If these candidates were up for presidency, which one would you want?
Tough call, my first pick was jefferson because he was so bright. But he wouldn't get anything done because the conservatives in the country would be hung up on his affair with his employee/slave (I forget if she was a slave.)
I like Lincoln because he was real. He saw a lot of heartache in his life, and he seemed to try to handle it with honor and integrity.
She was a slave.
I forgot to add one thing. This poll is based on the assumption that the selected candidate would have enough political support to implement his reforms.
Teddy Roosevelt. He'd be able to cut through all of the corporate crap that goes on nowadays.
Yeah I gotta go with TR too.
Out of those guys, it's TR all the way.
If I had any choice, it would naturally be James Buchanan, but out of those candidates, TR does nicely.
Who could help manage the amazing growth of China and India so as to be in America's best interest better than TR?
Who could lead an effective Global War On Terrorism better than TR?
Do you think TR would put up with this crap going on in Iraq? He would've either gone in there really quick, set up a good puppet regime, and effectively stolen all their oil, or he would've put the full power of the American military to work and effectively set that country up with a functioning government of their own to make sure that Americans wouldn't be needlessly dying over there for years. That, or he wouldn't have gone in the first place, but if you think about it, he probabally would've invaded Iraq anyway.
And goddamn, if TR were president, you could forget about John Roberts as Chief Justice, we could've had William Howard Taft running the Supreme Court!
I'll go with Jefferson because he was such a genius.
Although wasteofO2 makes TR sound like an incredibly efficient human being... Jefferson rocks.
If we could have Jefferson's spirit forever present in the Oval Office, that would be a great thing. It'd be awesome to have him around forever giving the President advice on everything, constantly letting people know exactly WWJD (What Would Jefferson Do?).
Jefferson was for sure a smart guy, that whole "Bill of Rights" thing was a pretty astute idea, but he was also flaming hypocrite, and the image most people have of his is seemingly more romanticized than that of all the other founding fathers.
Jefferson owned slaves. Big point against him. He didn't even free them all at his death, only about 5 of them.
He did a pretty bad job as the wartime governor of Virginia during the revolution.
A huge percent of the documents pertaining to him are self-censored to make him out to look as good as possible and those who were against him as bad as possible. He was very vain in that sense.
Not to take away from what a great guy he was, but like every man, he had major flaws. He just did a good job of hiding them.
TR certainly had flaws too, but he made up for them by kicking everyone's ass. Jefferson was clever and made those who disagreed with him out to be bastards, but TR just kicked everyone's ass who was in disagreement with him. TR's flaws were mainly that he didn't give a damn what anybody thought, and acted as he saw best, even in violation of the Constitution many times. Fortunately, what he did was largely in everybody's best interest. He would just write letters to the public about what a bunch of crooks and bastards everyone on Congress was - how cool is that? When there was a coal strike, he pissed off both sides, screwed over both sides, helped both sides out, and got the country the coal they needed. When he went to Africa to hunt elephants, he didn't do it like a pussy, he used an Airplane.
TR did whatever the hell he wanted without caring what anyone thought, fortunately, what he wanted to do was kick bastard's asses, get America in as good a situation as possible and kill big animals.
Hmm... this large amount of ass kicking sounds very tempting. I might have to change my choice.
I had to pick Lincoln, mostly because of his sheer will and self-motivation (becoming a lawyer by reading through law textbooks he found in a barrel) and because he was probably the best pure leader our nation has ever seen; if not Lincoln, it's Robert E. Lee or possibly Carnegie, but I think it's easier to be a great military/business leader than a great national leader.
TR got things done, but I don't know if he'd be as effective today as he was back in the day (and even then, he ended up ostracized from his own party), plus he made some questionable moves. His handling of the Philipines after kicking out the Spanish was probably the real low point for me.
TR started out, and ended up ostracized from his own party. He was shoved in the VP slot to make sure he couldn't do anything to ruffle the feathers of the status-quo, and was hated by many Republicans (at least republican politicians) straight on through his presidency. He wasn't ostracized by the Republican voter however, and in every state with a direct primary, beat out Taft. The only reason he wasn't the Republican nominee in 1912 was that relatively few states had a direct primary, and the delegates of said state were chosen by party insiders who were vested in big business interests, which TR promised to further disrupt.
He was a bit dictatorial, I'll give you that. Beyond the Phillipines, he argued that Britain should retain colonial control of Egypt, and that Egypt should accept that, and that's kinda low as well. Even though he did argue that Britain was doing a horrible job and should definately improve the job they were doing, it still doesn't excuse his imperialism from a philsophical point of view.
But if you look at it from an American perspective, what he did that was philosphically inexcusable often led to good things for the American public.
And let's not forget Lincoln's flaws. Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, that's a pretty questionable move right there. He really only became opposed to slavery as a universal matter of policy very late in his tenure.
I voted for Jefferson. The man had major flaws (e.g. slavery) but his principles of small govt. would have been good for America especially at this point of time.
Just what we need, another President who says he favors limited government before he gets into office, then totally changes his mind once he's become the President.
Lots of the stuff about Jefferson is kinda BS that he propagated himself.
Jefferson didn't change his mind when he took office in 1800.
Maybe, but he did put into practice his beliefs about the govt. when he became president.
I voted for Jefferson because I find his policies to be good. He worked for the rights of all people (I'm not sure about women), not the rich. As for him owning slaves, slave ownership was necessary. He actively tried to remove slavery (making it possible for him not to need slaves, I hope).
I don't have a lot of knowledge on US presidents, so I can't really vote effectively.
Where in the "small government" dogma does it say you should buy enough land to double the size of your country?
He fought for the rights of white farmers in republican states.
Slave ownership was not necessary at all, many of the northern framers didn't own slaves, and many were abolitionists at the time of the signing of the constitution. Aaron Burr, for instance, never owned a slave. Alexander Hamilton might have owned one; history is unclear whether he was hired or was a slave.
He did not actively try to remove slavery, infact, he wrote a letter to an abolitionist group stating that he privately supported their cause, but for reasons of political expedience, couldn't openly support them.
Buying land isn't the same as a philosophy of government.
Besides, that was a very 'small government' move - or at least a 'weak federal government' move. The folks living next to the Mississippi would have seceded if he didn't make the Louisiana Purchase. Considering the Erie Canal was somewhere in the future, that would have also meant the loss of the 'Old Northwest' (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc), as well. The main routes of trade for the Mississippi River Valley states would have been through the Canadian territory (St Lawrence River) and the Mississippi River, completely bypassing the United States. It was a smart move (even if somewhat forced) that reduced the chance of having a larger competing nation right next door.
I've not really anti-Jefferson, and I hardly think comparing him to modern Republicans was fair of me. I think Jefferson would be a great modern president really, I was just kinda caught up in a TR induced ferver.
Ok, Jefferson could have freed all his slaves, but it would have made little difference. Jefferson tried to put a clause to abolish slavery in Virginia's Constitution, but it wasn't accepted. What I'm saying is that Jefferson owned slaves because the current system demanded it. Of course he could have simply freed all his slaves, but then what? It'd be more effective to force everyone to free their slaves, putting Jefferson on equal footing with others.
I could go with any of these three:
It would be great if we had leaders of such intelligence and character.
Jefferson's indiscretion with Sally Hemings is still controversial - http://www.monticello.org/plantation/hemingscontro/hemings-jefferson_contro.html - but hopefully he would adapt to these times.
I would go with Lincoln for the reasons stated, and also Theodore Roosevelt who was a very effective leader.
It would be nice to have all three this century.
Conservatives would never elect him since he slept with another man.
I chose Jefferson because he was brilliant. The Declaration of Independence is an incredible document.
As far as freeing his slaves, he felt that it would be cruel, he likened it to turning your children out to fend for themselves. Blacks would not have the same opportunities as whites and would suffer out on their own.
Washington sold one of his slaves off to the sugar plantations, which was effectively a death sentence. The price was enough provisions so that he could throw a good riddance party.
He later changed his outlook on slavery. When he took over the rebel army he did not want blacks in the army. After fighting and suffering alongside slaves and former slaves, he realized that they were all fighting for freedom together.
Washington's sister-in-law was a slave. Martha resented her and treated her poorly, even though they were sisters. Sure was an interesting time.
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