45 DONALD TRUMP 2017-2025
Fed up with 28 years of Bushes, Clintons & Obamas, I determined never to vote again and threw away my voter card. When billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump pulled me back into it, I voted in a primary for the first time. Trump is a truth-teller with the courage to say what others think. After getting the Republican nomination, he got 306 electoral votes to become president. Trump vowed to make America great again and signed 20 executive orders his first 10 days in office. They were aimed at cutting regulations, restructuring Homeland Security, defeating Islamic terrorism, suspending the refugee program, deporting illegals, strengthening the military, helping veterans, reviving the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, replacing Obamacare, cutting off federal funds for groups that perform abortions & withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Donald John Trump was born in Queens, New York City, June 14, 1946. He became a builder in Manhattan. His father loaned him a million dollars, which he turned into a ten billion dollar empire. He headed the Trump Organization, which erected buildings like Trump Tower. Trump owns golf courses and has authored best-selling books like "The Art of the Deal." He is media-savvy and had a TV show called "The Apprentice." Trump has 5 kids: 3 sons and 2 daughters by 3 wives. His wives are Ivana, Marla & Melania. Melania was born in Yugoslavia in 1970. Donald Trump announced on June 16, 2015, that he was running for president of the United States.
Democrats, the liberal media and members of his own party opposed him, but Trump overcame all opposition to win the 2016 presidential election. A businessman who had never held political office, Trump was elected because Americans were fed up with being called "racists," "sexists" & "homophobes." "I am your voice!" he assured his supporters. The more controversial Trump's remarks became, the more his support grew. Trump connected with voters on such issues as trade, immigration & the military. He reached out to working people, not the talking heads in suits. He called his campaign a "movement," and that is what it was.
Donald Trump chose Mike Pence as his vice president. His main cabinet members are Attorney General Matt Whitaker, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Defense James Mattis & Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie. Trump nominated conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court with the goal of stopping activist judges from legislating from the bench. The so-called "nuclear option" was employed, and the Senate confirmed Gorsuch 55-45. Gorsuch restored the 5-4 conservative tilt on the bench. The Court needs to overturn Roe v. Wade. Pledging to drain the swamp, Trump fired FBI director James Comey and wants to return education to the local level.
It is America first! Trump is replacing the globalism of recent decades with a new nationalism. He is picking up where Ronald Reagan left off. Trump is a builder and is encouraging companies to bring jobs back to the United States. We need to rebuild our infrastructure: roads, bridges & airports. Trump insists on using steel made in the U.S. He wants to make things again.
In his first press conference, President Trump scolded the liberal media. Freedom of speech is one thing. Publishing lies and fake news is something else. CNN, NBC, the New York Times & USA Today have become biased extensions of the Democratic party. Fox is the only news outlet that can be trusted.
Democrats have become obstructionists. Hollywood and the music industry encouraged anarchy with radical activism. The United States was created by men from northern Europe for themselves and for their descendants. We should not forget this?
Trump met with Chinese president Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump's chief concerns were trade deficits with China and North Korea's nuclear program. Trump means to upgrade America's nuclear arsenal.
Presidential historians make a big deal out of the first 100 days, and President Trump has had a huge 100 days. Besides his executive orders and his appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump reasserted America's leadership in the world. He turned the military loose, bombing an airfield in Syria over the use of chemical weapons and dropping a MOAB on an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan. His main challenges are North Korea and Iran. Trump met with the Chinese president to elicit his support in dealing with Kim Jong-Un and North Korea. The unpredictable Kim made threats and wants nuclear weapons. It is up to the United States to see that he does not have them. Furthermore, Trump insists that our NATO allies pay their fair share.
President Trump signed an executive order that will lead to more drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. It is called "Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy."
"Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves," Trump said. "But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed. This deprives our country of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars." Trump means to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
His executive order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review locations available for offshore drilling. Drilling off North and South Carolina has been blocked for decades.
"This order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job creating energy exploration," Trump said. "It reverses the previous administration's Arctic leasing ban and directs Secretary Zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our Treasury and jobs to our workers."
Nikki Haley, our Ambassador to the United Nations, said America will tighten the screws on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who keeps testing missiles in pursuit of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear weapon. When Kim threatened an attack on Guam in August, 2017, Trump responded that the U.S. was "locked and loaded." Trump refuses to accept North Korea's nuclear efforts.
President Trump's first overseas trip included Saudi Arabia, Israel & Rome. He hit the centers of religion: Islam, Judaism & Christianity. His was a mission of peace.
In Saudi Arabia, Trump pledged to work with King Salman to bring peace to the Gulf region by strengthening economic ties. Trump and first lady Melania were greeted at the airport with a red carpet ceremony. Trump's speech was geared to stopping terrorism by cutting off its funding. He addressed the leaders of 50 Muslim countries.
“Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God,” Trump said.
In Israel, Trump declared that "Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon." He wants peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
In Rome, Mr. Trump met with Pope Francis. They discussed terrorism, the radicalization of young people and immigration. Peace was the theme, and the Pope gave Trump a medal.
On the 4th leg of his 9-day trip, President Trump lectured NATO allies in Brussels about not spending enough for their collective defense. In response to Trump’s criticism, NATO announced it would join the fight against ISIS.
President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. Climate change has gone on since the formation of planet Earth. It is likely that global warming is the result of the sun going through cycles: hotter, colder, hotter, colder. It also may be the result of a periodic stretching and shrinking of Earth's orbit. Trump recognizes that the Paris agreement was designed to redistribute wealth out of the U.S. Withdrawal represents a reassertion of American sovereignty. Trump said he has one obligation, and that obligation is to the American people.
The Supreme Court ruled that Trump can implement a travel ban against 6 Muslim countries: Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia & Yemen. The ban does not include Muslims with established ties to the U.S. I think all Muslims should be banned, and they should never have been allowed to enter our country in the first place. The Bushes made a mess with their wars in the Middle East. America is in bad shape with men marrying men and women marrying women. There have been 60 million abortions since 1973, a holocaust that dwarfs what was done to Jews during World War II. It is as if the white race is committing suicide. The United States was founded by white Protestants from northern Europe. They meant for their country to remain WASP in perpetuity. The idea of a half-breed Muslim president would have been repugnant to them. So would the subsequent invasion by the Third World.
President Trump signed 39 pieces of legislation even while fake news agencies failed to report on them. He also announced a plan to privatize the air traffic control system.
Trump made his second overseas trip in July, 2017, going to the G20 in Hamburg, Germany. The Group 20 is an organization of industrial countries founded for economic purposes.
In Warsaw, Poland, President Trump defended western values in a speech to thousands of Poles, vowing “the west will never be broken.” Trump said nations must have the will to protect their borders and preserve civilization from those who would destroy it. The crowd responded with applause and chants of “USA” and “Donald Trump.”
After the speech, Trump flew to Germany where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladamir Putin. Putin commented, “I'm delighted to be able to meet you personally, and I hope that our meeting will yield positive results.”
Donald Trump has a vision. He is keenly aware that America will celebrate its 250th year in 2026, the year after his second term in office.
Resistance from The Left is ongoing. The Left has become the today's Nazis. Democrats insist that Clinton lost the election because of Russian interference, which is totally ridiculous. The radical Left began destroying Civil War statues in the south, and when violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump said there was blame on both sides.
President Trump addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in September, 2017. Here are excerpts from his speech:
"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
We also thank the secretary general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security and prosperity. Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process.
The United States is one of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would be well worth it.
So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity and for the almighty God who made us all.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless the nations of the world. And God bless the United States of America."
President Trump's 13-day Asian trip in November, 2017, began in Hawaii. Before embarking on his first official visit to Asia, Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Pearl Harbor. The president and first lady paid a solemn visit to the USS Arizona Memorial, where they tossed flower petals into the water above the sunken battleship. From Hawaii, it was on to Japan, where Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe held a joint press conference in Tokyo. Here are some key quotes: On the North Korean regime: "The era of strategic patience is over." On the North Korean people: "As far as the North Korean people are concerned, I think these are great people under a very repressive regime, and I really think that ultimately, I can tell you this, I hope it all works out." On the trade deficit with China: "The problem we have with China is...it's been an unfair trade situation. Our trade deficit is massive. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars a year." First lady Melania spent the second day in Japan with her counterpart, Akie Abe. The 2 went to a school to meet with children. At the sight of the students assembled to greet her in the school's gymnasium, Melania's face lit up. She high-fived them and posed for a group photo, where she made a peace sign with her fingers. A Japanese calligraphy lesson was next, and the classroom erupted in applause as the 2 first ladies entered. "Beautiful characters," Melania said as she paused to watch the children make brush strokes. From Japan, it was on to South Korea, where Trump concluded his speech to a standing ovation from every member of South Korea's parliament. Trump warned that aggressive action by North Korea would be a fatal miscalculation.
In China. Donald Trump met with Chinese president Xi Jinping. Xi announced that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He also announced that China and the U.S. have signed business deals worth more than $250 billion. President Trump and Melania enjoyed an opera in the city of Beijing. The Asian tour concluded with stops in Vietnam and the Philippines.
President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address, January 30, 2018. He said the state of the union is strong because our people our strong. 2.4 million new jobs have been created, and unemployment is at a 45-year low. The stock market is breaking records. The biggest tax cut in American history has been enacted, meaning more take home pay. The president spoke of a new American movement in which we can achieve absolutely anything. Our motto is "In God we trust," and Trump stressed the importance of the flag and standing for our National Anthem. He talked about helping veterans, appointing judges, eliminating regulations & making Washington accountable. He said the war on coal has ended and car companies are coming back. We are getting our wealth back. We are protecting American workers and rebuilding our roads and waterways. Trump wants 1.5 trillion dollars for modern infrastructure to reclaim our building heritage. Trump spoke of a new optimism, making America great again. He called for unity and common ground. The progress made in his first year as president is extraordinary. There is job training with paid family leave. Gang members are being rounded up, and Trump outlined an immigration reform package. He is for giving citizenship to 1.8 million people brought here illegally by their parents. In return, the border must be secured, and that means a wall must be built. Trump wants a merit-based immigration system. It is time to reform! America first! We need to stop the drug epidemic and fund our military, rebuild and modernize our nuclear arsenal. Terrorists are enemy combatants need to be treated as such. Trump finished his speech by talking about North Korea and the nuclear threat.
March, 2018, President Trump signed proclamations imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Canada and Mexico are excluded pending the renegotiation of NAFTA. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross supported Trump's decision.
“A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad,” the president said. “When it comes time where our country can’t make aluminum and steel, you almost don’t have much of a country.” Trump's purpose is to stop unfair trade practices.
Trump appointed Gina Haspel as the first-ever female director of the CIA.
In April, 2018, President Trump signed a proclamation to send the National Guard to the southern border in response to the flow of drugs. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said it would be done with the cooperation of governors.
In May, 2018, President Trump announced the United States will exit the Iran nuclear deal. He said it was a one-sided deal that never should have been made. He said that Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. Sanctions will be re-imposed.
In June, 2018, President Trump met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. This historic summit took place in Singapore. Trump is calling for an end to military drills on the peninsula and says he will bring the 30,000 US troops home.
"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should," Trump said. "But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money."
Kim has agreed to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program and to return US military remains from the Korean War. In all honesty, going into Korea in 1950 was not justified. The Koreans are one people and should not have been divided. The goal now is to come up with a treaty that officially ends the Korean War. At some point in the future, North and South Korea may merge to become one nation, although that is a long way off.
The Supreme Court finally upheld Trump's travel ban, voting 5-4 to limit travel to the U.S. from Muslim countries which support terrorism. The president called the ruling a victory for the American people. The Supreme Court also dealt a blow to unions, ruling against forced fees for government workers. Chief Justice Gorsuch is doing his job.
President Trump and Vladimir Putin of Russia met in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018, with Trump opening the door to cooperation, Both leaders called the summit a success, vowing to improve ties. “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics,” Trump said.
Trump renegotiated NAFTA, the bad trade deal with Mexico and Canada, calling the deal the USMCA trade agreement. Trump is a master at making deals.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Pennsylvania, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. 40 passengers and crew went down on United Flight 93 near Shanksville while thwarting an attempt by hijackers to fly the plane into the Capitol Building in D.C. Trump made an amazing speech, focusing on the heroes whose lives were lost. The site is now a National Memorial.
Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, declaring his loyalty to the Constitution. Kavanaugh was confirmed despite protests by the Left. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch give President Trump 2 Justices on our nation's highest Court. John Roberts, Samuel Alito & Clarence Thomas are also conservative.
Senators finally voted on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, ending the partisan feuding marked by allegations of sexual misconduct and emotional denials from the nominee.
Leftist radicals acted like lunatics but in the end, the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh 50-48, making him the 114th Supreme Court Justice.
Kavanaugh's confirmation is a major victory for President Trump, who has a chance to create a conservative majority on the bench for decades.
As the 2018 midterm elections drew near, President Trump began campaigning in states where Republicans were running for Congress. Historically, the party that wins the White House tends to do poorly in the midterms. It is because the president is not on the ballot and people do not vote. Trump traveled from state to state holding MAGA rallies for Republican candidates. The rallies were packed, and his strategy paid off. Trump is part comedian and very entertaining. He knew Republicans had to maintain their majority in the Senate to advance his agenda.
The 2018 midterms were touted as the most important midterms in our lives, and I voted in them for the first time. President Trump barnstormed the country supporting Republican candidates.
There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives. To have the majority and the Speaker of the House, Republicans needed to win 218 seats. As was expected, Democrats won the House. Fortunately, Republicans made gains in the Senate. With a clear majority of 53 to 47, Trump will continue to shape the federal judiciary. It will also be easy for to get cabinet secretaries confirmed.
As of November, 2018, the Senate had confirmed 84 Article III judges nominated by President Trump, including 2 Associate Justices on the Supreme Court, 29 judges for U.S. Courts of Appeals & 53 judges for U.S. District Courts.
I keep saying Republicans are like Democrats used to be and Democrats are over the edge. The 117th Congress will be sworn in, in January 2019.
President Trump asked for Jeff Session's resignation and got it. Matt Whitaker became acting AG.Trump needs an Attorney General who will put an end to the Mueller investigation. There was never any Russian collusion.
A caravan from Central America headed toward the United States. President Trump vowed it would not enter the U.S. and sent the military to the southern border. Tear gas was used when the mob became violent. This is not immigration, legal or otherwise. It is an invasion. I would gun them down.
9/11 changed everything. It caused the U.S. to send its young men to ungodly places like Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result, there has been a Third World invasion of America. Together with legalized abortion, civil rights & an obsession with space, whites are losing control of their own country. To spell out what has happened is to be called a racist. I would bring our troops home to their wives and girl friends. Let them defend their own country.
Trump is a popular president. In less than 2 years, there are 4 1/2 million new jobs. The economy is booming. Unemployment is at a 49-year-low.
Trump and Melania flew to Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.
44 BARACK OBAMA 2009-2017
A white woman from Kansas had sex with an African, and their offspring was elected president. Obama made no secret of wanting to fundamentally transform America. What he meant is that he wanted to put black men ahead of white men and relegate America to Third World status. He never backed down! The question became: "Do whites want their descendants to be ruled by blacks?" Under Obama, the Supreme Court made "homosexual marriage" legal and, suddenly, men were marrying men and women were marrying women. Republicans offered little or no resistance for fear of being called "racists" and "homophobes." The National debt soared to $20 trillion as Islamic terrorists went wild.
43 GEORGE W. BUSH 2001-09
The way it was supposed to be and the way it turned out were 2 different things. The idea was to take the war to the desert, to use our military as a magnet to attract terrorists and defeat them there. Saddam Hussein was captured and hung but with a cost of 5000 American lives and thousands injured. If W had viewed the Iraq War as retaliation for 9/11, things might have made sense. Instead, he stressed the Iraqi people and their "liberation." I wondered if "regime change" was revenge for Saddam's threats on W's dad. Ultimately, it became clear that W overextended. If he had been satisfied with Afghanistan, Bin Laden might have been killed earlier. After all, it was Bin Laden behind the attacks on the World Trade Center, not Saddam. Saddam's weapons of mass destruction turned out to be a myth, as neighboring Iran became a nuclear threat. W alienated voters to the point that they elected a black radical to succeed him. It is unthinkable that America would elect a half-breed Muslim whose last name rhymes with Osama and whose middle name is Hussein, but it happened! It demonstrates the extent to which voters turned against Bush 43. Indeed, he was the president of the rich and implemented tax cuts to help his oil buddies. The price of gas tripled under Bush. Moreover, he wanted to privatize Social Security, which would have turned it into something else. Social Security as a government program stemmed from the FDR era and was a response to the Great Depression. It is not a pension fund! It is a safety net for the aged and disabled. Bush appointed judges to the Supreme Court who had the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade if they had wanted to. Over 60 million babies have been aborted since 1973 in an American Holocaust. We are drifting toward national suicide. It was the same old thing, however, Republicans promising action until they take office. Bush left behind a terrible mess! 12 million Hispanics invaded from the south while American troops languished in Muslim territories. The financial industry went reeling, and the auto industry went bankrupt The federal government was taken over by a half-breed and his gang of radicals. W's infatuation with Obama's wife was more then bizarre.
42 BILL CLINTON 1993-2001
Republicans blamed Clinton for 9/11, saying he cut the military and weakened the intelligence community. It is just as valid to say the Republicans weakened the country by impeaching Clinton and trying to destroy his presidency. We have reached a point where each party puts itself ahead of the country. Reflecting on the Clinton presidency, it is hard to think of anything he did. He did keep the peace. He said his goal was to have no major wars. In retrospect, his 8 years were a series of scandals from Gennifer Flowers to Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky. Clinton knew that if he hung on, the impeachment process would exhaust itself. The country did not need another Watergate nor a second president resigning. One thing about Clinton, he had charm! His womanizing ruined Al Gore.
41 GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH 1989-93
"Read my lips!" the elder Bush said when he promised no tax increase. When taxes were raised, David Duke said he really meant, "Kiss my hips!" The door opened for a stampede on the Oval Office from Pat Buchanan to Ross Perot. Perot was an eccentric billionaire. "You want jobs? Here's the deal!" He got scared he would win and dropped out, then re-entered to get 19% of the vote. The legacy of Bush 41 was his war with Saddam Hussein. When Saddam invaded oil-rich Kuwait, Bush put together a coalition and drove him out, claiming it was not about oil. Of course, if it was not about oil, it was about nothing! Americans do not care about Kuwait or Iraq. They care about putting food on the table and getting home to their wives and kids. Bush made enemies across the Muslim world.
40 RONALD REAGAN 1981-89
Ronald Reagan was the first successful president since Eisenhower. He got credit for winning the Cold War: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Indeed, the Berlin Wall came down shortly after Reagan left office. East and West Germany united, and the Soviet Union dissolved. Reagan was as popular when he left office as when he came in. He was a Democrat in his young days, and his vision of America appealed to many. He saw America as a shining city on a hill. He was a movie star! His humor was infectious. When he took a bullet in an assassination attempt, he joked that he forgot to duck. The attempt on Reagan's life slowed him down. He criticized Roe v. Wade during his campaign but rarely spoke of it later. Reagan replaced the Veterans Administration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. All presidents are human, and Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's in his final years. He was my dad's president, calling Vietnam a "moral cause." Without the assassination attempt, I doubt that he would have made Martin Luther King's birthday a federal holiday.
39 JIMMY CARTER 1977-81
"I'll never lie to you," Jimmy Carter promised in the wake of Watergate. The peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, was the antithesis of Richard Nixon. He was honest and naive. In an interview with Playboy Magazine, he admitted that he had "lusted in his heart." After his "malaise speech," people perceived him as weak. The Iranian hostage crisis sealed it. The Ayatollah rendered him helpless and opened the door for Ronald Reagan. I saw Carter speak in Nashville in the fall of 1978. I was at a wax museum the following spring, and his figure resembled Howdy Doody. Carter was a young man when he left office, fated to spend the rest of his life proving himself.
38 GERALD FORD 1974-77
Ford is our longest living president at 93, outliving Reagan by 46 days. He became president without a single vote. Nixon put him in office as someone who would grant him a pardon. Ford became known for his clumsiness, tripping and bumping his head at every opportunity. He put his foot in his mouth in the debate with Jimmy Carter when he said Poland was not dominated by the Soviet Union.
37 RICHARD NIXON 1969-1974
Nixon had a dark side! His Checkers speech in 1952, in which he used a dog as a prop, should have alerted Americans to his character. His loss to Kennedy in 1960, left him with an inferiority complex. Nixon hated the Kennedys and would never have been president if JFK had not been assassinated. Nixon was not all bad! He stood up to Khrushchev, opened up China & ended the Vietnam War even if it took him 4 years to do so. He was loyal to a fault. He denied knowledge of the burglary at Democratic Headquarters inside the Watergate Hotel, and it brought him down. Nixon and Watergate are synonymous! He became the only president to resign after impeachment proceedings had begun. Had he stood his ground, he would not have been put out of office.
36 LYNDON JOHNSON 1963-69
Lyndon Johnson was destroyed by his obsession with Vietnam. He was an anomaly from the day he succeeded Kennedy. In light of the assassination, Johnson felt compelled to do something and used the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the Domino Theory to send combat troops to Vietnam in March, 1965, under the pretext of containing Communism. Communism was a legacy of the 19th century political and economic ideas of Karl Marx. Marx's Utopia was a place where the State controlled everything. His ideas failed in Germany, but took hold in Russia under Lenin and in China under Mao. The United Stated prevented South Korea from going Communist, and Johnson vowed to do the same in South Vietnam. 59,000 Americans died! Public opinion finally turned against the war with hippies and peace advocates demanding an end. Johnson broke! He came on TV and announced that he would not seek re-election. His great society had become a sick society! Communism was never the threat it was perceived to be. It is as much a result of poverty as anything. Its systems view themselves as socialists, not as pieces of an evil empire. Socialism's failure is its devotion to ideology and militarism. Work is always the solution: developing agriculture, industry & commerce. There lies prosperity!
35 JOHN KENNEDY 1961-63
The 1960 election was one of the closest. Kennedy was Catholic, and many voters were against him for that reason. Kennedy's critics still question whether the Vietnam War would have been fought had Nixon won. It may not have been! On the other hand, there may have been a nuclear war. No way to know. Kennedy is remembered for his moon speech to Congress in 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth." In 1962, Kennedy stood up to Khrushchev over Cuba. The U.S. could not tolerate Soviet missiles 100 miles off the coast of Florida. John Kennedy and First Lady Jackie brought an elegance to the White House emulated by successors Ronald and Nancy Reagan and again by Donald and Melania Trump. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963 is something America still deals with. Like Pearl Harbor before it and 9/11 after it. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he assassinated Kennedy. Conspiracy theories are wrong. Oswald was a loner and a misfit. He shot Kennedy from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository as the motorcade passed below. He hid in a theater but was quickly apprehended. Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald, claiming he did it out of sympathy for Jackie.
34 DWIGHT EISENHOWER 1953-61
Being the big General in Europe during World War II was enough to get Eisenhower 2 terms as president. He played golf while the nation built bomb shelters. Grade-schoolers ducked under their desks as if they would shield them from hydrogen bombs. Elvis Presley fathered modern music and ushered in the Sexual Revolution. Eisenhower's chief contribution was the Interstate Highway System. It changed everything! Odd numbers like I-65 run north and south. Even numbers like I-40 run east and west. Eisenhower sent federal troops to integrate an Arkansas high school in 1957. Long-term results have been disastrous.
33 HARRY TRUMAN 1945-53
Truman dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. He did what he had to do and what had to be done to end the worst war in history. He was essentially carrying out the policies of Roosevelt, who died in office. Truman passed the buck when he sent troops to Korea to "contain communism." He fired General Douglas MacArthur, who wanted to nuke China. Limited war as policy led to Vietnam. Korea remains a problem! Peaceful reunification is the best solution.
32 FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT 1933-45
The New Deal, Social Security & World War II. FDR was the most influential president of the 20th century despite being a polio victim with braces on his legs. Perhaps America needed such a leader to make it through the Depression and the war with Germany and Japan. I have seen the video of FDR addressing Congress following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: "December 7, 1941, a day which will live in infamy!" Americans volunteered for military service in droves. They fought the Japanese island by island. Army engineers built the Alaska Highway, stretching from Dawson Creek, Canada to Fairbanks. After Pearl Harbor, the fear was that Japan might take Alaska. The Japs bombed 2 of the Aleutian Islands. Roosevelt was president the same years Adolf Hitler was in power in Germany: 1933-45. Roosevelt and his staunch ally, Winston Churchill, proved tougher than Hitler. Roosevelt was elected 4 times as there was no 2-term limit. His archrival, Hitler, was born in the Austrian town of Braunau in 1889. In his youth, Hitler wanted to be an artist. He struggled in Vienna, and it was there that he came to distrust Jews and Communists. He believed in an Aryan master race. Hitler fought Britain in World War I. He joined the Nazi Party and went to prison after a failed coup. He dictated Mein Kampf (My Struggles) to Rudolf Hess while in prison. After his release, Hitler reorganized the Nazi Party and surrounded himself with men like Himmler, Goebbels & Goering. Hitler became chancellor in 1933. World War II began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. Germany occupied France, bombed London & invaded Russia. The United States entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Americans landed at Normandy Beach on the coast of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. They drove the Germans back. They met their Russian allies, who poured in from the east. Hitler and his companion, Eva Braun, committed suicide. It came to light that 6 million Jews had been exterminated in what is called the "Holocaust." America helped to rebuild Europe with the Marshall plan. The time has come for the United States to put itself first. If the U.S. is going to police the world, the world must pay for that protection. Police do not work for free! Government is about money and war. Too often, it is a gang of thugs terrorizing its own people. Government should serve. Its least oppressive form is democratic, not totalitarian, neither fascist nor communist! Government needs to encourage agriculture and facilitate transportation and communication. It needs to foster education, promote the arts and sciences & care for the aged and disabled.
31 HERBERT HOOVER 1929-33
Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression. He had problems with the Federal Reserve and the New York Stock Exchange. The stock market crashed 7 months into his term. By 1932, 12 million were out of work. The good thing to come from his presidency was Hoover Dam, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. This hydroelectric dam harnesses the Colorado River and produces electricity for Nevada, Arizona & California. There was controversy about the dam's name. Democrats wanted it called Boulder Dam because originally it was to be built across Boulder Canyon.
30 CALVIN COOLIDGE 1923-29
Coolidge took over when Harding died. He said, "The chief business of the American people is business," and the United States prospered during the Roaring 20s! While visiting Mount Rushmore, Coolidge delivered another famous quote: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928." His son's death was a factor.
29 WARREN G. HARDING 1921-23
Harding was the first president to visit Alaska. He was a Republican and a member of the Ku Klux Klan at a time when the Klan had many members. He favored pro-business policies and died in office.
28 WOODROW WILSON 1913-21
Wilson was a modern president in that he argued America should enter World War I to make the world safe for democracy. His ambitious agenda included the establishment of the Federal Reserve. After the war, he politicked for the League of Nations. The Senate rejected U.S. membership, but Wilson got the Nobel Peace Prize. Woodrow Wilson is the only president to have a Ph.D.
27 WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT 1909-13
Taft weighed 300 pounds! He hated being president and later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Presidents are normally buried in their home states. 2 are buried in Arlington National Cemetery: Kennedy and Taft.
26 THEODORE ROOSEVELT 1901-09
The man who said "Speak softly and carry a big stick" was a Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War. TR broadened executive power and pursued an aggressive foreign policy. He began the Panama Canal. Sickly as a child, ranching in South Dakota restored his health and taught him respect for natural resources. He designated 5 National Parks, 18 National Monuments & 150 National Forests. His face is on Mount Rushmore.
25 WILLIAM MCKINLEY 1897-1901
America emerged as a world power! After the Civil War, the idea spread that it was better to fight abroad. America fought the Spanish-American War under McKinley, and Puerto Rico, Cuba & the Philippines were freed from Spain. Hawaii was annexed! Alaska's highest mountain and the highest in North America is named after McKinley, although the state of Alaska calls it by its Indian name: Denali. McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist named Leon Franz Czolgosz.
24 GROVER CLEVELAND 1893-97
The only president to serve 2 non-consecutive terms and the only one whose wedding took place in the White House. Cleveland and his young bride stayed together until his death. The Baby Ruth candy bar was named after their daughter, not Babe Ruth. Because Cleveland is counted twice, Donald Trump is really the 44th president.
23 BENJAMIN HARRISON 1889-93
The grandson of Tippecanoe and the man who split Cleveland's 2 terms.
22 GROVER CLEVELAND 1885-89
Cleveland was known for his honesty and admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock. At 49, he married 21-year-old Frances.
21 CHESTER ARTHUR 1881-85
Chester Arthur took charge when Garfield was killed. He signed a bill making Washington's birthday a federal holiday. It was during Arthur's term that the Prime Meridian and the International Date Line were established.
20 JAMES GARFIELD 1881
Assassinated in his first year in office, Garfield brought integrity to the presidency. Johnny Cash had a song: "Mr. Garfield's been shot down."
19 Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-81
With Grant out of office and the withdrawal of Union troops from the south, modern America began to take shape.
18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869-77
Grant accepted Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, to end the Civil War. There were no treason trials. Grant was known for his drinking. His image is on the $50 bill.
17 Andrew Johnson 1865-69
For a southern Democrat and a believer in states rights, being president was a tough job after the Lincoln assassination. When Johnson opposed Reconstruction plans, the House impeached him. He was acquitted by one vote. When his Secretary of State, William H. Seward, negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000, an American flag was raised in Sitka. Andrew Johnson and I have the same birthday: December 29.
16 Abraham Lincoln 1861-65
I had a teacher in college who spent a whole semester on the Civil War. We were supposed to go from the Civil War to the present. She taught what she knew. I always felt that if Lincoln was a great president he would have held the country together. He would have found a way to prevent north and south from fighting. Slavery had to go. Africans never should have been brought to America in the first place. Whites did not need slaves! I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and my son was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky remained in the Union, while Tennessee was part of the Confederacy. I have driven between Louisville and Nashville over 40 years. It is my "tale of 2 cities," and I am conscious of an invisible line between the 2. Louisville looks north to Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Chicago. Nashville looks south to Atlanta and New Orleans. George W. Bush identified with Lincoln as a fellow president who was tested. Presidents stick together! It is an exclusive club, and they rarely criticize one another. I rank Lincoln last because even a terrible president might have prevented the Civil War.
15 James Buchanan 1857-61
The president leading up to the Civil War could not cope with secession. He was happy to leave the White House and go home.
14 Franklin Pierce 1853-57
Among the forgotten presidents, Pierce was a general in the Mexican War. He had pro-Confederate sympathies.
13 Millard Fillmore 1850-53
Fillmore became president when Zachary Taylor died. He belonged to the Whig Party.
12 Zachary Taylor 1849-50
Old Rough and Ready grew up in Kentucky. He died in office and is buried in Louisville.
11 James K. Polk 1845-49
James K. Polk is our most underrated president! He championed the idea of manifest destiny, believing the United States was destined to own all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Texas was annexed, and the Mexican War was fought. The resulting treaty added California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon & Washington state. The U.S. stretched from sea to shining sea! Polk achieved what he wanted and decided not to seek a second term. Karen and I visited his home in Columbia, Tennessee, on June 20, 2017. A young woman gave us a tour with an informative lecture. They sure knew how to build furniture in those days! Several points stuck. Polk and Andrew Jackson were friends. In fact, Polk was known as "Young Hickory." Polk defeated Henry Clay in the election of 1844, and died from cholera 3 months after leaving office.
10 John Tyler 1841-45
Tyler was Harrison's vice-president and took over when he died. Tippecanoe and Tyler too!
9 William Henry Harrison 1841
Harrison was called Tippecanoe because he fought Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He died of pneumonia after a month in office.
8 Martin Van Buren 1837-41
Presidents in the years before the Civil War are not well-known. It is not a good thing to be associated with slavery. Van Buren was of Dutch descent.
7 ANDREW JACKSON 1829-37
Jackson was so popular that Jacksonian Democracy is still mentioned today. He was an Indian fighter and a hero. He defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, putting to rest any ideas Britain had of regaining power in America. Jackson's home in Nashville, called The Hermitage, has been a museum since 1889. I worked in the Andrew Jackson Building downtown while working for the State of Tennessee. The equestrian statues of Jackson are in Nashville, New Orleans & Washington, D.C. I rate Jackson #3 despite a tendency to misjudge him by the Trail of Tears story.
6 JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 1825-29
He was the only president's son to hold the office until George W. Bush. Adams was Secretary of State under Monroe and instrumental in obtaining Florida.
5 JAMES MONROE 1817-25
The Monroe Doctrine warned Europe to stay out of the Western Hemisphere. Monroe’s presidency was known as the “Era of Good Feelings" as the United States gained confidence from the War of 1812. Monroe purchased Florida from Spain.
4 JAMES MADISON 1809-17
Madison is the father of the Constitution. He wrote the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 Amendments. The first Amendment guarantees free speech. Madison was president during the War of 1812 and fled When the British burned the White House. Dolley Madison was a popular First Lady.
3 THOMAS JEFFERSON 1801-09
Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. As president, he made the Louisiana Purchase and sent Lewis and Clark to open the west. They left St. Louis and headed up the Missouri River, taking on an interpreter named Charbonneau and his Indian wife, Sacagawea. It took 3 years to reach the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson was a scientist and a product of the Enlightenment.
2 JOHN ADAMS 1797-1801
Washington's vice-president built the White House. He believed in a strong central government and thought of himself as an aristocrat. He maintained that he had the right to deport foreigners and prosecute critics. Adams helped Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence.
1 GEORGE WASHINGTON 1789-97
Washington's birthday, February 22, should be a federal holiday. President's Day is meaningless. After 9/11, it is clear that there are people in the world who hate the United States and would destroy it if they could. We need to look to our roots. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security was a step. The reinstatement of Washington's birthday as a holiday would be another step. It took guts to break with Great Britain in the late 18th century. Britain owned the 13 colonies. Americans were British subjects. The American Revolution lasted 6 years, ending when Cornwallis surrendered. The United Stated became a nation in 1776, and the Electoral College elected George Washington as its president. Washington was from a family of Virginia planters. He believed in westward expansion and warned against extremism in political parties.