QotD 2/19/24: The Coolest President

 

When Ron DeSantis was asked who was the greatest President of the United States, he said Calvin Coolidge.  If Don Trump had shown up at a debate, he probably would have wanted to answer, “Donald Trump”.  And Trump did do some great things as President. (He also gave a whole lot of power to Anthony Fauci along with a medal, so there’s that.)

But I like DeSantis’ answer. Along with being a good President, he was also a good man. There’s something to be said for that. And he knew what it took to accomplish great things. Here’s what Coolidge said it took to make significant achievements:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

If I had a chance to vote for Zombie Calvin Coolidge in November, you can bet I would.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I love that quote. He was a great, wise man.

    • #1
  2. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Lincoln is often considered the greatest president, because he freed the slaves and defeated the Southern Insurrection.   If Trump is able to get elected and defeat the ongoing Intelligence Community Insurrection, then he will become our greatest president, because he will have led to the defeat of our our most powerful enemy and greatest threat.   Those are some big “ifs”.

    • #2
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Eustace C. Scrubb: When Ron DeSantis was asked who was the greatest President of the United States, he said Calvin Coolidge.

    I might agree with that.  There were some good ones early on, of course.  But over the last 150 years or so, he’s almost certainly right, I think.

    • #3
  4. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb: When Ron DeSantis was asked who was the greatest President of the United States, he said Calvin Coolidge.

    I might agree with that. There were some good ones early on, of course. But over the last 150 years or so, he’s almost certainly right, I think.

    Somewhere I read a reference to Cal as the last of the 19th Century presidents. The progressive era had mostly ruined things by then. Twain’s rantings about TR are humorous now. Alas…

    • #4
  5. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    I’d like to think I would have voted for Coolidge and I’d liked to have been able to vote for DeSantis. 

    *****

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    • #5
  6. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    But I think Coolidge could be funny, and there’s some evidence of Ron DeSantis being funny, and Trump is in a class of his own as one of the funniest presidents. Of course, half the country doesn’t get his sense of humor, so there’s that.

    • #6
  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I was thinking about and reflecting on that quote just a couple days ago.  In the very few areas in life where I appear to do a better than average job, I don’t think it’s because of natural talent or superior intellect.  I think most people could probably do that job better than me if they put in the effort.  It’s just that I will occasionally find a niche doing something I want to do and few other people care to do it.

    • #7
  8. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    There are several options for coolest president depending on what qualifies as cool. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison were all pretty cool in their own right as Revolutionary Founders. Long before the Revolution, Washington was already a living legend for some of his exploits as a Colonial officer. Adams and Jefferson were the primary authors of the Declaration and both served as foreign diplomats helping to secure credit and recognition for the early Republic. James Madison of course was the “Father of The Constitution” which is pretty dang cool. 

    Beyond the founders, maybe the coolest president of all was Teddy Roosevelt. He lived an incredible life as a western rancher and cowboy long before he was president. During the Spanish-American War, a young Teddy Roosevelt resigned his position as assistant Secretary of The Navy to join the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders assault on San Juan Hill is probably the thing TR is best known for apart from the presidency.

    During his presidency, TR would make long expeditions to the American west including Oklahoma Territory where he joined John Abernathy on a wolf hunt. (Abernathy was known for catching wolves with his bare hands.)

    After his presidency, TR led an expedition to Africa to collect specimens for the new Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. He spent more than a year in Africa on that expedition. He later co-led an expedition down the River of Doubt in Brazil. That particular expedition was a disaster that nearly ended in Roosevelt’s death. 

    I can’t say I appreciate his progressive policies, but setting aside policy there is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was one of our coolest presidents. 

     

    • #8
  9. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I agree  – Coolidge actually reduce the debt built up during the Wilson Admin.

    • #9
  10. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):
    I can’t say I appreciate his progressive policies, but setting aside policy there is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was one of our coolest presidents. 

    Bill Clinton played the sax on late-night TV!  

    • #10
  11. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):
    I can’t say I appreciate his progressive policies, but setting aside policy there is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was one of our coolest presidents.

    Bill Clinton played the sax on late-night TV!

    Yes but the cool factor is negated by the fact that he married Hillary. 

    • #11
  12. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):

    There are several options for coolest president depending on what qualifies as cool. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison were all pretty cool in their own right as Revolutionary Founders. Long before the Revolution, Washington was already a living legend for some of his exploits as a Colonial officer. Adams and Jefferson were the primary authors of the Declaration and both served as foreign diplomats helping to secure credit and recognition for the early Republic. James Madison of course was the “Father of The Constitution” which is pretty dang cool.

    Beyond the founders, maybe the coolest president of all was Teddy Roosevelt. He lived an incredible life as a western rancher and cowboy long before he was president. During the Spanish-American War, a young Teddy Roosevelt resigned his position as assistant Secretary of The Navy to join the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders assault on San Juan Hill is probably the thing TR is best known for apart from the presidency.

    During his presidency, TR would make long expeditions to the American west including Oklahoma Territory where he joined John Abernathy on a wolf hunt. (Abernathy was known for catching wolves with his bare hands.)

    After his presidency, TR led an expedition to Africa to collect specimens for the new Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. He spent more than a year in Africa on that expedition. He later co-led an expedition down the River of Doubt in Brazil. That particular expedition was a disaster that nearly ended in Roosevelt’s death.

    I can’t say I appreciate his progressive policies, but setting aside policy there is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was one of our coolest presidents.

     

    His trust busting was asinine.  He illegaly created and funded the Bureau of Investigation, aka, the FBI, sort of as his own personal police force. He concocted the Spanish American war and formed the Rough Riders for the thrill of hunting human beings (and said as much), and planned on dying in battle. He outfitted himself in such a flamboyant way on the charge up San Juan Hill in the hopes that he would get himself killed, or simply to add to the thrill of putting himself in potential mortal danger. He reportedly sat down and wept when he got to the top of the hill and found himself alive. He had gone to such great lengths to go out in a blaze of glory. He had something of a death wish that, despite the fact that he put himself in dangerous positions repeatedly, never materialized and he died in a chronic wasting state in bed as an invalid (contrary to his fondest wish). Roosevelt was a psychopath, albeing a talented one.  He wanted to change the Constitution to allow Amendments to be passed be a simple majority vote in Congress,which would have destroyed the country entirely. 

    • #12
  13. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):

    There are several options for coolest president depending on what qualifies as cool. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison were all pretty cool in their own right as Revolutionary Founders. Long before the Revolution, Washington was already a living legend for some of his exploits as a Colonial officer. Adams and Jefferson were the primary authors of the Declaration and both served as foreign diplomats helping to secure credit and recognition for the early Republic. James Madison of course was the “Father of The Constitution” which is pretty dang cool.

    Beyond the founders, maybe the coolest president of all was Teddy Roosevelt. He lived an incredible life as a western rancher and cowboy long before he was president. During the Spanish-American War, a young Teddy Roosevelt resigned his position as assistant Secretary of The Navy to join the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders assault on San Juan Hill is probably the thing TR is best known for apart from the presidency.

    During his presidency, TR would make long expeditions to the American west including Oklahoma Territory where he joined John Abernathy on a wolf hunt. (Abernathy was known for catching wolves with his bare hands.)

    After his presidency, TR led an expedition to Africa to collect specimens for the new Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. He spent more than a year in Africa on that expedition. He later co-led an expedition down the River of Doubt in Brazil. That particular expedition was a disaster that nearly ended in Roosevelt’s death.

    I can’t say I appreciate his progressive policies, but setting aside policy there is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was one of our coolest presidents.

     

    That expedition down El Rio Duvida was a disaster because Roosevelt prepared for it in a fashion that was completely wrong. It was an incompetent expedition. The only reason they got out at all was because of Marshall Rondon, the  Brazilian field marshall who mapped the interior of Brazil. He was sufficiently strong minded to put Roosevelt in his place and keep the members reasonably safe. At that, Roosevelt sustained a gash on his leg when he slipped on a rock in the river, which got infected (pre antibiotic era), and had to be repeatedly derided by the surgeon on the expedition. And because his son, Kermit, who accompanied him, assured him that he would not leave Roosevelt’s body in the Amazon, and that Teddy would be easier to transport out of the jungle alive than dead. Roosevelt was considering taking the cyanide pill that he always carried with him, and his son was aware of that. He did convince Roosevelt not to take it. The trip was a success from the standpoint of mapping a previously unmapped Amazon tributary, but that was mostly thanks to Rondon. 

    • #13
  14. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Enough of the Coolidge apotheosis. Coolidge signed the 1924 Immigration bill that was entirely based on Progressive Eugenics ideas of racial superiority of Northern European populations, and has contributed ever since to our immigration idiocy.  Coolidge, like just about everyone else at the time, was a Progressive, not a Conservative. And it was  Coolidge who appointed J Edgar Hoover head of the FBI, a psychopath who is still lionized with his name on the FBI building. That set one of the most enduring precedents of the American nation, that the illegally formed federal police force be headed by a psychopath. Plenty of those available. These two actions alone are reason enough to consign Coolidge to ignominy. He also did nothing to curtail the massive stock and urban real estate bubbles created by Benjamin Strong (head of the New York Fed during the “roaring twenties” who kept interest rates low to prop up the British economy in the aftermath of WWI–Britain at that time was essentially a socialist nation, though even more so after WWII). He did manage to leave office just before the bursting of those bubbles in the 1929 Stock Market crash, that led to the Great Depression. About what one would expect from a Connecticut Yankee. 

    • #14
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