New presidential ranking

In the past, I’ve expressed my reservations against rankings of presidential greatness, which traditionally have been skewed by various biases – action bias, power bias, liberal/progressive bias, and so forth.

My own experience in science reminds me that one can “build in” the desired end result to some extent by asking the right, i.e., carefully worded or even loaded questions of the right, i.e., handpicked people, and you can certainly tweak and twist the results, too. That said, I was heartened recently to see a ranking produced by Franklin’s Opus, the trade name of the American Institute of Historians and History Educators.

They asked a small but apparently knowledgeable panel of experts to rank all presidents (excepting only the current holder of the office, and short-termers William Henry Harrison and James A. Garfield) on three criteria, namely how well they “executed the laws and the Constitution,” “promoted liberty and prosperity,” and “exercised good leadership,” and if you think these bode well for Calvin Coolidge, you would be absolutely correct – have a look at the results, and check out the cool animation of what Mt. Rushmore would look like if it represented the survey’s result!


2 thoughts on “New presidential ranking

  1. Pingback: “Survey of the Presidents of the United States” | The Importance of the Obvious

  2. Loved this.

    My colleagues at work often make fun of my ‘C.C. is the greatest American president’ comments. However, I had the satisfaction Friday of conversing with a liberal who agreed, with C.C., that ‘we need less of the material and more of the spiritual’. I think there may yet be hope for him.

    In the meantime, another C.C. quote that is most timely right now:

    “It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man.”

    As I like to say, if you stand still long enough, the world will eventually catch up to you.


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