I believe that most lists of best and worst presidents aren’t particularly helpful. Here are my lists of, not the best and worst, but the most beneficial and the most harmful presidents.
1. (Tie) George Washington / Abraham Lincoln—If you don’t understand why, you probably flunked American History.
3. James K. Polk—Made the United States a truly continental power and kept his promise to only serve one term.
4. Ronald Reagan—For his leadership in opposition to the 20th-century’s experimentation with Marxism.
5. Calvin Coolidge—For leaving well enough alone.
1. (Tie) James Buchanan / Andrew Johnson—Buchanan’s incompetence made the Civil War unavoidable. Johnson hindered the nation’s recovery from the Civil War.
3. Woodrow Wilson—For resegregating the federal government and his WW1 police state.
4. Herbert Hoover—For his “progressive” economic polices that turned a bad recession into a depression.
5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt—For his “progressive” economic policies that stalled the recovery from Hoover’s depression and caused The Great Depression.