The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Obama: the worst of all Presidents? Perhaps not, but it's close!

Barack Obama has been one of our very worst Presidents. But I got to thinking: Is he the worst ever? Well, I can't really say; I've heard of some pretty bad Presidents, such as James Buchanan and Warren G. Harding, but not having lived through their Presidencies, I find it pretty hard to evaluate them vis-à-vis Obama. So I finally decided that I could only evaluate him as compared to the Presidents who served during my lifetime. And for the rest of this post, I will stick to that field.

When I was born, Franklin D. Roosevelt was President. But he died before my third birthday, so I really have no memories of him as President. And anyway, though my opinion of him is a whole lot lower than that of my FDR-loving parents, he would be out of the running for worst, so whether or not he should be counted among “the Presidents who served during my lifetime” doesn't really matter.

Thinking through the list of Presidents from Truman to Obama, I find that, while I am strongly negative about at least one, namely Bill Clinton, and I really think he should have been removed by the impeachment process for his lying under oath, there is really only one President who might contend with Pres. Obama for the title of “worst in my lifetime”: Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter took two carefully crafted foreign policy deals and ruined them: first: we had found a way to have Communist China represented in Washington by the equivalent of an embassy, while not giving up our insistence that the true legal government of China was the Nationalist government in Taipei, and second: we had negotiated a settlement of the Vietnam War. Carter gave in to the Communist Chinese demand that we throw out the embassy of Nationalist China and give them the status as the legitimate government of China, and he essentially surrendered South Vietnam to the North. In general, Carter was hopelessly naïve about Communists; he expressed “shock” that Leonid Brezhnev would lie to him!

Domestically, Carter was pretty bad too: he appointed a doctor who had been found guilty of prescription drug law violations as his drug program manager! In general, knowing Jimmy Carter from Georgia was more important than competence in qualifying for an appointment in the Carter Administration,

Now, Barack Obama came into office because the economy had taken a serious dive. So you'd think he would use the powers of the Presidency to work on the economy. But his only economic proposal was really a “stimulus” that did not stimulate. Most of his efforts were spent trying to put through a “cap and trade” proposal that would, if anything, bring our economy down further (which never went through, in the end!) and, even more, actually forcing through an unconstitutional (well, ok, it has not yet been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, so it's only my opinion that it is unconstitutional!) law on health care, over the wishes of the American people. (Even in Massachusetts, they elected Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy's seat when Kennedy died, mainly because of his stance on that health care bill!)

So was Obama worse than Carter? It's a close call. Probably Carter deserves the “worst of the Presidents who served during my lifetime” title, and Obama is only #2. But it's hard to understand why anyone really contemplates voting to re-elect him this year.

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