Ranking the Presidents from a libertarian perspective

I remember some time ago – maybe as far back as a couple of years ago – I saw a link pointing to a list ranking the presidents on a libertarian scale. I did some digging around tonight, and I believe that this is that list I saw.

Of course, it’s all subjective. There are several lists like this one, and they all vary a little bit depending on the views of the person who wrote the list. I say that to stress that while I’m linking to this list, I didn’t write it, so don’t assume that I endorse everything in it.

His top five U.S. Presidents:

  1. Martin Van Buren
  2. Grover Cleveland
  3. John Tyler
  4. Calvin Coolidge
  5. Zachary Taylor

And, of course, no “best of” list is any good without an accompanying “worst of” list. Here are his list of the worst 5 presidents:

  1. George W. Bush
  2. Abraham Lincoln
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. Ronald Reagan
  5. Harry S. Truman

A few of my thoughts on the list:

  • Make sure you see the note on that post that says if the list were updated, Obama would be at the very bottom.
  • I’ve never been a fan of Lincoln – not even a little bit, and it was interesting to see him ranked better than GWB. After seeing the reasons why, I understand, but before looking at this list, I would have argued that Lincoln was our worst President.
  • Bush was awful for liberty. I’d say he’s accurately portrayed in this list with an overall score of -332. Not good.
  • I’m still trying to swallow having Reagan as one of the worst. I know he wasn’t perfect, but that’s a tough pill for a Republican to swallow.
  • Remember, that’s a ranking based on a libertarian mindset. That means that things like provoking war and interfering in free markets are generally frowned upon (which is probably why Reagan isn’t higher on the list).

It’s an interesting list, to say the least. I’ve enjoyed reading through it to see what he has to say about all of these men. Take a look and see what good and bad was said about each President. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and how well (or poorly) your favorite President was ranked.

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