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who are your 3 favorite presidents?
Clinton, Clinton & Clinton.
So Clinton is obviously one of them. I’d have to say JFK as he was so inspirational. And, believe it or not, he was quite accomplished for someone who didn’t even finish a single term.
I like Truman. He’s the unsung hero of the 20th century. He set U.S. nuclear policy, taking the bomb away from the military and placing it’s control in the hands of the Whitehouse.
It’s hard for us to grasp, but the military considered the atomic bomb as just another weapon to be used at their discretion. Truman set the policy for all time to come.
This was hugely important come Korea. Yes he fired MacArthur, yes it was wildly unpopular, but if MacArthur got his way he would have dropped about 100 atomic bombs on Asia. And MacArthur was a man who did not know his limits. He exceeded his authority, making him a wild card… a nuclear wild card.
Truman had guts.
Then there was the Marshall Plan, perhaps the single most enlightened act by any nation in the history of the planet. While the Europeans robbed each other blind, the United States saw value in giving. No other country had done this before the U.S., and it happened under Truman.
Still, FDR ended the Depression and won WWII. He and Ike were the two Presidents who really shaped what we think of as America.
Ike was a Republican but no right winger. His highway program remains a model for public works (and jobs creation) even to this day. The highway program created infrastructure. Trucks delivered cargo across the nation. Land that was next to worthless suddenly became highly desirable once a highway connected it to the rest of the country. Vast areas were opened up for development: Malls, housing developments, office parks, etc.
Still, I’d give it to… I have to say Truman right now. The man just plain had an internal compass and followed it. He wasn’t afraid to do the right thing even if it was unpopular.
So: Clinton, JFK and Truman with honorable mention to FDR and Ike. If Nixon wasn’t so personally sleazy I might even throw him in there. But, regardless of what he did as President, he was a sleaze bag. His entire career was pocked with sleaze.
Nixon’s “Checkers Speech” may have diverted the public’s attention away from his personal corruption, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t personally corrupt. And he was an eager participant in the McCarthy Hearings, one of the darkest chapters in America’s post war history. So Nixon doesn’t get on the list.
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