Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Greatest Conservative Presidents

As we pause to celebrate Presidents’ Day, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Greatest Presidents from a conservative point of view.

1.  George Washington (1789-1797):  After leading the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolution, Washington was instrumental in setting the United States on a course of liberty and limited government.  By eschewing attempts to make him a monarch, Washington ensured the American experiment would indeed be democratic.  His words, “The Constitution is the guide, which I never will abandon,” should be the motto of every U.S. President.

2.  Ronald Reagan (1981-1989):  Reagan stared down the Soviet Union, bringing the Cold War to an end at long last.  He championed free markets and limited government, and his across-the-board tax cuts breathed new life into a faltering economy.  The Gipper’s constant reminder that the United States was a “shining city on a hill” gave rebirth to the notion of American exceptionalism.

3.  Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865):  Conservatives may not like his suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War or his disregard of states’ rights, but preserving the Union warrants Lincoln’s inclusion on this list.  Few have been as eloquent as Lincoln when he said at the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

4.  Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929):  “Silent Cal” presided over a booming economy as he slashed income and corporate taxes, limited regulations on private business, and retired a major part of the national debt.  He once astutely said, “Nothing is easier than spending the public money.  It doesn’t appear to belong to anybody,” and his presidency was a testimony to that philosophy of government thrift.

5.  Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897):  Cleveland was a pro-business Democrat who supported lower tariffs and battled government corruption, patronage, and high taxes.  He broke the Pullman Strike of 1894, which was threatening to paralyze the nation’s transportation system.  He vetoed 584 bills in his eight years mostly to cut excessive spending, yet had only seven vetoes overridden.

6.  Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961):  America’s postwar economy boomed during the Eisenhower presidency.  Ike stood firm in opposition to the menace posed by the Soviet Union and repeatedly warned against deficit spending.  After two decades of turmoil marked by the Depression and war, the Eisenhower Era of peace and prosperity was just the tonic America needed to emerge as a global superpower.  The building of the interstate highway system is one of the few massive federal projects that conservatives can applaud.

7.  Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809):  Jefferson served the country better before he became President as author of the Declaration of Independence.  His troubled second term left the nation’s military unprepared for the ensuing battle with the British in the War of 1812.  But he favored states’ rights and a limited federal government, repealed many federal taxes, and was a fierce opponent of government debt.  If a tenet of conservatism is getting the best bang for the taxpayers’ buck, then Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase qualifies as one of history’s great bargains.

8.  James Monroe (1817-1825):  The Monroe Doctrine in 1823 was a warning to the European powers to stay out of the New World and it kept the United States from becoming involved in foreign entanglements for most of the rest of the century.  Monroe opposed excessive government spending and vetoed a bill to make repairs on the national Cumberland Road, saying that “Congress does not possess the power under the Constitution to pass such a law.”

9.  Harry Truman (1945-1953):  Truman brought a swift end to World War II by approving the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and then navigated the Marshall Plan, which helped to rebuild Europe.  He started the transition from a wartime economy and stood firm against the threat of communism.

10.  George W. Bush (2001-2009):  He certainly has a mixed record by allowing spending to soar, but conservatives can applaud the Bush tax cuts, Supreme Court nominees, and strong response to 9/11.

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  • Dustoff

    lol… INTERNET big GUY.

  • Dustoff

    WOW, working on you high IQ I see.

  • Truncheon

    Just look at the size of that ePeen lol!

  • Truncheon

    Well, could you describe what “liberal” means in a sentence or two, and what “conservative” means in a sentence or two? Then we can see why you feel that way.

  • Truncheon

    Jimmy writes: “All of your hero’s suck”

    But Jimmy, *you’re* my hero!

  • Truncheon

    Jimmy writes: “Experiments on unknowing people”

    Oh, gory. What kind of experiments?

    Hey Jimmy, you realize that Obama is *still* waging Bush’s illegal wars, and didn’t bother to make up his own doctrine, he just kept on using the Bush doctrine?

    I guess after he got the new place there in DC, they handed him the “What’s Really Going Down” binder, and he discovered that everything he believes about war and stuff is wrong…

  • Truncheon

    A little overheated, but not entirely inaccurate. The Lenin/Stalin/Hitler thing is way over the top, I reject any linkage along those lines.

    I’ll just say that as far as any list of Conservatives, I don’t see Lincoln there either.

    Our country is pretty darn large as far as Western nations go, probably too large in the absence of any unifying religious commonality. From the benefit of hindsight, I’d wager permitting the South to secede would have been a superior plan.

  • Mike_Stephens

    Tea baggers are…? A what in your mouth. Great brain Jimmy6, your IQ is showing clearly. Now go get your government check because the private sector will reject you as the intellect you are!

  • Truncheon

    You can just tell that this guy gets all the chicks….

  • LiberalTerminator

    I have learned that history is full of apparent contradictions. For example, I have heard some stories against Lincoln too. But not even My Hero Ronald Reagan did do exactly as I would wish for a variety of reasons, but he is one the best in my view. Somethings were beyond his power. Not all Presidents get what they want. But I think he is the one who tried most even if he may have failed in some.

    But the problem I have with George W. is the fact that he favored world government, he also helped expand big government, he let stand all the Democrat moles in the federal bureacracy after his first election. Most Presidents clean house, but Bush let all the previous Democrat employees stay. I remember reading that from Human Events at the time. He did not have to do that. I would like to see a story on that to seen how this decision transpired. Maybe we would learn even more about the man.

    But if he is actually the 10th best conservative President, then we are starting very low. And that is the problem. But we shall overcome.

  • jimmy6

    Shut up shit head…..

  • jimmy6

    Again………Shut up stupid…

  • jimmy6

    You are stupid……

  • Truncheon

    Jimmy writes: “You are stupid…… ”

    Indeed, I’m totally stupid. Of all the things there are to know, I hardly know anything, and I’ve really been trying all my life. And of all the smart guys that have ever been, I’m the least. I don’t even measure up, not even close, I can’t even see the taillight of the guy who’s next up.

    But then, even as stupid as I am, you haven’t managed to talk about what I wrote.

    What do you think about Obama adopting the Bush Doctrine totally? I’d seriously like to hear what a smart person has to say about it.

  • Truncheon

    Jimmy, this isn’t an Arena in WoW. Your fast-twitch reflexes and your uber Rogue gear ain’t making it.

    Plus, I’ll bet my Rogue has better gear…

    Wanna do an Armory?

    And my Shaman will pwn your Rogue anyhow…

    How many 85′s you got?

    I bet my 52 year old *wife* has more 85′s than you. Even her *alts* are Kingslayers. She’s beyond uber.

  • jimmy6

    O.K. I will try to talk to you…….Bush went into Iraq for all the wrong reasons……He let the enemy get away in Afghanistan…….Rummy and other Neo-Cons lost sight of the mission…..Obama once in office and told all the secrets seen the truth……..Get out of Iraq as quick as possible…we have done that……..Put more boots in Afghanistan and then get out………We can not win this……So Obama is not following the “Bush Doctrine”……..

  • Richard

    As a true conservative, I can say GW was not one. His response to 9/11 did NOT meet his rhetoric! (we’re still in Afghan land) And NW Pakistan still exists. And Sadam’s demise was quid pro quo for the planned hit on his Daddy. And his spending…outrageous, especially his Prescription entitlement that polls showed 86% were against. GW, like his dumb ass father, GHW, blew it! And when he couldn’t stop Fannie and Freddie from making no doc loans, he claimed credit for the highest ever home ownership!
    Visionary for middle east democracy? NO! Just another smoke screen for a reason to invade Irag. He should have blew Iran, Afghanistan and NW Pakistan off the map….for starters….and then the DPRK.
    Why we have boots on the ground when we have horrible, sophisticated weapons mystifies me. If you have to fight, just go in and take ‘em out in the first round, and declare victory. Screw the collateral damage and stupid rules of engagement. And screw the UN too! We’d be better served bringing the troops home to secure the border and inspect cargo.
    Our stealth bombers, cruise missiles, drones and tactical nukes can do the rest.
    I guess we never learned from Viet Nam where we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory…thanks tricky Dick.

  • Truncheon

    Jimmy writes: “O.K. I will try to talk to you.”

    Thanks, Jimmy.

    Well, I see where you’re coming from. But the “doctrine” is really just the rules. What you’re describing are the tactical decisions everyone makes on the fly.

    What we’re facing, as far as us Conservatives are concerned, is an “existential” threat. That means we’re facing something that could possibly wipe us out totally. We could become extinct.

    Not in your lifetime or mine, of course, but over the long haul.

    So folks have different ideas about how to handle that. Some folks figure if we talk about it a lot we can figure out a way to make them stop. Some figure if we just pull into our shell like a turtle, we can ignore them. Some folks figure we should just wipe them off the face of the Earth.

    Bush figured we could establish a fairly free place in Iraq, not a truly free place like what America once was a long time ago and that we pretend to be now, but free enough.

    And that since any amount of free equals more stuff and more happiness, they’d all throw in and do the same everywhere in the Middle East so they could be as happy and free.

    Do you get what I’m saying?

    Obama was saying that everything Bush did was bad. But when he got to be the President, he didn’t change anything. It must not have been that bad after all, right?

    So now we’re back to figuring it all out again, since whatever Obama was saying he abandoned, and whatever you might hate about Bush, it wasn’t changed a bit.

  • jimmy6

    “As far as us Conservatives”…..Now the problem begins………America is and will change more and more as we fight over everything…..As soon as a Black man becomes President the hate goes up 10 fold….Capitalism has seen it’s best days go by the way side. I have lost 3 good jobs….FYI…I work as a CNC Machinist and can tell you that this America is not the America of my Dad or yours……. I long for a fight….Big Corp. that the GOP is all about,low wages and the lack of our old beat up system to produce jobs that provide a “Living Wage”……….As for “OUR” future America is going to pay big time……..whats next makes 9/11 look like a picnic……China or some Islamic nut case will hurt us real bad if we don’t take big steps now……..Tell me….what would your hero the Gipper have to say about our slave relationship with Commie China…………

  • Truncheon

    Come on, Jimmy, this isn’t about “black”. Blacks are only a small amount of America. Obama couldn’t possibly be President if white folk didn’t vote for him. *I* voted for him.

    Not because I liked him, I despise him, he’s a Fascist … but because I wasn’t going to let the Republicans continue to get away with beating my like an abusive spouse. I’ll do it again. If they don’t get Conservative, I’ll hasten their demise. I’m extremely influential in my little sphere. They will lose a lot, if they lose me. I’m old, I don’t have a lot to lose. End of story.

    I’d rather see the collapse now, so I can get working on the recovery. And let history show the liberals destroyed America.

    What happened was Obama said everything about Bush was bad, but he didn’t change it. Why?

    Your wages aren’t low, that’s not the issue. Your taxes are high. Your small paycheck isn’t because your company is greedy, it’s because your government is greedy.

    How are they paying for Obamacare? They are taking it out of your paycheck. They are telling you they’re going to give you something, but they’re not. They’re going to take half your check, give you back 10%, and ask you to kiss them for that.

    China may become the next economic superpower, but that’s not because of American corporations. It’s because formerly Communist China is slowly starting to be free, while America is slowly becoming a communist country. Role reversal.

  • jimmy6

    Sorry …… you were doing good for awhile……….Its my bed time….

  • ArtNYC

    You forgot President Jan Brewer and President Rick Perry. States are running America now! See

  • JimPVA

    A good list and I agree with the top two. I don’t agree with Lincoln’s inclusion. He and the GOP were mercantilists. That is crony capitalists for the uninitiated. They believed in high taxes on some citizens to fund government shovel ready projects that benefited others. Think Rockefeller Repubs and that’s Lincoln and the GOP of that era. He also intentionally fanned the flames of war after the original seven states of the Confederacy seceded. There would have been no need to save the Union had not the GOP’s Morrill Tariff tripling taxes on the South not been a prime GOP policy already making its way through Congress. That was the last catalyst that prompted Southerners to secede. Add in the negatives already stated and Lincoln doesn’t make a list I would create. It was an unnecessary war. Ultimately it ended slavery, even though that was not the reason the North went into the conflict. So at least one good thing came out of it, but the Northern abolitionists never actually tried to find a way to end slavery in the South before warfare had already broken out.

  • Mike

    “If you don’t pay, guys with guns called “civil servants” come to your house, take everything you have and put you in jail”

    Well that’s because your taxes pay to fund the police who help prevent guys with guns called “criminals” from coming to your house, taking everything you have and killing you.

  • confedgal

    Wow! Nicely said.

  • confedgal

    That is actually what our state and local taxes do, which the IRS has NOTHING to do with. The police do not prevent crimes from happening, as they cannot predict the future. They clean up the aftermath of crimes. The IRS takes our money and then the federal government takes it and does things like fund research on cows farting, propping up dictators, etc. There are some good things done with the money, but on the whole they take our money and do whatever they want with it and don’t give a rat’s patoot whether or not they are authorized to do so.

  • confedgal

    I can see you didn’t actually read everything adender wrote. The War Between the States was not started to free the slaves. That excuse was an afterthought to keep other countries from siding with the South. It was started because the north wanted the tax revenue the South brought in. I would give you the history, but you should really check it out yourself, starting with reading the Emancipation Proclamation which, by the way, did not free one single slave.

  • confedgal

    He actually provoked the war by sending fortifications to Fort Sumter after being told to evacuate.

  • MarkSRobertson

    Most presidential ranking surveys, such as the recent one from Sienna College, are jokes. This Human Events ranking of the ten greatest conservative presidents, and thus the ten greatest presidents, is the best I have seen.
    It’s great to see Coolidge so high. He is simply one of the greats. And it’s great to see a presidential ranking list without the disasters of Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and Clinton being ranked high.
    And it is great to see that the man who won the Cold War and restored the U.S. and world economy, Ronald Reagan, ranked at two behind the great George Washington. The Sienna survey put Clinton, LBJ, Wilson, FDR, and yes, you guessed it, Obama, ahead of Reagan. Simply psycho.
    And George W. Bush’s preemption in Iraq likely prevented WW III. He is one of the great foreign policy presidents. His stature with honest historians will continue to rise in foreign policy. And his tax cuts worked, as tax cuts always do. Yes, he made mistakes, and he and the Republicans spent too much, but it is right to place him in the top ten on a presidential rankng list.
    Once again, great job Human events in your ranking of presidents. As mentioned, it is so refreshing to see a ranking of presidents without FDR anywhere to be found. Thank you.

    Mark Robertson
    Independence, Mo.

  • MarkSRobertson

    Most of of the presidential ranking surverys, including the recent one from Sienna College, are jokes. The Human Events ranking of the top ten conservative presidents, and thus the top ten presidents, is the best presidential survey I’ve seen.
    It is so great to see a ranking list of great presidents without the disastrous Wilson, FDR, LBJ and Clinton on it.
    It’s also great to see Coolidge ranked so high. Simply one of the greats.
    And it’s great to see that the man who won the Cold War and brought on an economic boom, Ronald Reagan, ranked so high.
    And, George W. Bush’s preemption in Iraq likley stopped WW III. A great foreign policy president and his tax cuts worked. Yes he made mistakes, and he and the Republicans spent too much(pikers compared to Obama though) but his stature will continue to rise.
    Great job Human Events. Thank you

  • Mike
  • Mike

    “That is actually what our state and local taxes do, which the IRS has NOTHING to do with.”

    Fair enough, but if you would like to live in a country without a military (Including the nuclear arsenal) or a means of monitoring the largest corporations which are spread across state lines then you’re certainly welcome to move to Mongolia or something.

  • shaduan

    Coolidge left office in Jan. of 1929. His successor, Hoover, turned a slightly-larger-than-normal panic in October of 1929 into a prolonged depression. Hoover’s successor, FDR, turned a depression into the Great Depression. The roaring economy of the 1920s had problems with risk assessment and unrealistic expectations, but it took direct action by the Federal government under two presidents to cause the economy to fall apart.

  • JBHNJ44

    Truncheon (arguing with the Commie Lib jimmy6) — “Obama couldn’t possibly be president if white folk didn’t vote for him. I VOTED FOR HIM (Obama). Not because I liked him, I despise him, he’s a Fascist … but because I wasn’t going to let the Republicans continue to get away with beating my like an abusive spouse. I’ll do it again. If they don’t get Conservative…”

    In other words, Truncheon DIRECTLY helped a fascist get elected (the fascist who is now destroying America”), and the reason that Truncheon gives, is that he/she/it hates Republicans.

    I’LL REPEAT — Truncheon made a ‘conservative statement’ by VOTING FOR AN AMERICA-HATER, because it (Truncheon) hates Republicans.

    MENTALLY SICK TRAITOR!!!!! (I mean Truncheon, not Obama).

    JESSE from NJ

  • JBHNJ44

    I’ll tell y’all who else has a mental bug up the A$$ — Every reader in this comment-section who’s angry about George W. Bush being included in this list. The opinion of the H/E-editors is that he belongs in this list, SO GET A GRIP. And for anybody saying “Bush = Obama”, YOU LIE!!!


  • Jason Johnson

    I’ve said this in other posts; I think we would have been better off if the South would have won the War Between the States.

  • Jason Johnson

    Earlier today, my wife asked me who my picks for the top five presidents are. They are: (1) George Washington. He was a statesman who did not want to be a king, much like the article said. (2)Ronald Reagan. He’s among my top five because he restored the respect and preeminence we once had as a country. He also won the Cold War, and his tax policies allowed people—rich and otherwise, to keep more of what they earned. (3)Calvin Coolidge. My reasons for selecting him mirror the arguments presented in this article. (4) Thomas Jefferson. He doubled the size of our country, and he was a champion of individual liberty. (5) George W. Bush. My reasons for selecting him mirror those presented in this article.

    The more I read about Abe Lincoln, the less I like about him. He was a Machavillean who would fit right at home in this current administration. In an indictment of the public school system, much of what I learned about Calvin Coolidge and other like-minded presidents did NOT come from my history classes; it came from reading books by Thomas Woods, Jr. as well as articles and books from Human Events and National review–more than 15-20 years AFTER graduating from high school.

  • Mike

    “I’ve said this in other posts; I think we would have been better off if the South would have won the War Between the States.”

    Does that “we” include the descendants of slaves?

  • JayC777

    Please, by all means, explain how capitalism has failed? I’m so sick and tired of retards spewing this crap without any idea of what they are talking about.

    Capitalism never failed … it has been slowly murdered.

  • Sharon Hunt

    Ronnie Rambo ..­more than tripled our debt from 900 billion dollars to 2.8 trillion dollars during his tenure…

    Rambo’s scandals, resulted in the investigat­ion, indictment­, or conviction of over 138 administra­tion officials, the largest number for any US president

    Remember the Iran-Contr­a Affa!r:

    In November 1986, Reagan conceded that it had sold weapons to the revolution­ary government of the Shah of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, as part of a largely unsuccessf­ul effort to secure the release of 52 Americans being held hostage.

    It was also disclosed that some of the money from the arms deal with Iran had been covertly and illegally funneled into a fund to aid the right wing Contras revolution­ary groups seeking to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

    Reagan supported the mujahideen (holy warriors) that were fighting against the Soviet forces in Afghanista­n.

    Reagan was determined to make Afghanista­n the Soviet Vietnam.

    Therefore in 1986 he decided to provide the mujahideen with portable surface-to­-air Stinger missiles.

    The war in Afghanista­n cost the United States about $1 billion per annum in aid to the mujahideen­; it cost the Soviet Union eight times as much, helping bankrupt its economy. luckily they went under just a little before it bankrupted the US

  • Sharon Hunt


  • Army Vet

    WOW! I could not disagree more with your inclusion of three failed, left-leaning Presidents—Truman, Eisenhower and Bush–on your list of the “Top 10 Greatest Conservative Presidents.” Your inclusion of Harry Truman on this list is by far the most offensive to conservative sensibilities. Truman committed war crimes during World War II and in the years thereafter of which the atomic bombings of Japan were only a couple on the list. Truman along with FDR was one of the two most pro-Communist and thus anti-conservative President in US history which given Obama’s own Marxist ideology is saying a lot.

    When Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech, Truman told his close associates he thought that Churchill had lost it with his 11th hour denunciations of his friend, “Uncle Joe” Stalin, the most murderous dictator in world history at the time whom he had previously appeased with the surrender of the eastern half of Europe only a year before. This despite the fact that by the time of the speech Soviet enslavement and genocide in Eastern Europe was well-known to all but the willfully blind. As conservative historians have outlined and even some conservative Democrats like JFK were able to recognize, Truman’s decision to cut off all assistance to Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist army resulted in the loss of mainland China to the Communists, consigning half a billion (1.3 billion today) freedom loving Chinese and erstwhile allies against global Communism to enslavement and Communist genocide. Truman’s subsequent firing of America’s best general—Douglas MacArthur for wanting to win the Korean war and liberate Korea and very possibly mainland China along with it sealed the fate of his failed Presidency. He did not seek re-election remarking that he believed he could not be elected dogcatcher with a Gallup approval rating of only 22%.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Rockefeller Republican and supporter of the New Deal who the liberal Republican establishment recruited to prevent Mr. Republican Robert Taft from receiving the GOP nomination for President. Like Truman, he ordered the commission of horrendous war crimes against innocent German civilians and surrendered soldiers during and after World War II. He also accepted the Communist peace terms to end the Korean war, resulting in America’s first ever military defeat, and stood idle as resistance to Communism in East Germany and Hungary were brutally crushed by the Evil Soviet Empire.

    George W. Bush, not Obama as many conservatives believe, proved the author of socialism in America with his $8.5 trillion in Federal Reserve and congressional bailouts and his $16 trillion Medicare Part B unfunded liability. He proved incredibly naïve with his delivery of Iraq into the hands of Iran’s Shiite Islamist proxies and his spread of Islamic democratic revolutions which are converting the rest of the region to Iranian hegemony while his veto of all attempts to pre-empt the Iranian development of long-range nuclear missiles could prove extremely threatening to the US and Israel. But perhaps his worst mistake was signing a treaty decimating America’s nuclear might by nearly 70% further strengthening Russian strategic nuclear superiority over us greatly aided by their vast national missile defense system which consists of thousands of ABM interceptors versus the thirty deployed by Bush.

  • adender

    You can see from the cattiness of the Washington Post article it is propaganda. i.e. “the south was the one opposed to states rights because they didn’t support the north’s right not to support slavery”.

    Secession left the north free to do what they wanted. The rest of the article is similar propaganda and twisted history.

    The north financed and operated the slave trade, even as it faded into economic unviability in the industrial north sooner than in the agrarian south, and Lincoln was an avowed white supremacist who said in a 1858 debate:

    “I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races — that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, not to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races …. I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

    - Abraham Lincoln, Debate at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858

    The famous “Emancipation Proclamation” that supposedly freed the slaves, was directed only at territories Lincoln did not control. It exempted territories the Union did control, such as West Virginia, 48 Louisiana parishes, etc.

    In other words, Lincoln only freed slaves in states he didn’t control, but refused to free slaves in states he did control.

    Clear enough?

  • patriot1792

    The entire reason our Constitution (which you seem to have a weak grasp on) has successfully guided our nation for these many generations is because our Founders brilliantly balanced power between the states and the federal government. Yes, our Founders wanted the states to retain a great deal of power, but the central government must also be firm, and thus Lincoln fought to preserve the union. What you are proposing is that we should have followed an Articles of Confederation-style government, which our Founders knew would fail. You should be ashamed of your immoral characterization of slavery as a form of “self-determination.” Shame on you.

  • patriot1792

    You’re entitled to your opinions, but please respect past and current presidents. I can’t stand Barack Obama as a leader, but I give him the respect the presidency deserves.

    George W. and George H. W. Bush served their country in uniform. If you’re going to insult them, argue with facts and not ignorant fury.

  • adender

    I’m reminded of the closing scenes of the movie “Deep Impact”; an asteroid has crashed into the ocean. Waves have washed inland to Virginia. 10′s of millions must be dead. Yet the big relief is that at least the federal government survived.

    We all grow up saturated in subtle propaganda like this to reinforce and legitimize the supremacy of centralized government in our lives. A substitute parent for adults: “Just wait until the Feds step in. THEN things will happen.”

    You talk about 150 years of growth and human development as if it is the federal government’s achievement; that the 600,000 who died as a result of the north’s invasion to suppress southern independence, and millions who were affected, were of no importance and couldn’t have created the glorious future that produced us without the centralized control of the federal government.

    That (to me) is deeply sick thinking, essentially psychopathic.

    There is every reason to believe an even better future for the world was lost because of Lincoln’s subversion of the principles of self-limiting, decentralized government.

    Lincoln, an avowed white supremacist, wasn’t concerned about freeing slaves except as a political cover; the Emancipation Proclamation applied only to territories Lincoln didn’t control, while exempting northern territories he did control.

    Feel free to pledge your allegiance to the state (which rejects your claim it is under God — haven’t you noticed?) but you are worshipping a false, man-made idol.

    The military conservatives still reflexively support is now a laboratory for leftist social-engineering, in which people (mercenaries, really), are lured in with rich benefits packages (health, education, housing paid for, etc), then indoctrinated with everything ranging from homosexuality to “diversity” mandates to suspend critical thinking.

    The U.S. is a badly corrupted force for ill in the world now. But the principles of limited, decentralized self-government, where no one corrupt human can get too much power will remain, for future renewal.

    So when the U.S. falls badly, as every empire does (Rome lasted hundreds of years, the U.S. will be lucky to make it another 30, peaking and falling within just one human lifespan since WWII, dissolving due to the financial insolvency of a welfare-warfare state that could never happened under the original Jeffersonian democracy that limited the central state) so I don’t know what this strong foundation is you have in mind), don’t despair, it’s just a welcome opportunity to clear away the garbage and do it better.

  • adender

    Criminals can be dealt with, there is no allowed defense against “civil servants”.

  • adender

    I don’t perceive the balance you speak of; the constitution you refer to ended in the 1860′s and hasn’t been followed since. The founders wouldn’t recognize the country or the “balance” you speak of.

  • J

    Sorry, but having George W. Bush on this list is offensive. To quote your “pro” arguments:

    The Bush tax cuts — totally countered by soaring government spending. Deficits are not conservative. Besides it’s not just soaring spending. He also was behind a massive expansion of federal power in healthcare, education and many other areas.

    Strong response to 9/11 — If by that you mean the poorly planned and even more poorly executed action in Iraq or the massive abuse of freedom called the Patriot Act, sorry, these violations of true conservatism far outweigh a couple of good speeches.

    Supreme Court nominees — I’ll give you that one.

    While falsely portraying himself as a conservative, he also happily went along with the Dems’ massive government induced distortion of the housing market and the Fed’s cheap money policies which resulted in the financial crisis which gave us Barack Obama.

    George W. Bush belongs on a list of Presidents — the ten worst, not the ten best.

  • confedgal

    The beginning of the end started in the 1860′s. The seventeenth amendment finished the job.

  • confedgal

    From my time of living in the DC area, I learned to take what is said in the Wapo with a grain of salt. Especially if it comes from the opinion section. I might have paid a little more attention if the article didn’t talk about Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.

  • confedgal

    Spending to keep a military is perfectly acceptable. As far as keeping corporations in line, while I will concede that there may be a need for some regulations, they should be minimal and any agency that monitors them should get their marching orders from congress, not the president or a cabinet member.

  • Jason Johnson

    Slavery was NOT the primary issue of the War Between the States.

  • Mike

    Regardless of whether or not that’s true, you can’t separate the issue from the implications. Even if the war was about states rights, had they won slavery would have continued to exist. If you support the rights of states even if that means allowing them to own slaves that’s fine, but I disagree.

  • Patrick Allen

    Agh! No John Adams! Why?!

    Ah well, good list anyways. I could quarrel with the inclusion of Jefferson over Adams, though. Better president IMO.

  • Blackwell

    What a load of KRAP!!!! Calvin Coolidge and Bush caused major economic collapses!! Lincoln, Truman and Eisenhower…not even conservative. Regan began the process of turning America from a democracy with a strong middle class to what it is today.

  • Blackwell

    Are you an Idiot, Slavery was the only issue

  • Blackwell

    Paying you taxes is Patriotic, what are you?

  • Blackwell

    Yeah! The 17th amendment sucks. I mean really….electing senators by direct election. Who needs democracy right!

  • Blackwell

    If the US had gone down the road of strong states rights we would have ended up no different that South and Central America. A bunch of little colonial principalities with vast poverty and a tiny number of wealthy gentry. Certainly not the leader of the free world.

  • Blackwell

    The south has been a continual blight on the United State. The Civil War, Jim Crow, Tea Party. Reconstruction was a failure. The south should not have been allowed to re-join the union. They should have been made territories until the were able of proving they could participate in a civilized democratic society. That would have forced reform. The fact that you can still go to the south and see confederate flags is like going to Germany and seeing a Nazi flag.

  • Blackwell

    Oh how wrong you are. Lincoln ran on stopping slavery from expanding into the territories. The south knew if that happened they would eventually have to abandon their barbaric, un-Christian, acts of slavery. The civil war was only about slavery. States rights was just an excuse.

  • Blackwell

    Yeah! Nicely said, if you goal was to turn the US into South America!!!! Without Linclon the US would have never become the leader of the free world.

  • Blackwell

    I agree! He and Bush were great at creating economic disasters. They will both go down in History with Nero, they fiddled with themselves while America burned.

  • Blackwell

    The fact of the matter is that all territory belongs to the United States of America. You can SECEDE all you want. You just have to leave territory of the US to do so. Ultimately the States have no physical claim on the land. People in territories were given the opportunity to form a government to administer a territory and hopefully become a state.

  • Rev. Rob

    Most people on this list are liberals.

  • Patrick J. Colliano

    If you’re under the impression that Reagan or Bush are “conservatives,” I submit you have no idea what a conservative is.

  • antheaura

    I would love to have Bush BACK in place of the unconditional insanity that is driving the nation today….and I say this as one who was screaming “get him the hell OUT of here” in his last term!

  • antheaura

    Hello Rob, I am sorry that I came to this posting so late. I pray that all is well with you and I wanted to thank you for your brave service in the defense of this nation, which by now is so much further down the tubes than it was when you first posted. I can only pray that servicemen who are still trying to work within the continually closing confines of freedom to keep us safe will find a means to help free us of the serious blunder we managed to stumble into that so endangers us all as a nation and a society. I love you all, respect you all, and thank God for you all.

  • Ron Lewenberg

    The modern conservative movement was created in opposition to Eisenhower. He does not deserve to be on this list. That he is speaks both to the ignorance of young conservatives and the sharp shift to the left in the last 60 years.
    As for President George W Bush, I don’t even know where to start. But I’ll just deal with the excuses for putting him on this lost. While there were tax cuts, Bush allowed spending to skyrocket and created a new entitlement with the help of Republicans. As for the Supreme Court nominees, I give you John Roberts the krytocrat who tore up the Constiitution and the way bills are written to allow Obamacare. Bush’s response to 9/11 was to embrace CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood groups.
    Finally, we have Harry Truman who was in no war a conservative. He was a reluctant and weak anticommunist, who protected FDR regime communists.

  • Robert Harvilla

    Truman was a conservative president? I hate to break it to you guys, but he was a Democrat, and he campaigned against the “Do Nothing” conservatives in Congress. You cheap labor conservatives not only mess up the economy, you can’t even tell who is one of you. Truman was NOT a conservative.

  • CalCoolidge

    Truman was conservative for nuking two cities that just about every five-star said had no military value, at a time when broken codes indicated that Japanese were willing to surrender?
    Wow, someone has a very different definition of conservative than I.

  • CalCoolidge

    So, would it be better if we were all slaves to state governments?
    Whether conservative or not, the one who saves the country has to be on a country we list.

  • JonathonGalt

    While Jefferson is probably my most admired past President, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the ones who have done the most in bringing about a highly centralized form of Federal government.

  • Jason Johnson

    No, it wasn’t. Slavery became an issue ONLY after the South had beaten the stuffing out of the Yankees. Then it was just a publicity ploy to make sure that Great Britain not grant diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy. For (dis)honest Abe, the only issue was to keep the Union together by force, despite the fact that the South was on solid constitutional ground when it seceded.