To honor President's Day PJ rates the POTUSES of his lifetime on a level of realism and liberlism.
Since I was born in 1980 the year the Reagan was elected, I rely heavily on the history books to give my impression of his rule. If you spend anytime at all listening or watching right-wing political shows, you would think Reagan ruled the world with the constitution in one hand and the Bible in the other and all he had to do was merely raise one eyebrow and communists and terrorists would run for the hills. The reality is very different. A couple of things stand out to me about his Presidency and even the election leading up to him being sworn in. I will never forget hearing that Reagan actually negotiated the release of US prisoners in the Iran Hostage Conflict while still only a candidate. Many say this is only speculation, but it is no coincidence we saw the U.S. citizens released mere minutes after Reagan was sworn in as POTUS. What a way to start a new job! This along with his hard stance on Communism show Reagan was 70% Realist 30% Liberalist. He recognized that a hard stance was needed in political situations even if it might have led to placing “our boys” in harms way, but in the end he made sure he got the job done and that’ s what matters.
For many reasons I will lump Bush I and Bush II together. After 9/11, Bush II tried his hardest to complete the job his father failed to do in Iraq. This of course was removing Hussein from his thrown. In both presidencies it seemed these men did their hardest to rule like Reagan but when war actually resulted they didn’t know how to finish the job properly and our country was left with troops spread out across the entire Middle East and the real target, Osama Bin Laden, in a gated house in Pakistan with 27 women at his disposal. Not what I would call getting the job done. My father-in-law fought in the first Desert Storm war, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His impression of the Bushes is simple, “They had no F-ing idea how to finish the job!” History has shown that sometimes a war can bring a country out of a recession but the misguided Iraq War and terrorism fear mongering seemed to only pull our country deeper into it. For these reasons I feel the Bushes were some of the most selfish presidents our nation has seen and they will get marked with 90% selfishness and 10% Liberalist.
Clinton and Obama on the other hand both are the closest to even on liberalism and realism I think I have seen in my lifetime. I will give them both 45% realism and 55% liberalism. My reason for this is that they seem to understand the importance of the position better than the rest. Reagan was a great speaker, who can forget, “Tear down this wall Mr. Gorbachev,” but he dropped the ball on other issues like drug control. Nancy and her “Just Say No” t-shirts were really his only effort to stop the rampant drug trade, a lot of good that did. Clinton and Obama on the other hand, have the ability to be great speakers, show skills in dealing with our enemies in a peaceful manner, and at the same time know how to involve our country in an overseas conflict without terrorizing the citizens to the point we all sit and shake every time we enter a government building. This balance of skills place them both in an elite league over the others, and if either one of them had been a popular actor in the 1950’s (like Reagan); I am sure more closed-minded types would agree with me.