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10 most influential presidents
San Antonio Express-News ^ | 04/25/2010 | http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/tp/toppresidents.htm

Posted on 04/26/2010 8:27:26 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd

1. Abraham Lincoln

2. Franklin D. Roosevelt

3. George Washington

4. Thomas Jefferson

5. Andrew Jackson

6. Theodore Roosevelt

7. Woodrow Wilson

8. Harry S. Truman

9. James K. Polk

10. Dwight Eisenhower


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: uspresidents
From the link

Of the 43 men who have been president of the United States, there are some truly clear choices of who were the most important and influential presidents. There were also many who would never have made the list. My picks for the top ten influential presidents were based on their historical influence and their actions while in office. This was a tough list to create - especially once we move past the 7th president. If one more could be added it would be Ronald Reagan. He helped bring the Cold War to an end after years of struggle. He definitely gets an honorable mention for this list of influential presidents.

1. Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln saved the Union during the American Civil War. His leadership during the war was one of no compromise but at the same time understanding that he would eventually have to unite the states once the North won the war. His actions eventually led to the abolition of slavery across the United States.

2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Having won four terms as president, FDR was sure to have a huge impact on the United States. His leadership throughout World War II was key to our victory. Further, he worked tirelessly to end the Great Depression including the creation of numerous programs through his New Deal to help Americans get back on their feet.

3. George Washington As the first president, Washington couldn't help but set precedents that were followed by later presidents. His lack of a desire to be seen as a 'monarch' was an extremely important part of creating a citizen president. Also, the fact that he retired after two terms set a precedent only broken by Franklin Roosevelt. After Roosevelt's death, the two-term limit was added as the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.

4. Thomas Jefferson Through Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, the size of the United States doubled overnight. Jefferson was a strong states' rightest who also realized the need for consolidating power in the federal government in certain instances.

5. Andrew Jackson Jackson's election showed the rise of the common man. He was the first president elected from humble beginnings. His popularity was huge. Further, he was a strong nationalist who often made controversial decisions such as the removal of Native Americans east of the Mississippi. He was president during the 'Trail of Tears'. He also fought against the national bank.

6. Theodore Roosevelt TR was an extremely influential president. Not only did he earn the title of 'Trust Buster' as president by fighting against corrupt businesses, but he also was deeply committed to conservation. He established numerous national parks to preserve the wildlife that was quickly being overtaken through industrialization.

7. Woodrow Wilson Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements. He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

8. Harry S Truman Harry S Truman took over after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He made one of the hardest decisions in American History by deciding to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He presided over the end of World War II and set precedents for leadership during the beginning of the Cold War.

9. James K. Polk After Thomas Jefferson, James K. Polk increased the size of the United States more than any other president through the acquisition of California and New Mexico as a result of the Mexican-American War. He also claimed Oregon Territory after a treaty with England. He was a key figure in Manifest Destiny. He was also an extremely effective leader during the the Mexican-American War. He is considered to be the best one-term president.

10. Dwight Eisenhower During Eisenhower's time in office, America experienced a great amount of economic prosperity. Eisenhower also provided crucial leadership during the Cold War.

1 posted on 04/26/2010 8:27:26 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd

Wasn’t there some fella from CA not on that list that should have been?


2 posted on 04/26/2010 8:29:01 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: Responsibility2nd
I think it was this thread - maybe another - but many FReepers believe A. Lincoln was THE WORST US president our nation ever had.
 

 Jefferson vs Lincoln: America Must Choose
Tenth Amendment Center. ^ | 2010 | Josh Eboch

(over 1200 replies)

3 posted on 04/26/2010 8:30:54 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: jessduntno

they gave Ronald Reagan an “honorable mention”....sheesh.


4 posted on 04/26/2010 8:30:54 AM PDT by goodnesswins (The PLANTATION Party is at it again (the DEMS) ....trying to make slaves of everyone)
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To: goodnesswins

“they gave Ronald Reagan an “honorable mention”....sheesh.”

Welllllll...there they go again!


5 posted on 04/26/2010 8:31:35 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: jessduntno

Polk makes the list, even though he was fairly passive and just went along with whatever congress wanted, and Reagen doesn’t make the list at all. Polk, Truman and Ike are middle of the pack. Not bad, but not top ten material either.


6 posted on 04/26/2010 8:31:59 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

The poll did not suggest that the influence exerted by the presidents were beneficial or not.


7 posted on 04/26/2010 8:32:48 AM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
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To: Idabilly

ping.


8 posted on 04/26/2010 8:33:00 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: Responsibility2nd

“I think it was this thread - maybe another - but many FReepers believe A. Lincoln was THE WORST US president our nation ever had.”

Depends on whether you believe Sates Rights were important or not in the the fighting of the Civil War...


9 posted on 04/26/2010 8:33:29 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: jessduntno

Ronald Reagan is number one- far and away.

That an SOB elitist like Wilson is on the list makes me gag.


10 posted on 04/26/2010 8:33:55 AM PDT by 13Sisters76 ("It is amazing how many people mistake a certain hip snideness for sophistication. " Thos. Sowell)
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To: GonzoGOP

Well, Ike had a tree named after him at Augusta...that’s something...


11 posted on 04/26/2010 8:34:32 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: 13Sisters76

That an SOB elitist like Wilson is on the list makes me gag.”

Wilson and FDR...arrrggh...Doesn’t FDR stand for Fing Demon Rat?


12 posted on 04/26/2010 8:35:49 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: jessduntno

6. Theodore Roosevelt

7. Woodrow Wilson

Figures...

2 “Progressive” POS’s if I ever saw one.


13 posted on 04/26/2010 8:35:54 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: jessduntno
Number 1 was tyrant.

Number 2 was a socialist; after fighting to save western Europe from socialists, he turned eastern Europe over to communists. And then ignored the infiltration of our own government.

Number 6 was a socialist.

Number 7 was a socialist.

Number 8 was almost as tranparent as the current @@@ we have in the White House and ignored communist infiltration of the government.

I'm guessing 3, 4, and 5 are only on there because they "had" to be.

14 posted on 04/26/2010 8:36:46 AM PDT by Repeat Offender (While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded)
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To: jessduntno

“2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Having won four terms as president, FDR was sure to have a huge impact on the United States. His leadership throughout World War II was key to our victory. Further, he worked tirelessly to end the Great Depression including the creation of numerous programs through his New Deal to help Americans get back on their feet.”

I smell BS cooking...


15 posted on 04/26/2010 8:36:50 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: Responsibility2nd

I have an authenic “I Like Ike” campaign button. I wore it to our tea party this month. It got a lot of attention.


16 posted on 04/26/2010 8:37:41 AM PDT by raisincane (Dims think we're all oblivious to the obvious)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Yeah, where’s Reagan? After reading “Almost a Miracle”, I’d put Washington at the top forever. I don’t think there ever would have been a country to influence without Washington.


17 posted on 04/26/2010 8:37:58 AM PDT by throwback ( The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid)
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To: US Navy Vet
"Further, he worked tirelessly to end the Great Depression..."

"Further, he worked tirelessly to extend the Great Depression..."

there we go...

18 posted on 04/26/2010 8:41:28 AM PDT by jessduntno ("If you want security, go to prison, you're fed, clothed, given medical. But...there's no freedom.")
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To: Responsibility2nd
Any list of "influential" that doesn't BEGIN with Washington is beyond silly. The man merely personally designed the office, established all subsequent patterns of behavior (until FDR), organized the support network, and built the mold.

To put in Ike over Reagan is equally silly.

19 posted on 04/26/2010 8:42:08 AM PDT by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: GonzoGOP
Polk, Truman and Ike are middle of the pack.

I can agree about Polk.

Truman, on the other hand.... He was the guy who finally stood up to Stalin and initiated the Cold War, and took us into the Korean War -- both decisions still resonate today.

Ike was a very deceptive fellow. He cultivated a sort of bumbling grandfather image, but in fact he was apparently a very canny operator whose Cold War leadership was decisive. If Truman got us into it, it was Ike who really created the overall structure of the system that eventually won the Cold War.

But of course, these lists really only reflect the personal interests of the folks who create them.

20 posted on 04/26/2010 8:42:23 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Responsibility2nd
This is a nice list BUT if we don't overturn the damage Obama has done and will do he will be at the top of the list. What could be more influential than ending the country?
21 posted on 04/26/2010 8:43:02 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

22 posted on 04/26/2010 8:43:14 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (I can see November from my house!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
It depends on how you define “influential”.Jimmah was a *very* influential President.And freedom loving people worldwide suffered as a result.
23 posted on 04/26/2010 8:45:09 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I agree that Reagan should be on the list. I would also like to make a puch for Rutherford Hayes. That election was crazy (Tilden probably should have won), but Hayes ended Reconstruction. That’s a big deal.


24 posted on 04/26/2010 8:45:26 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
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To: jessduntno

Left wing college professors r us.


25 posted on 04/26/2010 8:46:27 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: jessduntno
Wasn’t there some fella from CA not on that list that should have been?

Right! And why in the hell is FDR before George Washington?

26 posted on 04/26/2010 8:47:42 AM PDT by Mogollon (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Responsibility2nd
This is an incredibly FLAWED list as all personal opinions of presidents would be. As to the actual people on the list, many are indisputably influential and lastingly so. However the reasons WHY they are influential are in many respects for NEGATIVE and not positive reasons. The order is also extremely suspect and certainly WRONG by almost any clear reading of history.

For example:

The MOST influential and certainly MOST consequential president would have to be George Washington for one reason only and that is certainly because he left office and established the precedent of a two term presidency and the bloodless and civil transfer of power. This is significant because it was so novel that a person would give up power.

Kings, princes, dictators, and potentates throughout history NEVER willingly gave up power. This is a first in history and shows a new movement in governing, one that is granted by the governed to the government. The power of that one thought changed history.

27 posted on 04/26/2010 8:48:16 AM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln saved the Union during the American Civil War.

If "influential" is taken to be a neutral term, I would agree. Julius Caesar was influential too, when he destroyed the other greatest republic known to man.

28 posted on 04/26/2010 8:48:44 AM PDT by central_va ( http://www.15thvirginia.org)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Not a bad list, but a very bad ranking. Surely George W. was more influential than Abe or FDR. Without GW’s influence, we probably would never even have had a USA.

Also, even though I like Eisenhower, it seems to me that at least a few other POTI may have been more “influential” — Monroe, Reagan, Buchanan (in a bad way) and Hoover (again, in a bad way).

Moreover, depending on how our struggle with militant Islamism eventually works itself out, G. W. Bush may eventually be ranked by historians-yet-unborn as among the top ten.

(Regarding the latter, I was around in the early 1950’s and was politically aware. Believe me, NOBODY BUT NOBODY back in those days would have put HST on any kind of “top ten” list.)


29 posted on 04/26/2010 8:49:01 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: Responsibility2nd

What, no Millard Fillmore? I mean, he brought California in as a state, abolished slavery in DC, hated the Republican Party, and married his school teacher. I figured the liberals would hoist him up as a hero. (But then again, he opposed Lincoln for all he was worth...)


30 posted on 04/26/2010 8:50:28 AM PDT by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: LS

Ike was the last Republican president to date to have a balanaced budget. Ike was the last president to deport illegal aliens en masse.


31 posted on 04/26/2010 8:50:29 AM PDT by Norman Bates
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To: Responsibility2nd

Thanks for posting, but this list is HORRIBLE. Washington is far above #1 for his Stellar Greatness. Every Step he took was sealed until the Socialists started getting elected. Even now it is hard to undo what he began and what began at the start.


32 posted on 04/26/2010 8:52:40 AM PDT by King_Corey (www.kingcorey.com)
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To: 13Sisters76

You got that right!


33 posted on 04/26/2010 8:52:41 AM PDT by Doulos1 (Bitter Clinger Forever)
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To: central_va

“If “influential” is taken to be a neutral term, I would agree. Julius Caesar was influential too, when he destroyed the other greatest republic known to man.”

Second Greatest!

Wilson and FDR helped kill the greatest one.


34 posted on 04/26/2010 8:55:31 AM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Responsibility2nd
8. Harry S Truman Harry S Truman took over after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He made one of the hardest decisions in American History by deciding to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He presided over the end of World War II and set precedents for leadership during the beginning of the Cold War.

????? So his big decision was whether to continue thousand plane firebombing attacks on Japanese cities or do essentially the same thing with one big bomb? Did he make the right decision? Yes, I think so, but it was hardly enough to put him in the top 10. I would say the far bigger decision was to support West Berlin with the airlift.

10. Dwight Eisenhower During Eisenhower's time in office, America experienced a great amount of economic prosperity. Eisenhower also provided crucial leadership during the Cold War.

Good job? Yes, but not one of the most influential.

Since influence can be either positive or negative, I would put Lyndon Johnson high up in the list. His great expansion of the dole was what increased our downhill welfare spiral started by Franklin Roosevelt.

35 posted on 04/26/2010 8:56:57 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Obamacare: The 2010 version of the Intolerable Acts.)
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To: All
7. Woodrow Wilson Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements. He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

Woodrow Wilson was a vile racist who has almost destroyed America with the Fed Reserve and Income Tax.


36 posted on 04/26/2010 9:04:41 AM PDT by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: jessduntno

Reagan and Johnson should both be on that list. And perhaps Nixon for opening up trade with China.


37 posted on 04/26/2010 9:11:07 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Judas Iscariot - the first social justice advocate. John 12:3-6)
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To: Responsibility2nd
[ 8. Harry S Truman Harry S Truman took over after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He made one of the hardest decisions in American History by deciding to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He presided over the end of World War II and set precedents for leadership during the beginning of the Cold War. ]

Well duuuugh.. the choice was allow for more than a Million(MORE) deaths of U.S. servicemen(invading japan) -OR- drop the BOMB...

Even a cave man could make that choice..
Truman over saw FDR's administration of commies..
THEN made the U.S. look like idiots in the Korean War..

38 posted on 04/26/2010 9:14:28 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: 13Sisters76
Ronald Reagan is number one- far and away.

It said most influential, not greatest. Lincoln destroyed what the others had built before him. I'd say that's pretty influential.

ML/NJ

39 posted on 04/26/2010 9:15:24 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Responsibility2nd

Geez, at least 3 of the ones listed were socialists.


40 posted on 04/26/2010 9:18:06 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Socialism, socialism, we don't need no stinkin' socialism.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
That list is sooo BS! Smiley Smiley Smiley
41 posted on 04/26/2010 9:30:45 AM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
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To: Responsibility2nd
OK, so we need to regrettably include Obama on this list...here is "influence" defined as a noun:

the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others

Can you think of another President that has had such an impact on producing effects (I think/pray we will see a HUGE effect in November!)

Here is "influence" as a VERB:

to move or impel (a person) to some action

I think we will see not just a resurgence in Broken Glass Republicans, but Broken Glass Voters in general come November...

remember...it's a list of influential Presidents, not "best"...for Obama would be rated even below Jimmah for me!

Obama's influence on America's voters this year is not quite what he would have hoped for, but, it is definitely going to be the "change we need" (and deserve).

Obama has woken the voting base of this country like no one else...we've been on autopilot basically since Bush Sr. took office...but I think the average American (read: NOT Freepers and those truly addicted to politics) will finally decide that "We the People..." really means something deep, deep down, in a way not seen since the 1940's...

42 posted on 04/26/2010 9:43:25 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (Recession: friend loses his job. Depression: You lose your job. Recovery: Obama loses his job.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Clinton was influential with the “Like, OMG, whateverrrrrrrrr...” crowd.


43 posted on 04/26/2010 9:49:37 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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To: Responsibility2nd

President Woodrow Wilson cut the taxes on imported goods while increasing regulations and taxes on domestic corporations, began a method of direct taxation on the people through the Income Tax (a method of taxation that was one of the final straws that made the American Colonies cry out for Independence - see Stamp Act, and later the Boston Tea Party), made it easier for people to borrow on credit, and entered the United States into World War I, a war that did not threaten America directly. As his globalistic dream of the League of Nations formed, with the foolish Utopian hope of nations joining together to settle their differences without war (because human nature will never allow such a noble endeavor), the American Troops returned home to an America in economic shambles.

The progressive politics of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, modeled after the failed policies of Woodrow Wilson followed, putting America right back into economic dire straits, and on the road to the Great Depression. With Roosevelt’s progressive leadership, the United States suffered through the Great Depression twice as long as the rest of the world, with many of FDR’s damaging entitlement programs still in force.

The current host of idiots in charge of the U.S. Government are following the same insane policies of Wilson, Hoover and Roosevelt. Another Great Depression may be on the horizon, should the massive government growth not be stopped. A drastic reduction in taxes across the board, a massive cut in spending, reforming all of the entitlement programs, and promoting a change from the hostile environment created by government for American businesses is necessary to stop the bleeding. Raising taxes reduces revenue, raising spending kills the budget, and progressive policies destroy America. The downhill slide of liberal progressivism in Washington must be stopped, and it must be stopped now, or else the horrific Health Care Reform law is only the beginning of the transformation of America into a socialist failure.


44 posted on 04/26/2010 10:16:00 AM PDT by Jim Shoe
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To: jessduntno

FDR was a great wartime leader, but it was the war, itself, not the New Deal, that brought us out of the Depression.

Woodrow Wilson’s ideas gave us what would eventually be the monstrosity called the UN. Not only that, but we didn’t enter WW I until Europe was already punch-drunk from fighting. Not diminishing the heroism of our soldiers, but it pales in comparison to FDR’s wartime leadership.

No way Washington is #3. It’s a coin-flip between him and Lincoln as #1. One founded the nation, the other saved it. Lincoln certainly had the more difficult circumstances, so I would give the nod to Lincoln. Washington was more than just general. He was the first and maybe only political “saint” to ever grace our shores.

I would put Reagan at #4, after FDR. As much as I dislike FDR’s social policies, he was Commander-in-Chief while we dismantled not one but TWO military superpowers AT THE SAME TIME, which would have left half the world in bondage. That’s just incredible...


45 posted on 04/26/2010 10:37:40 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

LOL! What a funny list! Only a Marxist democrat would put Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat) on this list—a guy who was a blatant racist and a dimwit, “fantasy Island” egghead. Washington DC was de-segregated before numbnuts came to town.

It’s pretty obvious this is BS without Reagan on the list. Never mind the questionable anti-Constitutional antics of Lincoln, and Fabian socialist wanna be FDR.


46 posted on 04/26/2010 10:43:19 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: ml/nj

Good point.


47 posted on 04/26/2010 10:58:16 AM PDT by 13Sisters76 ("It is amazing how many people mistake a certain hip snideness for sophistication. " Thos. Sowell)
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