Underrated Presidents

What Makes a Good President?


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There have been many presidents in US history. Join me as I discuss a few of my favorites.

Sonya S Smith, Guest Writer

As President Trump continues to make controversy and the 2020 elections near, debates are heated on whether or not he is the right president for the USA. So even though most of us, as teens, can’t vote, let’s revisit some of the best presidents of the USA (in my book, of course) to see what truly makes a president (or any leader, for that fact) great.

James Madison

Quite honestly, James Madison is one of my favorite presidents. First off, he practically wrote the Constitution and then compiled the Bill of Rights; he loved learning; he helped to write The Federalist Papers (a super awesome, and confusing, compilation of essays used to persuade the American people to accept the Constitution) and he was a man of integrity. Also, he was married to Dolley Paine, one of my favorite first ladies (that’s not really why I like him, but it’s cool, you know). Also, I’m related to him. We have the same great — grandfather.

Why do I say he is a man of integrity?

James Madison, president during the War of 1812, refused to take away our freedoms he had fought so hard to gain. When Congressmen and peers approached him, asking him to limit the American people’s freedoms so that spies would have a harder time getting information to the British, he refused to do so.

James Knox Polk

James Knox Polk was a “dark horse candidate” (a candidate who shows up kind of unexpectedly, at the last minute and then wins). While running for election, he promised the American people that he would, 1. cut tariffs; 2. reestablish an independent U.S. Treasury; 3. secure the territory of Oregon; and, 4. gain the Californian and New Mexican territories from Mexico. He achieved all four goals in one term –the only US president to do so, thus far –and then refused renomination.

Grover Cleveland

During his first term as president, Grover Cleveland reformed the government. He appointed people based on merits, not parties. During his second term, he didn’t do so well though. So I like first-term Grover Cleveland but not second-term Grover Cleveland.

Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge is another one of my very favorites. He kept the federal government out of other people’s business, reduced taxes and boosted the economy, and basically just let everything work the way it should. He vetoed socialist bills, and also reduced the US debt by about 25%(about $5 million in that time’s currency, which is $75,430,116.96 (1) now, an amazing achievement.

Calvin Coolidge was vice president under Warren G Harding, who died mid-term; after Harding died and Coolidge was sworn in, he worked hard to accomplish what Harding had set out to do before turning to his own goals for the USA. He was then elected and served one term on his own before stepping down from the presidency, much to the public’s dismay.

So What Makes A Good President?

Many things make a good president. Some that are characterized in these men are integrity, refusing to take away freedoms, getting done what they promised Americans they would do, reforming and then keeping the government uncorrupted, reducing taxes, letting the economy (mostly) do it’s own thing, and reducing the national debt.

(1) https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/