who was the best president of all time? i just want to see what people think

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It all depends on the criteria. If pressed, I'd say either Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt because they overcame staggering adversity. For effectiveness (in a rather ignoble cause) I'd say James K. Polk, who fulfilled his campaign promises and then some by adding the Mexican Cession.  It should go without saying that Washington should be up there too if for no other reason that he established a policy of neutrality that was upheld until 1917. He was not exactly as highly regarded in his own time as his mythology would suggest, however, and his presidency really did amount to a counter-revolution for many common people.

 

 

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I agree with those who have mentioned George Washington.  Abraham Lincoln would be a close second. (These guys are not on Mt. Rushmore for nothing.) I am always struck and moved by something Lincoln said (it's quoted in Aaron Copland's beautiful "Lincoln Portrait"): "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master." Imagine what our country might be like today if slavery had never happened.

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George Washington was certainly a great man and did much to make the U.S. a success; however one should also consider Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had considerable experience as a legislator and brought that experience to the White House. Under President Johnson, despite the ultimate failure of the War in Viet Nam, more substantive legislation was passed than under any other President, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the institution of Medicare, among other programs.

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I completely agree with the first part of the previous post.  Washington is the greatest because he stepped down from power.  This is very rare among people who take power in a new country.  Usually, you get people like Robert Mugabe, trying to hold power forever.  If that's what we had had, our history would be so much different...

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I would say George Washington. As the country's first president, the responsibility of establishing the presidency fell upon him. If he had wanted to stay in office indefinitely, or act as a king, he could have. People had wanted for him to be. He also established in all kinds of little ways what America's president should be.
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