Who is Pofos Favorite President? - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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George Washington
6
10%
Abraham Lincoln
9
16%
Franklin Roosevelt
7
12%
Thomas Jefferson
7
12%
Theodore Roosevelt
8
14%
Ronald Reagan
7
12%
Harry S Truman
2
3%
Dwight D Eisenhower
No votes
0%
James K Polk
2
3%
Other
10
17%
User avatar
By FallenRaptor
#13236130
Abraham Lincoln, for reasons TIG already posted and to piss off the Ronulans.

Dave wrote:Marxist liberation is not an issue of liberation of social oppression however, which is an ideological matter supposedly alien to Marxism. Marxism is about liberation from economic oppression, which is generally not the sort of thing dealt with in personalized, emotional terms aside from meeting the material needs necessary for existence (something American slavery mostly accomplished).

This isn't correct. Marxism does not abstract oppression from social relations as a purely economic activity since economic relations constitute the infrastructure of society. Rather, it places economic relations at the root of oppression.

Also, to say that ideology(such as morality) could be eliminated from society is in itself an ideological statement, so there is nothing inherently unMarxist for TIG to have a moral opposition to slavery(as I myself do) as long as he doesn't try to incorporate into Marxism itself.
User avatar
By Ombrageux
#13236155
That makes no sense at all. Independent America has had major effects on the world. The philosophies described in the Declaration and the Constitution were unheard of at the time. The founders were in uncharted territory. The fact that Lincoln was Republican was what started the Civil War, he fought it well enough, but it certainly wasn't freedom he was granting by forcing the States back into the union. You're off your rocker if you think FDR was more important to America than the founders. If anything FDR was a latter day Andrew Jackson, no idea why you would think he was more important that the president that started the country in that direction; granting powers to the executive branch and throwing the vote to everyone he could reach. Its not at all clear that spreading Democracy has helped America, and its certainly not the case that that defines freedom. But I see where you're coming from now; is socialism what you call freedom?

Actually, both the declaration and the constitution were based on traditional English and French philosophy of governance, notably John Locke (property, liberty) and Montesquieu (divison of powers, checks and balances). The Americans initially rebelled, after all, claiming their rights had been violated as British subjects.

Some of the rhetoric was notionally novel ("We the people..." "...all men are created equal..."), but this was little more than a little exuberance on Jefferson's part. In practice, none of this was followed through, to the chagrin of genuine innovators like Thomas Paine. Neither the Black slave nor the vast majority of White males were enfranchised under the new system. The government they actually created was in its principles in remarkably similar to the British system: a constitutional, electoral, elitist regime, based on the suffrage and domination of the extremely wealthy.

That the U.S. evolved differently from Britain (it democratized quicker) had little to do with Jefferson, Washington or any of that generation. Rather, the rich man's Republic they set up was far easier to turn into a mass democracy because the huge amount of land in North America (once the Natives had been ethnically cleansed by either eviction or exterminations) meant almost anyone could hope to attain property. In Europe, the booming populations had no choice but to go to the wretchedly overcrowded cities, while feudal elites kept their monopoly on land. Naturally, one democratized faster than the other.

Your last sentence on World War II being about the defense of "socialism" I find extremely bizarre, something that could only be produced from the parochial - downright incestuous - "culture" of North America. Suffice to say that, I believe the war that the destruction of Nazism and Imperial Japan and their replacement by liberal democratic and peaceful regimes in Western Europe (unheard of!) and Japan was a huge gain for freedom. (Apparently you think that is a controversial statement.) Indeed, I would say in terms of the size of populations saved and their significance in the world, it was far and way a greater advance for liberty than either the American War of Independence or the Civil War.
User avatar
By ingliz
#13236209
Abraham Lincoln
User avatar
By Suska
#13236299
Your last sentence on World War II being about the defense of "socialism" I find extremely bizarre
I find it somewhat bizarre too since that's not at all what I said.
But I see where you're coming from now; is socialism what you call freedom?


the declaration and the constitution were based on traditional English and French philosophy of governance
Who were still Monarchies. There's nothing remarkably similar between George Washington's and the government of George III - its hardly remarkable that they were both governments.

...liberal democratic and peaceful regimes in Western Europe
All of which a result of democratic revolutions following the example of America.
User avatar
By Ombrageux
#13236474
Suska - Britain never had a democratic revolution. The French revolution was not inspired primarily by the United States of America. At that point in time, the U.S. was a very minor and peripheral country. A reflection of this was how different the French Revolution's principles were: equality for all men (including the abolition of slavery), universal manhood suffrage (not just rich White men), centralized government (no "state's rights"), ruthless anti-clericalism and so forth.

Incidentally, you may be interesting in know that Britain is still a monarchy today. That doesn't stop it being a liberal democracy. The reason is the power of British kings and queens has long been in decline and real power has resided in Parliament (even at the time of George III). Parliament was - like 19th Century American political institutions - elected by and composed of propertied men. Both the US and the UK were unique in the world in sharing protection of property, the rule of law, constitutional elections, a largely free press, limited role for the military in society, and so forth.

Suska wrote:I find it somewhat bizarre too since that's not at all what I said.

Suska, rejecting my choice of FDR as best US president for having spread "democracy" throughout the world during WW2 wrote:Its not at all clear that spreading Democracy has helped America, and its certainly not the case that that defines freedom. But I see where you're coming from now; is socialism what you call freedom?

"Bizarre," indeed.
By Inexorable
#13236486
While I picked George Washington, because he's trve and kvlt, I have to say that GEORGE BUSH JR. is my second, only because everyone showed a mentally deranged amount of hatred towards him for almost no rational reason. If you talked to idiots on the street or surfed the web he apparently was a sinister dictator bent on destroying the constitution, blowing up third world nations for oil, putting people in torture camps, and turning everyone in a Christian robot. Whenever people said that crap I told them I really wish all that was true, because then all the hippies would be exterminated. Bush was weak compared to warmongering giants like Johnson, Nixon, or even Lincoln (I love Lincoln, but he did help kill several million people). Seriously, the guy wasn't that bad, and most of his policies could have been taken from the FDR playbook. In fact, I don't see how he's really all that different from President Obama (another popular punching bag these days).

There is still hope though, if people hate Obama even more, I'll have to make Obama my next favorite.
User avatar
By Suska
#13236582
Its not at all clear that spreading Democracy has helped America
I was speaking of the spreading of Democracy in America ie universal suffrage. I think some of what you say has merit, certainly you're free to choose who you like best, I still disagree with your assessment on the influence the American Revolution had - even with their differences the principles are the same, and this is certainly something that was on French and English minds at the time; what example did this set? Far as I know it the various states had various ideas about government and the federal government wasn't very significant until the Jackson and the Civil War, your idea that it ought to have been more democratic for it to be more free is still not correct. When America Revolted it kicked an arrogant and imbecilic occupying force out and establish sensible government which was way ahead of its time. Andrew Jackson wasn't long in coming and he spread to vote to the rest of White males, but as I said, it isn't clear that was a good thing, its not too much of a stretch to suggest that it was Jackson's presidency that gave rise to the Civil War.
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By Nets
#13236910
Richard M. Nixon
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By Doomhammer
#13236974
Remove Eisenhower from the poll options and add Nixon!
By Wolfman
#13236978
The list is based on the top 10 from an existing poll. The specific name is in the OP.
User avatar
By Holt
#13237254
TIG wrote:Someone had to take out the trash, and he did it. I know it's become e-awesome to try and use some guy's webpage that cites Lincoln-Douglas debate rhetoric in an attempt to show that Lincoln was actually a bastard - but from everything I've heard and read from legitimate sources, his conception of the issue of slavery and the placement of blacks in American society evolved constantly. Granted, he was a badass when he was younger - but he started out against slavery but not interested in black people. As time went on, he moved closer and closer to the Radical Republicans as time went on.

To be fair, Lincoln's reputation has been undeservedly inflated beyond that of any other American President, even Washington. But if you look at the actual historical record, he doesn't come out of it smelling of roses. Lincoln was as racist as the next man of that time (he supported the pre-Civil War "Black Laws," which stripped African Americans of recently-gained rights in his native Illinois, as well as the Fugitive Slave Act, which compelled the return to their masters of those who had escaped to free soil in the North). His domestic wartime policies were so draconian that he sparked some of the worst rioting and civil disorder in America's entire history. He managed to win the Civil War and keep the Union together, so props to him for that, but given the disparity in the North's industrial capacity compared to that of the South, he would have had to be incompetent on a George W. Bush scale not to win it eventually. And the freeing of the slaves was a side-effect of the Civil War, not the motive for it.

Lincoln was no saint, but neither was he a reactionary figure. The present adulation of Lincoln in the US (well, in the North at least) as a saintly, wise and benevolent figure is clearly absurd. If he were to appear in present-day America and start saying the things he was saying in the 1860s, he'd be crucified by the media as a racist redneck scumbag, an old-style segregationist and a white supremacist. Which of course he was. But he also represented the growing power of the northern industrialists against the southern aristocratic slave-owing proprietors. As you alluded to, this makes him a progressive figure (in the Marxist sense) for his time, and his victory in the Civil War was essentially the victory of America's bourgeois revolution, the culmination of the process begun by Washington et al in the 1770s. On balance, I would regard him as a positive figure in American history. And he was quite the fly motherfucker. But he was no saint, not terribly wise, and not very benevolent.
User avatar
By Ombrageux
#13237312
I was speaking of the spreading of Democracy in America ie universal suffrage. I think some of what you say has merit, certainly you're free to choose who you like best, I still disagree with your assessment on the influence the American Revolution had - even with their differences the principles are the same, and this is certainly something that was on French and English minds at the time; what example did this set? Far as I know it the various states had various ideas about government and the federal government wasn't very significant until the Jackson and the Civil War, your idea that it ought to have been more democratic for it to be more free is still not correct. When America Revolted it kicked an arrogant and imbecilic occupying force out and establish sensible government which was way ahead of its time. Andrew Jackson wasn't long in coming and he spread to vote to the rest of White males, but as I said, it isn't clear that was a good thing, its not too much of a stretch to suggest that it was Jackson's presidency that gave rise to the Civil War.

Well, to be clear, virtually no one followed the American example in terms of political organization. Although many countries have aspired (often successfully) to become as wealthy as America.

Some articles for comparison:
* Throughout the 19th Century, liberals, democrats and nationalists inspired themselves from France and its Revolution, hence why so many new countries picked tricolors for their new flags, in self-conscious imitation (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, German liberals, many others).
* In the 20th Century, many, many countries have first-past-the-post Parliamentary regimes and Common Law inspired from Great Britain, a legacy of their membership of the British Empire and the continued appeal of its organization among postcolonial elites. Good examples of this are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Jamaica, South Africa and many others.
* As you may or may not have noticed, very few democratic countries have presidential systems, although a few Latin American countries did inspire their constitutions from the American example. Virtually no new countries and regimes have used the nightmarish mess of shared jurisdictions and political sclerosis that stems from the American bicameral-presidential-state legislature-judicial regime. I say this in particular for some of the more absurd institutions of arbitrary representation, notably the electoral college and, above all, the Senate.
* If one wants to be pedantic, one can even make the case that the Soviet Union's example in its heyday inspired more self-conscious imitation than the American one. Here one can cite the numerous "Communist" regimes established especially in the Third World, notable for their red flags and Marxist-Leninist trappings.

Your assessment of British colonial rule in North America is rather childish. As to being "advanced," it was on some legal rights, but on the whole the average person in North America was not much more "free" than that in England, except insofar as the abundance of land itself (a geographic fact, not a making of the Constitution) was a liberation.
User avatar
By Suska
#13237328
virtually no one followed the American example in terms of political organization.
You're being particularly silly now. Latin America and France Revolted, European Imperialism began to decline and states all around Europe changed from absolutist Monarchies to Constitutional states and Republics, all of which - The Age of Revolution - began with the American Revolution.

Your assessment of British colonial rule in North America is rather childish
Not at all, as you yourself said, the colonies didn't want to revolt, George refused opportunities to retain the colonies and dealt a series of insults culminating in martial law and sanctions over Boston. I think its worth saying again; When America Revolted it kicked an arrogant and imbecilic occupying force out and establish sensible government which was way ahead of its time.

it was on some legal rights, but on the whole the average person in North America was not much more "free" than that in England
If all you can see is legal documents you've really got no clue what freedom is.
User avatar
By Ombrageux
#13237332
You're being particularly silly now. Latin America and France Revolted, European Imperialism began to decline and states all around Europe changed from absolutist Monarchies to Constitutional states and Republics, all of which - The Age of Revolution - began with the American Revolution.

European imperialism exploded after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. This was due to the Industrial Revolution, and the economic and military superiority this gave Europeans, and not with the pleasant bourgeois niceties expressed in the French Revolution and the American War of Independence. The Europeans went on to conquer Africa, South Asia, Southeast, much of the Middle East, and to turn China into a virtual dependency. The U.S.A. was a rather late guest to this dinner, but it nonetheless seized the Philippines and Cuba from the Spanish, and some other minor dependencies.

You are being insufferably Americo-centric if you believe the American War of Independence had anything but a peripheral role in the French Revolution and, indeed, European developments in general. Intellectual, demographic and social trends such as the Enlightenment were long underway. The American War's chief role was not in fact ideological, but in that France's participation in it bankrupted the French Monarchy, a necessary precondition to the financial crisis that led to the Revolution.

Finally, I don't know where you got the impression that the American Republic led to similar constitutional Republics in Europe, because in fact until 1917 there was only one Republic in Europe, the French one (and it had gone through several monarchies to get there). Virtually all new regimes outside of Latin America established themselves as monarchies (Greece, Belgium, Italy, Germany..) precisely because the American model lacked appeal.

If all you can see is legal documents you've really got no clue what freedom is.

Liberty exists precisely in independence from nice documents. See the constitution of the DPRK, it has many splendid passages, versus British liberty, which is founded on no constitutional document at all.
By New2Politics
#13237395
R_G wrote:Teddy was the man.

Any of the other options got shot and finished a 90 minute speech?

Answer is no.

And in his speech he boasted that he was "ahead of the game." Badass, indeed.
User avatar
By Sephardi
#13237987
Yeah we know he said some naughty things about Jews in private.


What the hell? I wasn't even thinking about Jews there? Your bigotry is easy to see through.
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By Arthur2sheds_Jackson
#13238246
Without Washington the rest would be nothing.

Vote for the Geordie!
User avatar
By Le Rouge
#13238253
DumbTeen, you're battling American high school history class basics. Regardless of how correct you are, you are taking on something that has been rooted in the American brain since childhood.

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