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Underrated Presidents?


Most underrated President  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Select your choices for most underrated President

    • James K. Polk
      8
    • Franklin Pierce
      1
    • James Buchanan
      1
    • Andrew Johnson
      3
    • Ulysses S. Grant
      4
    • James Garfield
      3
    • Chester A. Arthur
      4
    • Warren Harding
      3
    • Calvin Coolidge
      7
    • Herbert Hoover
      2
    • Harry Truman
      4
    • Richard Nixon
      12
    • Jimmy Carter
      4
    • George W. Bush
      4
    • John Tyler
      1


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Who are the most underrated POTUS ever?

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I chose Richard Nixon. Despite his notorious dishonesty, I felt he was one of the best Cold War US Presidents, because he was a realist and a pragmatist in a tough and dangerous time and did some unconventional but arguably necessary things, but didn't blatantly compromise American rights overtly like Bush, jr., Obama, and seemingly going into Trump, and Nixon wasn't chained by unrealistic ideology or partisan purity at all.

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1 minute ago, vcczar said:

I would have liked a few more choices. I'm surprised Obama isn't on there if GW Bush is. 

The maker of the poll seems to have a venomous hatred (or at least disdain) for Obama, so it's probably his personal bias. He likely doesn't want the possibility of a poll he created being able to churn up a plurality of votes for him. That's my guess, anyhow.

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On 2/4/2017 at 5:45 PM, Patine said:

I chose Richard Nixon. Despite his notorious dishonesty, I felt he was one of the best Cold War US Presidents, because he was a realist and a pragmatist in a tough and dangerous time and did some unconventional but arguably necessary things, but didn't blatantly compromise American rights overtly like Bush, jr., Obama, and seemingly going into Trump, and Nixon wasn't chained by unrealistic ideology or partisan purity at all.

I was surprised to see a lot of Nixon responses.  I didn't choose him, but I can kind of see your point there.  Regarding Watergate, I feel that the cover-up was far worse than the deed itself.  After what we're seeing these days, what I wouldn't give now for a good ol' second-rate burglary. ;)

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On 2/4/2017 at 6:02 PM, vcczar said:

I would have liked a few more choices. I'm surprised Obama isn't on there if GW Bush is. 

The reason I didn't include Obama was that for a President in my mind to be underrated, they have to be rated low by most people to begin with.  Since many Americans (for some reason that I'll never understand), seem to have a high opinion of Obama, he didn't belong on the list.  I'd probably put him on an "overrated" list.  I also think that in 4 years Donald Trump will be on a list like this.

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On 2/4/2017 at 6:06 PM, Patine said:

The maker of the poll seems to have a venomous hatred (or at least disdain) for Obama, so it's probably his personal bias. He likely doesn't want the possibility of a poll he created being able to churn up a plurality of votes for him. That's my guess, anyhow.

That doesn't make sense.  If anything, my non-inclusion of Obama is saying that he IS highly rated by many Americans, so how can he be UNDER rated?  I also included many POTUS that I did not select myself (Grant, Nixon, Carter).  I looked at the combined ratings by historical scholars and made the list from there.  That's why I put GW Bush there, because when he left office, he was vehemently disliked by many people (by the way I didn't select him on my response either, I was very disappointed with a lot of things that Bush43 and Bush41 did).

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6 minutes ago, servo75 said:

The reason I didn't include Obama was that for a President in my mind to be underrated, they have to be rated low by most people to begin with.  Since many Americans (for some reason that I'll never understand), seem to have a high opinion of Obama, he didn't belong on the list.  I'd probably put him on an "overrated" list.  I also think that in 4 years Donald Trump will be on a list like this.

That makes sense, since, as you say, Obama is immensely popular. Yeah, I also think Trump will probably be like Bush and have very low approval ratings and warrant a space as an underrated option. 

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WHAT?!?!?!? Where the hell is Grover Cleveland, just about the only prez i could bring myself to vote for in a oll like this? I demand ansers! 

The main point here: Grover Cleveland was totally underrated.

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Incidentally, apologies. I posted this before reading the above comments. No diss for not including Cleveland, just some minor disappointment. A nicepoll with some interesting results.

 

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19 hours ago, Take Me to La Riva said:

WHAT?!?!?!? Where the hell is Grover Cleveland, just about the only prez i could bring myself to vote for in a oll like this? I demand ansers! 

The main point here: Grover Cleveland was totally underrated.

I'm wondering what you like about Cleveland? Except for his belief in a merit-system for lower governmental system, over patronage and his anti-Imperialism, I think there is very little to like about him, if one has progressive tendencies. 

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

I'm wondering what you like about Cleveland? Except for his belief in a merit-system for lower governmental system, over patronage and his anti-Imperialism, I think there is very little to like about him, if one has progressive tendencies. 

Yes, leaving out Cleveland was an oversight on my part.  The thing is that most "bad" Presidents are labeled that way because they appear to be weak and don't have a particular agenda.  And in today's world there's some expectation that a Presidential candidate will have a "platform."  That's not the way it was supposed to be.  The President was supposed to manage the executive branch and leave legislation entirely through Congress.  It's been a long time since we've had anyone from either party follow that principle.  But Cleveland is one example of that.  He vetoed a lot of unconstitutional legislation and as @vcczar has said, less government and a desire to follow the Constitution.  So yes, if one has progressive tendencies then one wouldn't like Cleveland for that reason.  He's probably the last good Democrat we've had in office (except MAYBE JFK but even that's iffy).

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13 hours ago, servo75 said:

Yes, leaving out Cleveland was an oversight on my part.  The thing is that most "bad" Presidents are labeled that way because they appear to be weak and don't have a particular agenda.  And in today's world there's some expectation that a Presidential candidate will have a "platform."  That's not the way it was supposed to be.  The President was supposed to manage the executive branch and leave legislation entirely through Congress.  It's been a long time since we've had anyone from either party follow that principle.  But Cleveland is one example of that.  He vetoed a lot of unconstitutional legislation and as @vcczar has said, less government and a desire to follow the Constitution.  So yes, if one has progressive tendencies then one wouldn't like Cleveland for that reason.  He's probably the last good Democrat we've had in office (except MAYBE JFK but even that's iffy).

@servo75

Let me amend what you are saying. Cleveland vetoed a lot of legislation, some of which he believed was unconstitutional, but most of which he believed was wasteful spending. Cleveland is the only president we've had that would probably be a Libertarian today. Jefferson and Coolidge would be close, but not close enough. Jefferson wasn't the strict Constiutionalist that conservatives wanted him to be, and Coolidge favored high protectionism over free trade. Cleveland, even though I dislike much of his ideology, was at least consistent as a proponent of limited government. Unfortunate for him, and his fellow like-minded supporters, Republicans proved to be the more popular option for the people, generally. On top of that, Cleveland's wing lost to the much more popular William Jennings Bryan wing, which was even further from Cleveland's ideology than the Republicans. Personally, I like Bryan if you take away his religious strain. Today, Bryan would be out of place. He's be Sanders or Kucinich type progressive, but also very religious, and probably opposed to abortion and other things that social conservatives usually oppose on religious grounds. So I guess, socially conservative, but economically liberal. 

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

@servo75

Let me amend what you are saying. Cleveland vetoed a lot of legislation, some of which he believed was unconstitutional, but most of which he believed was wasteful spending. Cleveland is the only president we've had that would probably be a Libertarian today. Jefferson and Coolidge would be close, but not close enough. Jefferson wasn't the strict Constiutionalist that conservatives wanted him to be, and Coolidge favored high protectionism over free trade. Cleveland, even though I dislike much of his ideology, was at least consistent as a proponent of limited government. Unfortunate for him, and his fellow like-minded supporters, Republicans proved to be the more popular option for the people, generally. On top of that, Cleveland's wing lost to the much more popular William Jennings Bryan wing, which was even further from Cleveland's ideology than the Republicans. Personally, I like Bryan if you take away his religious strain. Today, Bryan would be out of place. He's be Sanders or Kucinich type progressive, but also very religious, and probably opposed to abortion and other things that social conservatives usually oppose on religious grounds. So I guess, socially conservative, but economically liberal. 

I think the name of his famous speech, "the Cross of Gold," sums up that dichotomy Bryan's policy (at least a dichotomy by today's political standards, such a mix of ideology wasn't THAT uncommon, all-in-all, around the turn of the 20th Century, with the Christian Socialist Movement in the UK being contemporary).

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

@servo75

Let me amend what you are saying. Cleveland vetoed a lot of legislation, some of which he believed was unconstitutional, but most of which he believed was wasteful spending. Cleveland is the only president we've had that would probably be a Libertarian today. Jefferson and Coolidge would be close, but not close enough. Jefferson wasn't the strict Constiutionalist that conservatives wanted him to be, and Coolidge favored high protectionism over free trade. Cleveland, even though I dislike much of his ideology, was at least consistent as a proponent of limited government. Unfortunate for him, and his fellow like-minded supporters, Republicans proved to be the more popular option for the people, generally. On top of that, Cleveland's wing lost to the much more popular William Jennings Bryan wing, which was even further from Cleveland's ideology than the Republicans. Personally, I like Bryan if you take away his religious strain. Today, Bryan would be out of place. He's be Sanders or Kucinich type progressive, but also very religious, and probably opposed to abortion and other things that social conservatives usually oppose on religious grounds. So I guess, socially conservative, but economically liberal. 

Yes I definitely agree with you.  I think Bryan today would be about the most polar opposite from my own philosophy is as humanly possible, an "anti-Libertarian" if you will.  But yes I think the best POTUS are the ones with no obvious ideology, the office has become too polarized IMHO.

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23 hours ago, vcczar said:

I'm wondering what you like about Cleveland? Except for his belief in a merit-system for lower governmental system, over patronage and his anti-Imperialism, I think there is very little to like about him, if one has progressive tendencies. 

Thanks for asking! Isn't the anti-imperialism enough? Seriously, this is a guy who was offered an invasion of Hawaii, thePhilippines and elsewhere and said no. That gets big marks in y book. Plus, he was probably the last president aside from Teddy to be specifically pro-SMALL business as opposed to elite corporatism and massive governments.

Your comment about how ol' Grover'd probably be a Liberterian is also interesting, though these 19th century guys with their racist attitudes often surprise. But hey, if you gotta be a capitalist, the least you can do is be libertarian about it. (Hell, the dude one had to "limit" himself to thee liters of beer a day during a campaign. He'd better be mellow on stoners, gamblers and such.)

Bonus points too for Frances Cleveland, who dropped one of the finest bits of trash talk ever delivered in the White House when she told incoming first Lad Caroline Lavinia Harrison not to change too much of the decor because "we are coming back just four years from today." Ouch.

Finally, i totally dig playing Cleveland in President Infinity. He's the only prez except FDR to win the popular vote three times consecutively!

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1 hour ago, Take Me to La Riva said:

Thanks for asking! Isn't the anti-imperialism enough? Seriously, this is a guy who was offered an invasion of Hawaii, thePhilippines and elsewhere and said no. That gets big marks in y book. Plus, he was probably the last president aside from Teddy to be specifically pro-SMALL business as opposed to elite corporatism and massive governments.

Your comment about how ol' Grover'd probably be a Liberterian is also interesting, though these 19th century guys with their racist attitudes often surprise. But hey, if you gotta be a capitalist, the least you can do is be libertarian about it. (Hell, the dude one had to "limit" himself to thee liters of beer a day during a campaign. He'd better be mellow on stoners, gamblers and such.)

Bonus points too for Frances Cleveland, who dropped one of the finest bits of trash talk ever delivered in the White House when she told incoming first Lad Caroline Lavinia Harrison not to change too much of the decor because "we are coming back just four years from today." Ouch.

Finally, i totally dig playing Cleveland in President Infinity. He's the only prez except FDR to win the popular vote three times consecutively!

I'm especially in support of his acceptance of the ILLEGAL offer of annexation by an ILLGITIMATE, UNREPRESENTATIVE government of Hawaii that blatantly toppled a modern, politically-developed constitutional monarchy that the US government not only fully recognized but had a treaty obligation to, if not directly defend, not to support enemies of ("enemies" of which SHOULD have included Sanford Dole and his usurpers), as did the British, French, Russians, and Germans. This made McKinley the "black market fence of a stolen nation" instead.

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