Ranking Modern Presidents

There have been 12 Presidents that have completed their terms in the post-World War 2 era since Harry S Truman. I’m going to rank them all today. I’m also going to cop-out and not rank Donald Trump since he is still in office. 

The Good

Ronald Reagan

Dwight D. Eisenhower

George H.W. Bush

Related: The Case for Justin Amash

The Fine

Bill Clinton

John F. Kennedy

Barack H. Obama

Gerald R. Ford

The Bad

Jimmy Carter

George W. Bush

Richard M. Nixon

Related: The Pros and Cons of Voting for Donald Trump or Joe Biden (or Justin Amash)

The Awful

Harry S. Truman

Lyndon B. Johnson

I broke the President’s down into four groups. I think the three Presidents in the good group are Presidents that left the country better off — relative to how they found it —  because of their policy goals. While they may not have been fully implemented to the extent they were they benefited the country. Presidents in the fine group have also improved the country — relative to how they found it —  but largely outside of reasons beyond their control. For example, while I think both President Obama and President Clinton left the country better off — relative to how they found it — I think it’s because of Republicans in Congress. 

The bad group represents administrations during which the country went down hill during their administration. For example, with President Bush he left office with the US stuck in two middle eastern wars and the Great Recession. And the awful group of Presidents are Presidents which actively pushed significant harmful policy overhauls and left the country in poor shape. For example, President Truman pushed the Fair Deal and poorly managed Korea. President Johnson pushed the Great Society, poorly managed Vietnam, and laid the groundwork for Stagflation. 

One thought on “Ranking Modern Presidents

  1. Harry Truman might not have been the greatest president we’ve ever had, but awful? He reformed the military, laid the groundwork for U.S-Europe relations, set up postwar U.S hegemony, etc.


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