America in the grips of the Great Depression, they needed someone who could help them hope again. FDR gave them that, and I've seen people argue that this provided an even greater boost to the country than the New Deal. More than anyone else, FDR showed us that, as Will McAvoy put it on The Newsroom, "America's darkest hours are almost always followed by our finest moments." Without him, America's political history of the era could have been much, much darker.

George Washington--The man who set the precedent by stepping down from office after his second term. It's always funny to me that, despite how much everyone loves President Washington, the best thing I think he ever did was leave office. He also fought for the Constitution, therefore helping to put an end to America's instability under its first attempt at government.

Abraham Lincoln--Pretty much obligatory, and all of you know why. I'd just like to shout out his masterful foreign policy during the Civil War, when he had to work very hard to prevent Britain and France from supporting the Confederacy, especially during the Union's blockade and doubly so after the Union grabbed two Confederate diplomats off a British ship. I've really only ever seen Lincoln lose best president status to Washington.

These were in no order, but I also have some honorable mentions.

Jefferson--strongly tried to limit himself in terms of executive power, and fought back against the Barbary pirates

Monroe--The Monroe Doctrine might be the best piece of foreign policy in American history

Teddy Roosevelt--Our first truly modern president concerning the media, who would happily do interviews and use his presidential podium to pressure Congress. "Speak softly and carry a big stick," also earns him points.
"
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:29 pm

Oh man, I've completely forgot about Eisenhower. Definitely another one of the great presidents, he was definitely set a high standard for integrity. I would put him as my number 6. It's close between him and Reagan, but Eisenhower was became president at a time of high optimism and a great economy to begin with, and still had the shadow of FDR over his head, which makes it hard to compete in popularity. Also the fact he was also a major war hero during WW2 is another big plus.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by SHAM00E on Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:50 pm

Eisenhower for the reasons listed above, Polk for keeping his promises, Coolidge for promoting small government and avoiding any scandals, Teddy Roosevelt for being hardcore (He got SHOT! and waited till he finished his speech!) And George Washington for being the driving force behind the Nation.
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Re: Name the five presidents who best upheld the integrity and stateliness of the office

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:08 am

Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower
in terms of best integrity and stateliness.
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