Modern American presidents such as Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan rank among the best leaders in American history, while Donald Trump is closer to the bottom, according to the latest poll of presidential historians.
The five highest-ranking presidents according to the survey c-callThey were Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower is. The bottom five include William Henry Harrison, Donald Trump, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan.
What the presidents at the top of the list have in common is that they face the greatest challenges related to the survival of the nation. Lincoln presided over the Civil War and kept the country from falling apart. Washington, the first president of the United States, helped nurture a budding democracy by resigning after becoming king and serving as president. Franklin Roosevelt presided over the United States during World War II and Eisenhower negotiated the end of the Korean War.
“They were all presidents during important periods in American history,” says Cassandra Newby-Alexander, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of history at Norfolk State University, who participated in the survey. “And all of them, from John F. Kennedy (the eighth) to Abraham Lincoln (the first), formed an idealized vision of America.”
Presidents are judged on their performance in terms of their vision of the United States, public persuasion, leadership in crisis, economics, moral authority, foreign relations, administrative acumen, relations with Congress, the pursuit of equal justice, and the timing of their leadership Gone. Country.
Political scientist Robert Kaufman, a professor of public policy at Pepperdine University who also took part in the survey, says it’s important to distinguish between greatness and an effective president.
“In my opinion, not all highly effective presidents can be great, because greatness also depends on the magnitude of the challenge,” he says. “Theodore Roosevelt, in the early 20th century, and Bill Clinton, in the end, were dominant, but they never faced the kind of challenge that would make them great.”
The man at the bottom of the list, James Buchanan, is often ranked as one of America’s worst presidents. The refusal to favor slavery, sometimes with slave owners, is believed to have instigated division within the country prior to the Civil War.
Kaufman, a Republican, and Newby-Alexander both think Truman (the sixth) may be the least likely president. Both point to his fight for civil rights, while Kaufman also praised the 33rd president for “establishing successful architecture to win the Cold War”.
Overall, Newby-Alexander says, the survey results reflect a more traditional view.
“If you look at the average age of historians, they’re older, they’re white, and they’re male, so it’s really a lot of them taking a somewhat traditional view,” he says. . How tall Theodore Roosevelt (4th) and Woodrow Wilson (13th) qualified despite their well-established racist views and actions.
“Under his administration, we had the most concentrated lynchings that went unpunished than at any time in American history,” he says. ,[Wilson’s] Which strictly alienated the federal government. It didn’t exist before. He detached the navy. It didn’t exist before. They initiated a lot of regressive policies during a critical period in American history.”
The passage of time and gaining perspective changes the way we look at presidents. While Newby-Alexander thinks Reagan (Ninth) is overrated, specifically referring to his stance on apartheid (he vetoed the Comprehensive Apartheid Act, which imposed economic sanctions against South Africa in 1986), Kaufman said: Lists the reasons that he is the number one president of the U.S. 40 on the list.
“Winning the Cold War, restoring American economic prosperity rooted in Judeo-Christian values and optimism about America’s exceptionalism,” says Kaufman. “He understood a) what the Soviet threat was about, b) what we had to do to defeat it, and he left Bill Clinton with a very strong hand. In many ways, we were in the 1980s from the creation of Reagan. living off borrowed military capital, when he inherited an army.”
And while he says this may be an unpopular approach, Kaufman thinks Trump – now the 41st president out of 44 – will rise in future elections as well.
“I think over the years, the president will get credit, although the process has been jam-packed to bring to the table some issues that were long neglected: sovereignty, China in particular, and energy independence.” He says. “I think that China, which is the major foreign policy threat of our time, is, in my estimation, something for which Trump will get more credit, adequately, not by nature, than the one he now deserves. Will give in the remnants of the presidency.” ,
Newby-Alexander believes that history will judge Obama (10th) more favorably.
“I would have put Barack Obama under Abraham Lincoln because he not only succeeded in giving us an incredibly important health care initiative, even if it had many flaws, it was something the president has been trying to do for almost 100 years. were, and he succeeded,” she says. “Plus, he was the one who pulled us out of a crisis that was actually deeper than the Great Depression when the stock market crashed in 1929. What we experienced was with Franklin Roosevelt just before he took office. The behavior was worse than gone, and that was able to kick us out. And I think it’s wildly underestimated.”
The current president, Joe Biden, is not on the list and historians say it is too early to judge