Where Have All The Statesmen Gone?

As I wrote a blog yesterday on Hillary Clinton’s loss and why she felt she lost, it hit me. We haven’t had much in the way of “statesmen” as presidents or even losers for the White House in a very, very long time. It got me to thinking where have all of the “statesmen” of the past gone? Where are the Washington’s, the Lincoln’s, the Jefferson’s, hell, the Roosevelts (both of them)? They’re nowhere to be found anymore. Instead we’re saddled with people that are mediocre at best. I tried to figure out that out of the people that have either run for the office or been elected president since I’ve been around (60 years or so), who from each party would I say deserved the mantle “great”. I struggled.

I had less problems with the Republicans. There is only one name that stands out…Ronald Reagan. Out of the presidents, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, HW Bush, W Bush, and Trump, only Reagan could be even considered “great”. The Democrats I had a much tougher time with. You have Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton and Obama. I would say if some moderate were picking from that group and HAD to pick one, they’d go with Clinton. If a Democrat were picking from that group, they’d go with Johnson (because of the “war on poverty” and civil rights…forgetting entirely about the “war on Vietnam”).

So that would leave us to look at the worst candidates. Look at the last several folks to have run and lost. You’ve got Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Bob Dole, leaving out the incumbent presidents that ran and lost (HW Bush, Carter, and Ford…none of whom could scratch the surface of greatness). Don’t forget Michael Dukakis, George McGovern, and Barry Goldwater, who were also some of the weakest in history! That’s a field right there of both Republicans AND Democrats that you have to shake your head at and wonder why they were even considered to be worthy!

I’m trying to figure out the worst of the worst of the candidates, and I’d say it would have to be Hillary because of the fact she SHOULD have crushed Trump. She has been a loser in every job she’s ever had. Following her, it’s a tossup. Dole, Gore, McCain, Romney, Dukakis, Goldwater, McGovern, and Kerry were all terrible candidates. It’s a wonder we even had close races in some of those years! And it’s a wonder that Carter was even able to get elected (It was right after Watergate if you remember, and he was up against Gerald Ford who had pardoned Richard Nixon). I think I could have run against Gerald Ford and beat him that year!

No, we don’t have statesmen running for the White House anymore. We’ve been besieged by bozo’s and nincompoops that have lowered our standards and turned our election cycles into high school student council debates. And you wonder why America has fallen off the stage as a world leader?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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2 thoughts on “Where Have All The Statesmen Gone?

  1. Well Desert, you seem a little down at the moment. Your search for Statesman is just a little misguided at the moment. I say this with respect as history is the real judge of who great presidents are and who are failures.

    Let me give you an example of this. If we are looking at post WWII presidents, Harry Truman, a failed KC habadasher, was considered just after he left the presidency, a failure. Since the mid to late 70’s he is consistently listed as a near great president. Why is this? Well, it is to look at his accomplishments, ending WWII albeit with two nuclear devices, Marshall Plan which essentially saved Europe from going communist and rebuilt their economies making them the power houses they are today, intervention in Korea with inconclusive results, fired MacArthur at the height of his popularity because he defied the president , an unpopular move at the time but asserted that the president is the commander-in-chief and MacArthur was a little off the rails anyway.

    Lyndon Johnson is in the near great category I believe because not only the Way on Poverty (which I participated in with VISTA), but the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Chief Justice Roberts is an idiot) but Medicare (which I am eternally grateful for otherwise the medical community would have sucked me dry by now). Is Viet Nam a stain, sure and a large one but that comes with the territory. Tricky Dick from Yorba Linda I believe is on the near great list because of his accomplishments, i.e., Energy Dept., EPA and other domestic policies while opening relations with China changed foreign to this day. Sure there is that Watergate thing but I believe in retrospect his shameless handling of the Viet Nam War is greater. He had no secret plan and half of the ultimate deaths in the war were during his watch. Now I am going to get in trouble with this one but I think Jimmy Carter will be one of the near great presidents. I base this on his foreign policy accomplishments. First we have the Egypt-Israel deal which holds to this day considering what a dung hole the Middle East is. No matter who was in power in Egypt, Sadat, Mubarak, a bunch of generals, Muslim Brotherhood, Sissi, they all stated they would honor this deal. The other isvolves human rights. President Carter was the first to bring this to the forefront and make it policy. The term and interest is common place today and we owe to Carter. Domestically he took hits as bills for Viet Nam came due and with it terrible inflation. Remeber Ford’s big WIN button (whip inflation now)? Why are great and near great presidents judged this way? They all had deep personal involvement in their accomplishments. Robert Caro, PLEASE complete the last book on Johnson, please!

    As for Saint Ronnie of Alzheimer’s, what where his accomplishments? He tripled the national with his military build up against a country which was going bankrupt, destroyed the S&L business and incurred an addition several billion covering FDIC insured accounts, said he would never negotiate with terrorists and then sold Stinger missiles to Iran for release of hostages, supported Death Squads in Nicaragua after its leader Anatazio Samoza was defeated in a valid election and began privatization which is slowly destroying our country and you admire this mook? He did look good being basically a blithering idiot on TV. No hall of fame for him.

    As for Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, we really won’t be around for these. I know you aware that history will revise views of presidents as more scholarly research is completed. Case in point is James K. Polk who is receiving a new look, especially since he served at a time of Manifest Destiny.

    Know this wordy and is better to discuss face to face. Currently having a long running (almost 40 years) with my friend Alan as to when the 60’s ended. His position is with the death of Kennedy, mine position is election of Reagan, which more than a decade but then the Hundred Years War lasted almost one hundred twenty years. That’s history for you.

    • You know Snarky…this is one of the first comments you have written that a) actually makes some semblance of sense and b) I could actually get all the way through without losing breakfast! I don’t agree with all of it, obviously, but at least you’re making progress (and getting a tad bit more conservative!).

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