C-SPAN has conducted their third survey of presidents, where they rank each president from best to worst. I really appreciate the methodology they use, and how clearly they explain their process. However, based on their outcome, I’d have to say something is terribly flawed with their system.
Calvin Coolidge ranked 27th, between Jimmy Carter (26th) and Richard Nixon (28th.) Not only was Coolidge considerably better than Carter and Nixon, but he may have been the best president in history. There’s certainly room to debate that point, but there’s no argument that he should way higher than 27th.
Coolidge quickly cleaned up the corruption that Harding had left behind, which helped him greatly in gaining the favor of the American people. He wasn’t cutting deals with congress and meeting with lobbyists – and he wasn’t afraid to say “no.” He cut taxes; but only after [dramatically] reducing spending.
Silent Cal had the strong, quiet, decisive nature that one desires in a president. He was not haughty or pretentious, nor flashy or supercilious. (Unlike some recent presidents who come to mind.) He was intelligent, yet simple; reserved, yet efficient. Calvin Coolidge has been remarkably understated in not only this survey, but in most discussions about the best presidents in history.
To right this wrong, A World Under Fire will be recreating this survey and coming up with a new ranking of presidents. Stay tuned.