American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst

August 24th, 2012
in Op Ed, syndication

by Frank Li

In a previous post (Mitt Romney vs. Deng Xiaoping), I concluded: "America simply cannot afford another term of Barack Obama, nor a Romney Presidency that is less than the greatest!"

What, then, is the greatest? Let's name the three best American Presidents, as well as the three worst in contrast, shall we?

Follow up:

1. American Presidents: the three best

The three best Presidents are easy to name: just go to Washington D.C. and look around, you will see three distinctive landmarks: Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial. End of discussion!

2. American Presidents: the three worst

The three worst are much harder to name for one main reason: there are too many bad Presidents! Here are my three selections: George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and John Kennedy, in that order!

Why? In an earlier post (Four Points to Ponder on America's 236th Birthday), I named George W. Bush and Barack Obama the two worst American Presidents in [recent] history for this reason (What Did Abraham Lincoln Mean?):

Together the policies of these two Presidents have done more damage to America than all of America's enemies have done, combined! The biggest threat to America is its faltering economy, which is plainly visible now!


  1. President George W. Bush "turned off the beacon" to launch the Iraq War, which I believe "will eventually be marked as the beginning of the end of democracy as we know it" (Read: What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?). The launch of the Iraq War also showed government corruption in its worst form (Read: Blagojevich and Pearl Harbor: They Are Related!).

  2. President Obama has proven to be the biggest spender in American history (President Obama's Place In U.S. History: Debt Monger). Our national debt was enormous at $9T when he took office, but it will be more than $16T by the time he finishes this term. Worse yet, President Obama recently initiated a naked assault on capitalism (You Didn't Build That), the very foundation of America (Pyramid Theory I)!

Now, let me add President John Kennedy to the list as number three for this reason (Public-Sector Unions: from Wisconsin to America):

What Governor Walker did was significant: It was a small step to undo the devastating damage caused by President Kennedy, but a gigantic step against the demise of America!

By allowing public-sector unions in 1961 (Executive Order 10988), President Kennedy, knowingly against FDR's explicit warning, planted a time bomb in America that "was doomed to explode in our faces, as it is now, with the far worse yet to come" (American Presidency: Raising The Minimum Age to 55!)!

What, then, was FDR's explicit warning?

3. FDR's explicit warning against public-sector unions

Here is an excerpt from a Letter from FDR Regarding Public-Sector Unions dated August 16, 1937:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.

The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.

A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

4. Discussion

You may have your own list of the worst American Presidents. But history is always the best judge. Three notes:

  1. President Obama could easily be the worst, guaranteed, if he gets re-elected.

  2. President Kennedy might well be recognized as the worst American President twenty years from now, as America finally realizes the magnitude of the damage he caused by allowing public-sector unions in 1961.

  3. With regard to President George W. Bush ...

    • If you argue that President Obama is worse than President George W. Bush, consider this: there would have been no President Obama without President George W. Bush! Nevertheless, your argument may be valid in four years, if President Obama gets re-elected.

    • If you want to replace George W. Bush with Jimmy Carter on the worst list, you are too Republican (vs. American) and you may have been too brainwashed! To be objective, [again] read: "What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?" and "Blagojevich and Pearl Harbor: They Are Related!". Now, if you are still unconvinced about President George W. Bush's place in history, here are some stats about the Iraq war: Tens of thousands of Iraqis died. What about the U.S. casualties? 4,486 deaths and over 100,000 wounded! It was a crime against humanity!

Still wondering why America is so deeply in trouble? Wonder not! America has been having only bad (or mediocre) Presidents since 1933, at least, with Ronald Reagan being the sole exception!

Why so many bad Presidents? It's the political system, stupid! More specifically, it's "getting re-elected ad nauseam", stupid! Most, if not all, of the bad American Presidents did most of the damage to America during their first terms, for the sake of re-election!

Let me repeat: "unless our political system is fundamentally changed for the better (as I suggested), the streak of bad Presidents will continue".

Now, if you still want to argue about who is worse and who is the worst American President, feel sorry for (1) America, for having this subject become such a hot topic, and (2) yourself, for missing the case in point: It's the political system, stupid, not any individuals!

5. What's the solution?

It's time to re-define the American Presidency!

America is desperately in need of a great President to re-define the American Presidency and start turning things around in 2013! Who will that person be? President Obama is a not-good-enough President at best - He is all flash and no substance, on top of being the biggest spender in American history! Nor can it be Mitt Romney, who, as is, will not be good enough, either! Bad news for America!

Here is the good news for America: Romney can be a lot better, if we demand it, as I suggested (An Open Letter to Mitt Romney)!

6. Closing

Human legacy includes a history of leadership changing hands. Rome, Egypt, China, and Britain all had their day in the sun. We, the USA, are having our own now. But our days are clearly numbered, if we keep sleeping on our 200-year-old political system and keep resisting changes. Or we can change, fundamentally and big. China did it. Why can't we?

How did China do it? With a great transformational leader named Deng Xiaoping!

How can America do it? With President Romney?

Romney has the opportunity of besting any leader in human history (Romney vs. Deng). But will he?

Other Posts by this Author

opinion blog


About this Author

Frank LiFrank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.

Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson" (see page 31).


Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

 navigate econintersect .com


Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2018 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved