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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12949/our-greatest-presidents/

Our Greatest Presidents?

June 11, 2010 by

In the 1940s and early ’50s, a school of establishment historians existed who made it their business to extol the virtues of the “Great Presidents.” This was a childishly transparent attempt to turn a bit of left-liberal politicking into the verdict of history. FULL ARTICLE by Ralph Raico

{ 19 comments }

mrlazare June 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

Withering despite its age. Professor Raico sure can write a nice polemic. More! More!

Seattle June 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

But what is the use? Commager’s out-of-date nonsense, masquerading as historical wisdom, is what they are going to teach little children in the government’s schools.

Thank goodness for state incompetence! How much worse off would the public’s perception of history be if they actually remembered this crap?

JAlanKatz June 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

Interestingly, Commager tells us first that the “side of the people” is enlarged government. Then he tells us that Presidents who believe it right to enlarge the government have to deal with a loss of popularity to do it. Hmm.

Seattle June 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

Obviously, the “side of the people” is whatever the people don’t want! Hitler wasn’t slaughtering people in the camps, he was graciously serving a bunch of ungrateful louts.

Sword of Damocles June 11, 2010 at 10:41 am

They do what they can to patch things over — old pimps to an old whore dressed up as history.

Come on Mr. Raico, don’t hold back. Tell us what you REALLY think!

LOL – I love that line.

L8r,
SOD

Sean A June 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm

“Our Greatest President”
Far and away, it is William Henry Harrison

Peter June 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm

‘cos he had the good grace to drop dead, you mean? Amen

Gil June 12, 2010 at 12:46 am

Maybe that could be an idea for Ron Paul to become President: renovate the faces (with the possible exception of Jefferson) and replace them with Libetarian icons such Mises, Rothbard, Rand, Hayek, etc.?

Franklin June 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

“… renovate the faces (with the possible exception of Jefferson) and replace them with Libertarian icons…”

Or better yet, since it’s not private property, let the damn rock just weather into its natural forms and permutations.
The whole damn mountainside just gives me the creeps — an astonishing paradox, an inexplicable or, more appropriately, sadly explicable snub to the philosophy that every man is a king.

Gil June 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

But letting them fade away will take a few hundred thousand years.

Reasonsjester June 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Good point, Franklin. Mt. Rushmore is our American Ozymandias.

Gil June 13, 2010 at 4:24 am

Or at least dynamite the faces off (except maybe Jefferson) so the other three Presidents will be forgotten with enough time?

Reasonsjester June 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm

FDR was one of the most contemptible louts to ever sit in the Oval Office’s throne. As far as mythologized scoundrels in American history go, I rate him there with Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson as among the worst.

Eric June 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Then you know nothing about FDR. It’s amazing how people such as yourself could be so arrogant, to think you would’ve been so much better than FDR. That’s the problem with you libertarians, you can’t get past the theories. You have good ideas economically but are so nieve in other areas (i.e. national defense and America’s involvment in WW2). Spouting off junk like this is why your party is not taken seriously and why many conservatives write you off as a bunch of fools. FDR was a great president for the times. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Vanmind June 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Don’t you mean “Socialist scheming pays off with bloodthirsty mass robbery?”

Telpeurion June 13, 2010 at 2:01 am

Reasonjester, you forgot Henry Clay.

Dick Fox June 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

I see nothing wrong with rating our presidents. I see all kinds of things wrong with allowing socialists and fascists to define a good president. I appreciate Raico’s comments but it is just more of the same, condemn the left for writing positive things about the abuse of power but never writing anything about the proper use of power.

Our top five great presidents:

1. George Washington – He defined the presidency. He was a leader not a ruler. He was the most powerful influence on preventing monarchy in the US.

2. James Madison – Madison, considered the Father of the Constitution, defined our government through his vetos. In only a few words he gave us the definition of limited government.

3. Grover Clevland – He vetoed spending bills at hid own political peril echoing the vetos of Madison recognizing that the peoposed spending was unconstitutional. He pulled the country out of recession by maintaining a sound currency backed by gold and he lowered trade barriers.

4. Ronald Reagan – He was the only president since the Great Depression to reduce the regulatory pages in the Federal Register (Milton Friedman), he simplified and reversed the hugely destructive progressive income tax, he worked to stabilize the currency and move back toward a gold standard, though he failed to implement it, and he lowered trade barriers.

5. Barak Obama – This is just a joke. When I went back over the presidents I could really only find 4 I could actually support.

steve June 14, 2010 at 4:57 am

“…he worked to stabilize the currency and move back toward a gold standard, though he failed to implement it, and he lowered trade barriers”

Do you know anywhere this is written about in more detail please?

Daniel June 14, 2010 at 5:08 am

You could easily include Martin Van Buren

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