Remember my blog post “The Greatest Presidents”? Well, my opinion has now changed, and I’ve re-ranked the top 10.
1. George Washington
After the first election, George Washington could have been king, but he chose to be president instead. If he hadn’t done that, our country would have kings today.
After he had been asked a lot to run for president (because everybody wanted him), he became the only president to get 100% of the popular vote and 100% of the electoral college (both times he ran). He made Washington DC the capital, set up the first cabinet, created the first U.S. bank, and appointed the first Supreme Court justices. He set the precedent for presidents! But all that time, he wanted to be at Mount Vernon. After he finished his second term, people wanted him to run a third time. But he said no.
He was a great founding father and probably the most important. He also did great jobs fighting in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. I think George Washington was the greatest president.
2. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was good at giving speeches. He was smart and kept our country together during The Civil War. He freed enslaved people and helped build the republican party.
3. Teddy Roosevelt
I’ve been thinking more about how he protected the environment. He one time kept someone from killing a bear, and that’s why the teddy bear is named after him. He was the first one to use the name “White House.” Also, as I said before, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, broke up monopolies, made some of the first national parks (Grant made the first ones), protected the Grand Canyon, and helped keep poison out of foods. He’s considered one of the best presidents.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt
He fell from #2 to #4 because he put Japanese people in camps. Other than that, I agree with what I wrote last time: “He was a great leader during WWII. He started the WPA, which gave jobs to the poor people, which gave money to the poor people. FDR was probably the president with the most accomplishments because he had four terms. He was the first president to have Americans hear his voice on radio. It made them feel safer. I think that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a great president.”
5. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
John Kennedy came from #13 to #5 because he tried to do the Civil Rights Act, he agreed never to attack Cuba, he took missiles out of Turkey, and he was a really smart, nice guy.
6. Harry S. Truman
He put bombs on Japan. I’m not saying I liked that, but I liked that he ended WWII. He kept WWIII from happening by making a deal with Germany and by forming the United Nations. He started the Fair Deal.
7. Dwight Eisenhower
He went up 11 spots in my rankings because he ended the Korean War, continued The New Deal and Fair Deal programs, sent troops to Little Rock to integrate schools, did the interstate-highway system, added Alaska and Hawaii as states, and did some civil-rights acts.
8. Thomas Jefferson
He sent Lewis and Clark and he did the Louisiana Purchase, which made the country twice as big.
9. Bill Clinton
He appointed many women and minorities to key government posts. He worked on stabilizing the economy. Plus, as I wrote last time, “He might have been impeached, but he made the country a better place.”
10. James Madison
Madison helped write the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. But one bad thing is the War of 1812, which is why historians don’t rank him in the top 10. In the C-SPAN 2017, which was the most recent time historians ranked presidents, he was #17, barely worse than William McKinley.
Originally published at https://langstonjones.wixsite.com on August 4, 2020.