Struggles for Justice 2015 Rating the Presidents


Teddy Three


Woodrow Wilson Two


The ratings reflect not only accomplishments of presidents in legislation and foreign policy, but what impact historically their policies and actions have had good or bad since they were in office. The ratings also reflect recent scholarship and simply newfound revelations about what was not known two years ago when we did this rating evaluation. Some real changes to note from 2013.

Ronald Reagan slipped several notches as we now know he was really seeing and experiencing the onset of Alzheimers. No blame attached here but his effectiveness in the last two years of his second term seems to show that is indicated. There is also emerging political science and economic evaluations of our economy which show plainly that Reagan’s anti-labor policies where he signaled that Unions were now fair game with the PATCO strike were much more influential than we supposed in 2013. The erosion of the health of what used to be the American middle class does in fact directly correlate with Reagan Era policies that continue to be followed by Republicans in government, and with business to this very day. Political scientists and economists are really critiquing the Reagan Revolution. His leadership qualities though remain untouched to posterity.

Barack Obama held steady and moved up three as those above him were moved lower due to some new information that deems that prudent. His great achievements are notable when measured against a dysfunctional opposition party that has really made it very difficult to pass much legislation that would have benefitted all Americans even more. Will this hold? Odds are against this. He may almost certainly regress two or three steps should it be seen by later events to have been not so impressive.

Andrew Jackson plunged deeply lower due to the growing realization of white historians that his polices to Native-Americans, already known to be negative blot on is record, were even more egregious than those of us who do this thought. It affirms Native-American complaints of long standing.

Woodrow Wilson moved up as a re-evaluation from two years ago led us to increase his importance in Progressive Era reforms that were and still are important. He did in fact keep us out of war until very late in the World War I conflict. And when he did take us in it was after real evidence both our ships at sea and factories at home were under attack. He mobilized our common faith in democracy, and though unsuccessful in getting the League of Nations the United States as a member due to his growing intransigence, he was proved right that a strong League would have helped impede somewhat the march to the Second World War. But alas it was too weak without American leadership to guide it. The other negative is the fact that Wilson, a white Virginian, really had a level of racial prejudice against people of color that even for his times was excessive. Libertarian criticism in that decade have not been sustained.

The almost forgotten James Monroe held his high position on our list. We believe that he gets far too little credit for re-uniting a much divided nation on the heels of the War of 1812, and presiding for two terms with integrity and a resurgent economic prosperity that was very badly needed. There are times that the lack of any drama in fact reflects well on the person directing the nation at the time. Our great Presidents do not always come from those facing the worst of times.

George Bush Sr. moved up several positions as events since 2013 remind those of us at Struggles for Justice of his steady hand on the tiller of the ship of state and an emerging understanding of his deep integrity as President.

1. Abraham Lincoln.
2. George Washington
3. Thomas Jefferson
4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
5. Theodore Roosevelt
6. James Monroe
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower
8. Lyndon Baines Johnson
9. John F. Kennedy
10. Barrack Hussein Obama*
11. Harry S. Truman
12. James Madison
13. Ronald Reagan
14. William McKinley
15. Woodrow Wilson
16. James K. Polk
17. William Jefferson Clinton
18. John Adams
19. John Quincy Adams
20. George Bush (Sr.)
21. William Howard Taft
22. Ulysses S. Grant
23. James Earl Carter
24. Calvin Coolidge
25. Grover Cleveland
26. Andrew Jackson
27. Gerald Ford
28 Benjamin Harrison
29. Rutherford B. Hayes
30. Martin Van Buren
31. Chester Arthur
32. John Tyler
33. Millard Fillmore
34. Franklin Pierce
35. Herbert Hoover
36 Andrew Johnson
37. Richard Nixon
38. George W. Bush (Jr.)
39. Warren G. Harding
40. James Buchanan

*George Washington is factually the greatest American to date who ever lived. But Lincoln edges him out when the two are measured simply as Presidents.

*A better and proper understanding of Barack Obama’s Legacy when measured against his limited opportunities is now becoming clearer but will change being a contemporary President nearing the end of his second term..


These Presidents had far too little time to show us what they could do. IN particular recent scholarship is showing us that James Garfield had a very strong indication of being a truly great President.

41. James Garfield*
42. Zachary Taylor*
43. William Henry Harrison*

Note: Grover Cleveland is counted twice as a numbered President as he served for a term, and then later returned for a second term with another President intervening between the two terms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s