I saw a post on Facebook the other day claiming that the three greatest U.S. presidents were Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. While I don’t agree with that list, it did get me wondering. So who are the three greatest presidents? I would guess that Lincoln is on that list, and while I liked Reagan, I’m betting he’s not. Trump. Well, I’m guessing that as a sitting president, your presidency can’t be judged until you’re out of office. But I did find a ranking of the presidents done by C-Span which was done in 2000, 2009, and most recently in 2017, that feels legit to me.

The C-SPAN Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership worked with a team of historians to organization, execute, and analyze this survey. All the details are on their site, but it’s basically that panel of historians and 91 survey participants that create this list. The whole thing is based on rating the presidents on 10 qualities of presidential leadership. I’m sure if you took a different group of 91 participants some of the results would be different, but this one feels pretty unbiased to me.

So, the initial question of who is the greatest president is… Abraham Lincoln. He took the top spot in each of the three years this thing has been done. Seems like a no brainer to me, but were off to a good start. So who were the top five.

201720092000PRESIDENTPARTYYEARS
111Abraham LincolnRep18601864
223George Washingtonn/a17881792
332Franklin D. RooseveltDem1932193619401944
444Theodore RooseveltRep19001904
589Dwight D. EisenhowerRep19521956
highest ranked presidents

Eisenhower seems to have had a bit of a jump there, but I don’t really know much about him. Perennial favorite Thomas Jefferson has been ranked 7th in all three years of this survey. You can see all of the results on the website. My next question was, how do the presidents of my lifetime stack up? Have I born witness to great leadership or middling administration? So, I was born in 1968… Sitting presidents don’t get ranked… Ah, here we go.

201720092000PRESIDENTPARTYYEARS
101110Lyndon B. JohnsonDemn/a1964
282725Richard NixonRep19681972
252223Gerald FordRepn/a 
262522Jimmy CarterDem1976 
91011Ronald ReaganRep19801984
201820George H.W. BushRep1988 
151521Bill ClintonDem19921996
3336 —George W. BushRep20002004
12 — —Barack ObamaDem20082012
 ——  —Donald TrumpRep2016 
presidents in my lifetime

I don’t remember much politics before Carter v Reagan. I wanted Carter to win because I liked peanuts and there was a bunch of talk about Reagan starting war, which didn’t seem cool to my 11-year-old brain. I ended up being rather fond of both Reagan and then Bush. I don’t remember much about their politics, but they both seemed like good men. Clinton… well, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh at that time, so you can guess what sort on shit I was hearing. Bush seemed like he was caught up in the machine that got him elected, but became a stronger president in his second term. Still, he seemed like a good man. Obama, really liked him, he was the first time I voted Democratic party and he is both eloquent inspirational. I didn’t want Trump or Clinton in 2016. Bad choices, that’s what we were given. And look where we are. It’s a tough job and I wouldn’t want to do it, especially given that your every action is weighed in public. And I still believe that for the most part, people who seek power are typically not the people you would choose to wield it. Anyway, that’s my political history.

So, Reagan and Trump do not make the top three on either list. But, Trump is still in office, so he may pull out a surprise in the next survey and unseat Washington or Roosevelt, seems unlikely that he’ll get the top spot above Lincoln. Looking at the big list, it seems that history is kind to the president, and they tend to rise as we get a little distance from their time in office. I can’t speak to most of this list, as I’m no presidential scholar, but I expect that Obama will rise into the top ten, Reagan will probably stay there as well, and nobody on my lifetime list will be affected by Trump’s eventual rating. Looks like this is an every 10ish years thing, so it’ll be a goodly bit before they do it again and either confirm or deny my suspicions.

Whether you vote for the leader you want or simply vote for change, the important thing is to vote. Not voting is not a protest, not voting is letting other people choose for you. Do you want me making decisions for you? Because I will, if you let me. Later.

I’m going to ramble and rant for a bit here. I really need to stay away from the news… It must be Saturday.

Look, insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence. You have rights, sure. But those rights are to protect you from the government. Not from me. You can say anything you want and the government can’t prosecute you. Me. I may punch you in the mouth, call you an idiot, or sue you for defamation, liable, or just to cost you the price of defending yourself. You can carry a weapon in public, but if you come into my home or onto my property, I can tell you to get the fuck out of my space. Your rights don’t infringe on mine. My rights don’t infringe on yours. You give me my rights, I’ll give you yours, and maybe this world will be better. But really, rather than worrying about rights, maybe the golden rule would be a better way for us to get along. You don’t want me to give you shit, don’t give me shit.

You will successfully unfuck the fucking fuck you fucked when you were trying to unfuck the other fucking fuck you fucked. The number of fucks and unfucks involved is un-fucking-believable.

rattrap2474

I don’t have an issue with politics, political parties, or politicians. What I have an issue with is dishonesty, xenophobia, and science denial. There is just something about either being ignorant of, or simply ignoring, constitutional norms and not caring about the role the U.S.A. plays in a hard and very complicated world that rubs me the wrong way. I choose not to support those who behave like criminals, traitors, and racists. Those things offend me and they should offend you. These people claim to love America, but that’s not a basis for anything. Lots of people love America. Their love of America is not a basis for their actions. The path that we’re on is basically removing our influence on the world, and turning over the power of that influence to other nations that will make different decisions than we will. When we don’t like those decisions, we need to remember that we made the choice to remove ourselves from the process.

Trump needs this pandemic to go away so he can get the economy restarted. So he has social media agents putting forth astroturf movements to reopen America as he announces a miracle cure that will be available “soon.” He doesn’t realize that reopening America right now will result in a second wave, just like with the Spanish Flu. He’d need foresight for that, and he has proven all his life that he refuses to think things all the way through.

Saborlas

This administration is absolutely, provably dishonest. I judge you not for your choice of political party, but for your fanatical support of the demagoguery at play here. We’re looking at a decided lack of morals, ethics, and humanity that reflects very poorly on this country. History will not judge us favorably during these times. Do we really seek to show our greatness by demonizing the press that keeps us informed, holds our politicians to account, and reveals to us the secrets our leaders wish to keep from us? Or is it the blissful ignorance of science denial that will lead us back to the greatness of a time before vaccines, peer review, and the scientific method? Because knowing a thing may tell us we’re wrong, we should therefore seek to not know? This is wrong thinking on such a enormous scale as to be certain to lead us to destruction.

How sad it must be – believing that scientists, scholars, historians, economists, and journalists have devoted their entire lives to deceiving you, while a reality TV star with decades of fraud and exhaustively documented lying is your only beacon of truth and honesty.

@christophurious

So the CDC has come out and said that the virus doesn’t spread as easily from surfaces as they first thought. Does that make them liars and part of the great conspiracy? Nope. That makes them scientists reevaluating the situation based on new research and findings. Besides, who cares about surfaces when this thing is also airbourne and nobody is wearing masks. Probably you’ll suck it in before you stick it in your mouth with a dirty finger. It also sounds like the increased humidity of the summer may not slow it down as much as hoped, given the large percentage of people still susceptible to the virus. You may think it’s over, but I’m not so sure. I think we’ll be living with this for a long time to come. I don’t have any answers to all the issues, but wearing a mask seems like a not unreasonable thing to do.

a scientific theory is not what you think it is

scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.

Generally, I’m at the stage in my life where I don’t care enough about whatever you’re all hot and bothered about that I won’t argue with you. I keep myself out of that shit. You want to tell me 1+1=5, you’re absolutely correct. I may even nod along with you. I think you’re an idiot, but I’m not going to engage you on your nonsense. People are going to believe what they believe and I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. This is just me flying my flags. Stay safe. Don’t be a dick. Be good to those you come across. Enjoy the holiday weekend. Later.

Politics. That’s was your heads-up. Consider yourself warned. Trump impeachment. Why?

Full disclosure. I am not a fan. I’m not a flag wagging, chest thumping member of either party. I vote based on who I agree with, not which party they’re in. Mostly, I’m a moderate, or possibly a centrist, I reserve my right to declare which based on your definition of either. I’d like to keep my gun, but I’m willing to let you run a check on me when I buy a new one, and I understand limiting what I can buy to things that aren’t military grade weapons. I want to keep God out of my schools, courts, and politics, but I don’t care what sort of house of religion you go to. I’m all about free speech, equal rights for everybody, increasing freedoms, and reducing qualifications for those freedoms. But that’s just who I am. Whatever the case, there is no attention paid to the vast swath of Americans that just want things to be reasonable. Back to the impeachment thing.

Why? Are they doing this because they don’t expect to beat him in November 2020? I am not a fan of the president. I don’t like him as a celebrity/personality. I didn’t vote for him. And I most certainly have been mostly embarrassed by (and for) him as the leader of our country. The list is long, of ways by which he has done the office of the presidency wrong. But, three years in we’re going for impeachment? His approval rating is like 40%. I’d like to see both parties put up a challenger to Trump. But the GOP is working through the process of canceling any primaries or caucuses that might put up another candidate, thereby announcing that they are all in on this guy. Not surprising, being as he is the sitting president, but still disappointing. I like options. And the Democrats still have damn near a score of candidates fighting for the spot. Let me know when you get it down to a handful and I’ll start paying attention.

Don’t get me wrong. I want trump out of office. I’m just not sure that going through an impeachment process is the way to do it with a year to go before the election. I’m not convinced that it’s worth doing at this point.

I’m all for impeachments. Hell, I think the threat of impeachment should be greater and that the barriers to impeachment should be lower. After all, impeachment should not be limited to things covered by the legal system. That’s not why it’s in the constitution. It’s there to protect the sanctity of the office. It needs to be a tool of the political system as well. High crimes and misdemeanors sounds like the good stuff, but I think more emphasis should be placed on breaching the public trust and conduct unbecoming. Impeachment is in there (the constitution) as a check on runaway tyranny, and it’s not just for presidents. These people need to remember that they are public servants. And we expect our servants to behave well.

With that as the criteria, lots of presidents have committed impeachable offenses. Has Donald Trump breached the public trust? I think a rational, fair-minded person can come down on the side of thinking he has and that his actions merit impeachment. But a grand jury can indict without charging and a congress should look at impeaching without the goal being to evict or convict of legal crimes. Censure and reprimand are tools in the congressional toolbox. We don’t need to get everybody out of office. Maybe we just need to thwack ’em upside the head every so often to keep them on the straight and narrow.

I think the president has done things worthy of impeachment. I’m just not convinced that doing so at this point is going to be beneficial to the democrats, the government, or the country at this point. I also believe that if they try and fail, it’s going to benefit Trump in the coming election. I want him gone, but let’s just vote him out. Like the Mueller report, I’m not saying he commited crimes against the office of the presidency, but neither am I exonerating him from his actions.

We have the tweets, the press conferences, and the facts. Very soon we’ll have the “tell all” memoirs from every member of the cabinet letting us know what these smart, accomplished, and credible people really experienced during their time in the white house. The legacy has already been set in place.

It isn’t right. It isn’t fair. It isn’t fit. It isn’t proper. But it’s where we’re at.

Yes, impeachment is the constitutional process for addressing presidential misconduct. But maybe the coming election is a better forum to adjudicate this and avoid the rush of vindication and exoneration that will occur when the Senate refuses to convict. I’m probably too late to the podium with my arguments, they’re going to do what they do, without listening to me. I just don’t think this is going to work out the way they expect it too.

Besides, President Mike Pence… Who is that? Probably a more conservative version of George W. Bush with a more overt religious bias. I don’t want that. I’ve got more than enough religion mixed up with my government already. No thank you.

So I should probably stay away from Facebook. I mean, I usually do and that’s for the best. But I’m seeing a lot of really thinly veiled racism, political ignorance, and other shit that annoys the hell out of me coming from people who should just be better. Having said that, I’m about to piss everyone I’ve ever known off; friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, even people who don’t know me, pretty much everyone.
On the president, he got elected and that’s a thing. Okay. I hope it all works out for the best, but it sure looks like a shit storm at this point. Trump is a dirty business man, a slimy celebrity, and now a crooked politician. Yes, he’s rich and successful, but he’s not a good person. Politics aside, he’s just not. All the various scandals and outrages the media keeps pulling out and the outrageous, unexplainable things that Trump does… they’re all centered on one thing. It’s all a diversion and an attempt to take the focus off the fact that he has tripped on his own dick and put himself in a position to be exposed for all history as the worst, most corrupt president ever. The Mueller investigation isn’t a witch hunt, there have been 19 indictments so far and Trump hasn’t even been interviewed yet. It’s an ugly mess, but it’s a real thing.
Veterans, service people, thank you for your service, but remember you served this country. The whole country. Not just the part you agree with. Not just the part you like. Not just the people that look like you or go to your church. The whole country. Don’t use your personal biases and petty hatreds to shade your time in the military with bigotry, prejudice, and distrust. Thirty percent of the serving military is minorities right now. You’re a patriot. We thank you. But you might also be an asshole. Don’t be an asshole.
I know it’s a holiday and I shouldn’t get up on a soapbox today, but… Home of the free. Land of the brave. Every religion. Every color. Everyone can be an American. That’s supposed to include the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Am I ringing any bells here? History? Government class? Anything? Hello!
Based on the census data from July 1,2016 America is 76.9% white. White people get over it, you’re winning. There are more of you than all the other colors combined. Stop acting like you’re the minority and shit isn’t fair. You look like asshats.
Seriously look at this shit, blacks make up 13.3% of the population. Hispanics make up 17.8% of the population. Everyone else you don’t like makes up less than 10%. These are not big numbers. Probably, even if they wanted to (and they don’t) there’s not enough of them to take over. Just let people be people and recognize that given those numbers and human tendencies, they probably have a legitimate set of complaints. The human default is a clannish, tribal protectiveness, but we’re an intelligent race of beings and can work to quash our baser tendencies. And we should. Better, fairer, safer, and more inclusive; these should be our goals.
Sure, I’ll give you that the percentages may be different where you live, but I’d be willing to bet that even where you’re at, you don’t have an accurate idea of the population numbers. White privilege is a thing. It’s a thing because whites are ¾ of the population. They have a lot of influence. It’s real. And all you Christians, you make up 69% of the religious community. The same shit applies to you.
And as long as were talking about things that are annoying me, women make up more than 50% of the population (50.8% to be exact). You know men. You know how people are when they have power and influence. People can seem nice, but really be assholes. Men do a lot of dick-swinging to prove how manly they are and how important they are and how powerful they are. It’s a thing. These women are not in some conspiracy to bring down rich and powerful men. Rich and powerful men are abusing that power. It’s real. I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. You know you have.
Look, you’re doing well. That’s great. You’re in the majority. Only 30% of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree in this country. The median HOUSEHOLD income is under $60,000. Which, just to put it in perspective means that (making some broad assumptions here with the numbers) 163,383,374 people in this country, the United States of America, who if you added up all their money as a household, are making less (possibly significantly less) than you alone. I don’t want to even get into the numbers for the rich because it’s just covetous greed.
Something like 62% of us think we’re in the middle class, but PEW research says that middle class income ranges from $43,000 to $125,000. Okay, sure. Whatever. That is an incomprehensible range that does not reflect reality. Two parents and a kid or two living on $43k, I bet they don’t feel middle class. The people at either end of that spectrum are living lives so different that they would be unrecognizable to the other side. I’m not advocating that the government redistribute everyone’s income to make things fair, and neither are any of the politicians (despite the fear mongering). But I am saying that there are a whole lot of people who are still struggling to make a living in this country and we should maybe recognize that the wealthy and the corporations do not have our best interest in mind. And, I just want to say, you don’t hear about a lot of poor politicians.
I recognize that this is becoming a rambling mess and that I can’t be bothered to do much editing to it, so I’ll wrap it up with this. America was founded by white, male, Christians. Who cares. Everybody has to be something. That’s what they were. But while they were all flawed individuals, just like you and I, the language they decided on—agreed to in compromise and put down in writing—embraced some very important ideas. Ideas that things can, and should, be better.
Freedom of speech. Where you can say whatever you want without fear of government persecution. But this does not free you from the opinion your words may engender in your neighbors.
Freedom of religion. You can be whatever religion you want. But don’t expect your beliefs to be those of your neighbors. You may love Jesus, but I don’t give a shit, I don’t want to hear about it. Probably, your Muslim, Jewish, and Wiccan neighbors just want you to stop telling them they’re going to hell and looking disapprovingly at them.
Lastly, no body gives a shit how things used to be. Times change. Ideas evolve. Ideally this will work to make the country and the world a more open, accepting, friendly place. Get over your shit and start working on making that happen.
Enjoy your holiday. Have a hotdog and a beer. Spend some time with the family. Kick off the summer with a bash. But recognize and remember all those who have given their lives for you and for your country. And recognize that all the brave men and women in uniform today are in danger of being on that list next Memorial Day. That’s what the holiday is about. Honor and Remember.

Just as the primaries start to wind down and you find yourself thinking that the candidates for either party lack a little something, I offer you one more option. A more optional option. Someone who remembers that there is more to America than just Mexico and Canada, and some more places in the south part. Lets put the US back in America. Vote Ronn.*

InAmerica
It’s where we are

VoteRonn
Healthcare, yep, I’ve got a card for that in my wallet.

VoteRonn2
Is there a 401K?

*You probably won’t see it on your ballet, but there will probably be a space there somewhere to write it in. If not just scribble it at the bottom. That’ll probably work.