Happy Birthday and Presidential Rankings!
LeBron and Tiger share a birthday, December 30. Come celebrate by reading the okay summaries of the next two presidents in our rankings!
We wish two American sports icons a happy birthday on this day, December 30. In 1984, LeBron James was born to a 16-year-old girl Gloria James in Akron, Ohio. Picking up basketball at the age of nine, LeBron is considered one of the best basketball players ever.
Eleven years prior, in Cypress, California, retired Army officer Earl Woods and his wife, Tida, welcomed Eldrick Tont Woods into the world. Better known as Tiger Woods, he has become one of the greatest golfers in the sport's history.
We are fellow Capricorns, so we understand this time of year produces greatness. LeBron began by winning a few high school state championships and went on to win a few NBA Championships, including one for our hometown of Cleveland, along with several gold medals. He has used all this winning to become a spokesperson on everything except human rights violations in China. Oh, he's also a bad movie actor. But whatever, he's LeBron!
Woods has won many major golf tournaments, including one in the town where we grew up in Columbus. Woods has also scored with women who weren't his wife, and this activity landed him in rehab for such shenanigans. He also has become a spokesperson for various products, including automobiles, which is ironic because he can't seem to drive them without them turning over and almost killing himself. He recently has returned from his latest crash dummy role and is playing golf with his son, Little Tiger. How about that?
James and Woods are high performers. Sure, they have their flaws; nobody is perfect. They are type A personalities who strive for success and entertain us with their abilities. For some weird reason, we value their opinions because they are good at sports. I used to be good at sports, and nobody cared what I thought about the Reconstruction.
Anyway, happy birthday to these accomplished gentlemen, and with that lead-in, let's look at the top-of-line presidents in our next round of rankings.
5: Dwight D. Eisenhower
2017 Ranking: 6
2019 Ranking: 5
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 5
Term – January 20, 1953– January 20, 1961
Eisenhower expanded Social Security and worked on several more progressive fronts, like passing the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and creating the federal highway system, which provided excellent infrastructure to the country. Think of not having the highway system. There would be no Golden Corrals. Or Flying J truck stops. Who would own the Browns right now?
Ike approved many regime changes in foreign countries worldwide, particularly approving the Bay of Pigs invasion that his successor, Bobby Kennedy's brother, tried and failed to implement.
Eisenhower is one of the most gifted statesmen to have ever served. Only George Washington ranks higher in impact, accomplishment, and legacy. From the battlefield to the White House, "I Like Ike" is more than just a campaign slogan. His final speech to the country was not to let the military become so big; we submit ourselves to feeding it. Whoops. The budget for the US military has risen every year since 1960 – except 1991 for some odd reason. (We were actually at war that year.)
Why did I rank him here?
My brain simply can't push Eisenhower into the top four for some reason. That probably sounds strange because the Eisenhower administration was overwhelmingly good for the country. Okay, maybe my brain knocks him because he did give us Nixon, despite when Nixon did this.
4: Thomas Jefferson
2017 Ranking: 4
2019 Ranking: 4
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 7
Term – March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
The Louisiana Purchase stands out as a significant Jefferson accomplishment. It's funny when I live beyond my means, it is looked upon poorly, but for Tommy J, busting out the country's credit card for Cajun earns him a spot in the top tier of best leaders.
He tried to annex Florida, and at this point, don't we just want Florida to annex itself? He also signed the Embargo Act of 1807, which was as bad as it sounds.
Jefferson was a huge advocate of religious freedom. What's wild about his thinking is, he edited his own Bible. I don't think he believed much in the divinity of Jesus Christ, so he cut out the miracle stories and instead kept the essential parables, and that one time when the Savior screamed at a fig tree.
Why did I rank him here?
I probably fall into the problem most people think so highly of Jefferson, and it was what he did before and after his presidency. The man wrote the Declaration of Independence, a profound Facebook rant filled with half-truths and used as a motivational gimmick to justify war. Since there are a few UVA grads in our readership, founding that school that promotes its students to wear ties to football games is certainly something that stands out. My guess is I'll be moving Jefferson down in the future.
Only three more spots till we reveal #1. What's your guess? Let us know below!