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Four Letter Word For Presidential Rankings
The first modern-day crossword was published on this date, December 21, 1913, in the New York World. Come read the next round of presidential rankings.
The first crossword puzzle was published on this day, December 21, 1913 in New York World, which sounds like what a paper in a Marvel movie would be called.
Created by Arthur Wayne, a violinist who became a journalist, the crossword puzzle was originally called word-cross, which sounds stupid. Word- Cross. What is that?
Hey, whatcha doing?
The debut puzzle featured a diamond layout and contained no black squares, making it racist. It also provided numbers at the beginning and end of a clue, rather than just the number at the beginning.
So it had no grid, no colors, and multiple numbers that made it confusing. Seems like a good time!
Obviously, it was. It took off and became wildly popular. Urban legend explains that the name changed due to an error in the typecast of the printing press, which was clearly run by a normal person who put in crossword because that's what it is.
Okay, we got rankings to get to, so let's jump in!
9: Lyndon Baines Johnson
2017 Ranking: 10
2019 Ranking: 9
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 11
Term – November 22, 1963– January 20, 1969
Johnson's domestic policies are one bookend of his presidency that was excellent. His focus on Civil Rights, Welfare, Healthcare, anything that ends with a-r-e really, in a quest to create a Great Society.
Johnson's handling of the Vietnam War was the other bookend of his administration which was pretty bad. This war would be a rallying cry for enemies and an example of opponents who don't want America to extend its footprint by force.
The weight of the war would force Johnson to announce he would not seek reelection in 1968. Bobby Kennedy tried to win the nomination but was assassinated in a California hotel. This allowed Vice President, Richard Nixon, to swoop in and defeat that guy he beat. Whatever his name was. Loser. Mr. Loser.
Why did I rank him here?
Now that we are in the top ten, we see considerable impacts in policy, primarily for good, although the bads are pretty epic. There is no doubt that Johnson's efforts on equality in all areas are a bright spot, and the Vietnam War prevents him, to me, from being a top five.
8: Ronald Reagan
2017 Ranking: 8
2019 Ranking: 7
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 9
Term – January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
Reagan won The Cold War by basically outspending the Soviets into their destruction. Inflation decreased when he took over, which is good. Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination to the Supreme Court was another good one.
The Iran-Contra scandal sits at the top of Reagan's failures. Reagan also vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, saying it violated states' rights in determining their own voting rules and procedures.
In 1981, the union of federal air traffic controllers went on strike, which was a big no-no according to the law. Reagan threatened to fire them all if they didn't end the strike. Of course, they didn't, so Reagan fired them, and now my airport has Reagan's name on it as some sort of stupid badge of honor. I call it National.
Why did I rank him here?
Reagan currently is a transformational presidency which I believe we will see as a controversial presidency. A conservative icon, one can argue that Reagan has become a rallying cry to continue to "small/less/little government" with the premise that government is inherently bad. I find this theory odd since the government of the people, etc. Reagan's fiscal policy helped accelerate an American aristocracy, where the rich continued to become more prosperous. It will be interesting to study more of Ronnie's legacy as the years go on.
Crosswords are such a challenge to me. I enjoy how people can disconnect from the world and bang out the weekly puzzle from the New York Times.
There was a time when crosswords were becoming a craze in the 1920s, and experts began to wonder if completing them caused you joy or frustration. For me? Frustration. How about you? Share it below!