Nobody asked but …
I’ll say again, the Presidents of the United States are a motley crew. So far the scorecard reads 45 attempts, 45 clunkers. I am not saying there were no honorable persons in the group (“honorable” itself is a very iffy word). But I have practically no regard for the intellects of any of today’s half-dozen. With the exception of the monstrous Jackson, the other 5 are bound for the oubliette of history. But, to me, there is no such thing as a great President. To have been a POTUS places a black mark on that career. Few (ie none) have risen above.
On some occasions, some wisdom has been dispensed independently of the downward slide to the oval office. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the second six (7-12):
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.
As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.
The chains of military despotism, once fastened upon a nation, ages might pass away before they could be shaken off.
Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man’s conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible.
I would bring the government back to what it was intended to be – a plain economical government.
If elected, I would not be the mere president of a party – I would endeavor to act independent of party domination and should feel bound to administer the government untrammeled by party schemes.
But every person who has served in furtherance of this inauspiciously mediocre capacity, in my view, has a great atrocity to their name. Again, the list:
- Andrew Jackson — (if space permits) The Trail of Tears, Bigamy, The Spoils System, the Seminole Wars, Roger B. Taney
- Martin Van Buren — Furthered the ‘Trail of Tears,’ Alcoholism, the Panic of 1837, Pro-Slavery
- William Henry Harrison — First POTUS to die in office
- John Tyler — Never Elected POTUS
- James K. Polk — Mexican-American War, Manifest Destiny,
- Zachary Taylor — Last American President to own slaves, ‘Indian Fighter’, mysterious death
— Kilgore Forelle