Top-10 American Misconceptions about 10 Recent American Presidents

October 12th, 2012
in Op Ed, syndication


by Frank Li

In a previous post (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst), I stated: "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!"

What a big and sweeping statement! In this article, I will elaborate it by talking about 10 recent American Presidents, from 1933 to present. This is very important, because no history is more relevant than recent history and the next presidential election is just a few weeks away.

Follow up:

Misconception 1: FDR was great

FDR would forever be remembered in America as "the War President", because he led America to victory in WWII, brilliantly!

But you know what? FDR also damaged America tremendously. Starting with the New Deal, he fundamentally changed America for the worse. Here is an excerpt from a previous post of mine (Karl Marx and John Keynes):

FDR faced formidable challenges (e.g. The Great Depression) when he was elected to the American Presidency. He did everything possible to remain popular, including raiding the public treasury and introducing Social Security, thus ensuring his repeated re-elections (yes, three times)! Consequently, America was fundamentally changed from a society based on rugged individualism and unfettered capitalism to an entitlement society. It has only been progressively getting worse since then, with the government getting so big and fat now that its massive weight is crushing America.

Misconception 2: JFK was great

Many Americans remember JFK as a great President for two main reasons:

  1. His Moon Speech, in which he boldly predicted that America would land on Moon "before this decade is out". It came true.

  2. Some great sound bites, such as "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

In reality, JFK asked, more than anybody else ever in America, what America could do for him and his supporters than what they could do for America! Specifically, here is an excerpt from a previous post (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst):

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.


Misconception 3: LBJ was good

LBJ was just as bad as FDR in expanding socialism at any cost, with his Great Society being "inspired" by FDR's New Deal and the introduction of Medicare just like FDR's Social Security, a worst Ponzi scheme ever! Specifically, when LBJ passed Medicare in 1963, the estimated cost for 1990, including inflation, was $12 billion/year. The actual cost in 1990 turned out to be $190 billion/year! Worse yet, it has nearly quadrupled since then! If this is not a reason for America's bankruptcy, tell me what is!


Misconception 4: Richard Nixon was a crook

Richard Nixon did resign from office before facing impeachment. But was the Watergate scandal worse than the Iraq War? Not even close! Nixon was disingenuous, at least, as virtually every American President has been for the last century or more. A truth teller has great difficulty in winning, being proven by the Romney-Ryan ticket in this election. Americans just don't want to face the truth, so they keep electing feel good futurists instead!


Misconception 5: Was Jimmy Carter really so bad?

Although Jimmy Carter did not make my three-worst list (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst), he was a bad President, by any standard! In fact, we are still suffering severely under his misguided policies and actions such as the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) which was a root cause for the housing bubble that burst in 2008, the Mariel boatlift, and the creation of both the Departments of Education and Energy that are a combined unaffordable $150 billion/year boondoggle!


Misconception 6: Ronald Reagan was good

No, President Ronald Reagan was not good. He was great! As a matter of fact, President Reagan was in the top four (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst) for three reasons:

  1. President Reagan fixed the huge mess left by President Carter.

  2. President Reagan was the only American President, after WWII, who reversed the advancement of sociallism in America.
  3. President Reagan won the Cold War for America!


Misconception 7: George Bush was not good, because he was not re-elected

No, George H.W. Bush was better than most Americans think for two reasons:

  1. He knew how/whether so start a war, and when/where to stop! The Gulf War was brilliantly executed, especially in hindsight today!

  2. He was honest enough to raise taxes, with the realization that a just war must be properly funded, even if it meant to break his promise of "no new taxes". He paid a steep price for his honesty and responsible governance: he was not re-elected!


Misconception 8: Bill Clinton was a genius

No, he was not! Bill Clinton was one of the luckiest American Presidents in history. For more, read: The Myth of The Bill Clinton Presidency.


Misconception 9: George W. Bush was not very smart

Many Americans think George W. Bush is a good man, who is just not very smart. As a result, he made several big mistakes, such as the Iraq War.

In reality, President George W. Bush is a lot smarter than you think. He went to Yale and had better grades (i.e. C) than Barack Obama at Columbia (i.e. too bad to be published)!

President George W. Bush "recklessly turned off the beacon" to launch the Iraq War, at least partially, for the sake of his re-election. When he realized there was no way out, he effectively played dumb for the rest of his presidency. After all, it was better to be dumb than to be evil.

Oh, how evil was President George W. Bush? He not only severely damaged America, but also might have destroyed the GOP, which still has not recovered and may never recover in the foreseeable future, unless Mitt Romney can prevail this time.


Misconception 10: Barack Obama is very smart

Many Americans acknowledge that Barack Obama was not very experienced when he became the President, but believe he is a very smart man.

But you know what? Here is an excerpt from a previous writing of mine ('You Didn't Build That': A Fifth Similarity between Communism and Democracy):

If that's true, why is it so hard for him to reveal his grades in college (Obama campaign makes case for releasing his college transcripts)? ... All signs indicate that Barack Obama received a lot of "help" from the government throughout his life ...

As a mater of fact, Barack Obama may truly be an "Affirmative Action" President! For more, read: Obama: The Affirmative Action President.


Here is a warning to America: if President Obama is re-elected, America will be so deeply into socialism (and communism) that there will be no return!

  1. How do I know so much about socialism (and communism)? Been there, done that - I escaped it by coming to the U.S. (My American Dream Has Come True)!

  2. How bad is socialism (and communism)? It's hell! For more, read this: Stupidity: A Sixth Similarity between Communism and Democracy.


In conclusion, watch this short video: Obama is going to pay for my gas and mortgage!

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).




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  1. Jim Villere says :

    Utterly ridiculous. This is a totally worthless opinion. Barely worth the effort to comment.

  2. Derryl Hermanutz says :

    I recently read Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's, "The Guilded Age", published 1873, where the authors describe/mock the speculative dreams and the corrupt realities of "capitalism" in the post Civil War era. I am not defending FDR in saying that he cannot have been responsible for ending "rugged individualism" and "unfettered capitalism" because already 60 years before FDR every rugged individual and unfettered capitalist had at least one politician advancing his cause in Congress. The New Deal may have made it more difficult to believe in the "ideal" of rugged individualism and unfettered capitalism, but all FDR really did was provide the people a share of the cake that the crony capitalists had been feasting on all along. Since 2008 the same crony capitalists have been enjoying unprecedented levels of government support to prevent their banks from going bankrupt and to prevent the crooked bankers from being prosecuted, stripped of their criminal fortunes, and thrown in prison. Most of today's giant transnational corporations got their big break and their unassailable market oligopolies supplying war material during WWII. The world as we see it was formed by cooperation and collusion between big government and big business. Our world is NOT the outcome of rugged individualists competing in a free market.

  3. Nick says :

    The article expresses a realistic opinions of Dr. Li's insight and his judgement and personal experience.

    However, my reply is more intented for Jim Villere's one liner comment.

    Jim you state Dr. Li's opinion is utterly ridiculous and totally worthless; therefore, you must have an opinion that may supersedes his in order to claim it's barely worth the effort to comment. What is it??
    There is a saying that states; "Children need more Models than Critics" which one are you? In case you don't know "Opinions Shape Change". So Jim please give Dr. Li and the reading audience and myself your OPINION on who and why was or wasn't a good or poor Presidential Leader?
    As the election day of the President for America is very close to happening. Your insight just may enlighten us of what to consider when casting votes, and I promise you I won't reply with a one liner like;
    "Your Quote" Utterly ridiculous. This is a totally worthless opinion. Barely worth the effort to comment.
    Your opinions just may make change. Share with us, what your secret opinions of what is a good or poor Presidential Leader. After all, criticism is the easy part, it's human nature not to accept Change, but you need OPINIONS to formulate CHANGE.



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