I Do Declare - More Presidential Rankings!
James Monroe declared Europe to stay out of the Americas because the U.S. is now a Big Boy country. Come read more about the Monroe Doctrine, made on this day, December 2, 1823.
By 1823 the United States had begun feel other countries were taking us seriously. About ten years earlier, the silly War of 1812 was fought, ending with no clear winner. That also meant Americans weren’t losers, and it is that mindset that we recognize a central American policy that was declared on this day, December 2, 1823.
Despite no standing army or resemblance of a navy, President James Monroe blurted out a policy during the State of Union that would serve as our foreign principle for another century. The Monroe Doctrine stated firmly that Europeans had had their fun in the Western Hemisphere, but the party was over. Monroe informed everyone that unless they had already claimed a colony and that colony had not declared independence, European nations may no longer come over here and set up shop.
Much like the declarations I make at home, the announcement was met with silence. England was fine with it because it wanted open trade with newly independent countries across the Americas. No one else really objected since no one really cared what I thought…I mean what the U.S. thought.
Throughout the centuries, the Monroe Doctrine was used to justify the actions from World Warr II to the Cuba Missile Crisis in 1962 to the Cold War. Many more competent people about this stuff have argued The Monroe Doctrine laid the foundation for American Imperialism.
Personally, I would just like more living beings in my house to listen to me.
Okay, we are onto the top tier of presidential rankings. The Final 15. Which is like the Sweet 16, except minus one and a completely different word. Let’s get after it.
15: Bill Clinton
2017 Ranking: 15
2019 Ranking: 15
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 19
Term – January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
Clinton was elected because, in 1992, the economy was broken. Clinton picked up the pieces and made it run as it should. We levied taxes on the rich, cut taxes for the middle and the poor, and the economy took off. If you care about deficits, Clinton managed to bring it down. If you don’t care about deficits, like me, well then, let’s just move on.
I can’t think of an administration that was investigated more than Clinton’s. With the rise of conservative media and the need to feed the monster full of content, Republican politicians found an easy target. Remember that the impeachment of Clinton started with a real estate accusation and ended with infidelity. He also had a bunch of other screw-ups, but we all lived through them.
Clinton was elected at 46 years old. I turn 46 in about a month. Growing up is weird when you look at other people’s lives through the spectrum of your life. Like my parents had five kids from 25 to 14 at 46. None of this is relevant to the Clinton presidency.
Why did I rank him here?
Clinton is the perfect combination of progressive and conservative policies meant to find the sweet spot of governing. When we look back on Democratic presidencies post-Lyndon Johnson, we will see a more conservative approach. We can thank Reagan for that.
14: James Monroe
2017 Ranking: 16
2019 Ranking: 16
2021 C-SPAN Ranking: 12
Term – March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
The Monroe Administration was a period of bipartisan unity or, as a newspaper put it, “The Era of Good Feelings” because Monroe ushered in the idea that Americans together should feel proud of the country they live in. I picture lots of hugging.
The War of 1812 seems like it was a bad idea. It was during this war that the British burned down Washington. Not a good look for James. One historian I read laughed at the concept of C-SPAN voting Monroe 12th simply because of this. She has a good point.
Monroe presided over the Panic of 1819, which is how they described economic depressions back then. We had more panics through the years. The Panic of 1837. The Panic of 1857. Of 1893. I feel like there is an opening to rank the panics.
Why did I rank him here?
Like I mentioned in my last rankings, I mix up Monroe and Madison. I’m still of the mindset that the Founding Fathers need to be top 20ish. It will help when I read more about them to turn around then and provide myself clarity as to where they fit.
Do you have any Doctrines? Our family has rules. Like Dake Family Rule #1 – Never go anywhere without your own car. Dake Family #2 – Never throw away today’s newspaper. Important rules that we must follow when people in the house are listening.
What are yours? Share them below!