Overall, morons like Tweety who purport to be be pros with his fluffer Howard Fineman miss the fundamental dynamic with this pseudo intellectual exercise. Tweety suddenly blurts he’s mystified how ‘liberals’ made this ranking. Fineman gushes his number one president would be JFK. Allowing these people more air time is crime against the future.If, as Antonio avers, what's past is prologue, then I'm tempted to propose that the present is invariably a crime against the future. Of the list of Big Men reproduced at the other end of the above-linked Strauss piece, I don't just this to say. In my un-humble opinion, Washington was the only good President; ever thus a decline. Kennedy and Wilson were two of the greatest tragic blunderers in American history, the latter a vicious racist who got us involved in a European war, the former a horn-dog ratfucker with a third-rate intellect. Ho Chi Minh reportedly said that he couldn't conceive that America could be so stupid upon the news of Ngo Dinh Diem's death. I suspect that if he uttered it, he did so with inscrutable irony.
-The Stiftung Leo Strauss
Reagan? Truman? America's self-infatuated mythos isn't really so unique among nations, but our genuine attachment to mediocrity is. I recall when Reagan's journals were put out and almost the whole of our official culture stood back and proclaimed that the myth of the unthinking actor could now be put firmly to rest. Here was a man with opinions, not pausing to note just how shallow and inconsequential these opinions actually were. The mere fact of their topicality was taken to indicate intellectual rigor of some sort or other. Truman was a party hack who inherited an already-won war. Of TR, Gore Vidal memorably opined, "Give a sissy a gun and he will kill everything in sight." If the Menckenian logic is to be believed, it was Calvin Coolidge who provided the model of a president. By doing almost nothing, he did almost nothing wrong.