by Wayne Simmes:
We hear it ever so often, what will this president’s legacy become? For some, it is a positive thing and for others, it may be something that they would not be proud of.
For some, their legacy is fairly easy to pick one or two things. For instance, George Washington is known as the father of our country. That is because not only was he the first President, but also because if it had not been for his leadership during the Revolutionary War there would have been no country to be president of.
For Thomas Jefferson, he is known as the drafter of the Declaration of Independence, but that was a long time before he became president. His legacy probably is the Louisiana Purchase where for 15 million dollars he bought the entire middle of what is now the United States from France. That opened up millions of acres of land to be settled and paved the way to the Pacific Ocean.
James Monroe is best known for what became called the Monroe Doctrine. That document simply put said that the United States would not meddle in European affairs and that we expected that Europe would not meddle in the Western Hemisphere. Sometimes I wished we had stuck to that idea, but if we had we might all be speaking German today.
Andrew Jackson was known as the hero of New Orleans, although history buffs know and understand that battle had nothing to do with winning the War of 1812. The war was over before it was fought. What Jackson’s legacy should be is his cruel and despicable treatment of the Native population of the country. You might recall that he forced the Indian Nations off of their land so that it could be populated by whites. This became known as the Trail of Tears where over 4000 Native Americans died during that relocation.
Abraham Lincoln had two things that became his legacy. Although whether he had become President or not the Civil War would have been fought, Lincoln’s dogged persistence to save the Union was why the North won and why the United States still was the United States. The second is the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves in all states that were still fighting against the Union.
Lincoln’s successor’s legacy was that he was so corrupt that he became the first President ever to be impeached for his high crimes and misdemeanors. And he came within one vote in the Senate of being the only President to be removed because of impeachment.
Franklin Roosevelt had a couple of things that became his legacy. His most notable achievement was The New Deal where he moved the United States toward socialism, the most notable part of that was Social Security. He also became the only President in history to serve more than two terms as President. His speech of not changing horses in the middle of the stream probably made that possible.
Give em hell, Harry Truman has perhaps the most ignoble legacy, being the only President to use atomic weapons on an enemy. That legacy gets mixed review among historians and the populace. Had he not killed nearly a million Japanese with two atomic bombs, thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of American soldiers would have died trying to end the Second World War.
John Kennedy didn’t really have time to create a legacy. I believe that his desire to end the Vietnam Conflict led to his being assassinated. Had that attempt failed perhaps he would have ended that disastrous war.
Lyndon Johnson kept that war going and the chants of “hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today,” many still remember. But perhaps his legacy is “The Great Society”, which was the beginning of socialize medicine in the United States. And that was perhaps also the beginning of the monstrous increases in the cost of healthcare.
Richard Nixon has the dubious distinction of being the only President to be forced to resign for office. The Watergate scandal ruined what was otherwise a stellar Presidency, which included the opening of trade with the world’s most populous country, China.
Jimmy Carter also has a black mark on his Presidency. He allowed Iran to hold our embassy personnel hostage for 444 days. He later remarked that he did not use force to get them back because he was a Christian. Maybe he should have told us that his faith would interfere with his duties as President when he was running for that office.
Ronald Reagan’s legacy has to be the removal of the Berlin wall and the end to the Cold War. While the wall did not come down during his Presidency, no reasonable person would argue that his policies did not lead to that event.
Bill Clinton would like you to believe that his legacy was balancing the Federal budget, but in fact, his real legacy was lying to Congress and becoming the second President to become impeached. Oh, and turning the White House into a brothel might be added to that list.
George W. Bush has the legacy of starting the longest war in American history. And many would say that he lied about weapons of mass destruction in order to rally the American people behind that effort. Personally, I think there were weapons of mass destruction since Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people. I believe, many of those chemicals were moved into Syria and are still being used today.
Some would say that Barack Obama’s legacy would be that he was the first Black President, although his mixed blood would belie that claim. His real legacy was that he hated America so badly that he went on a tour throughout the world apologizing for his country. Of course, others would say that The Affordable Care Act was his legacy since that was the only meaningful piece of legislation he got passed in 8 years in office. But even that is now being laid waste to since the Individual Mandate is no longer a part of it and it is bound to die a slow death.
So now we come to the legacy of Donald Trump. What will it be? He already has done more in a year and a half for the good of the United States than most President’s do in two full terms. His Tax Cuts and Jobs act has brought thousands of jobs back to the United States. Remember Obama saying that we should stop talking about manufacturing jobs because they were gone and were never coming back again. I guess he did not take into account that a businessman might be elected President. For thousands of those types of jobs have been repatriated as well.
Obama also claimed that we would never again see 3% GDP again. But under Trump’s leadership, we already have 3% GDP and it is projected that this year we may see more than 4% growth.
Another of Trump’s accomplishment is the Supreme Court. His appointment of Neil Gorsuch is already paying dividends and if he can appoint someone that believes in the principles of the Constitution to replace Anthony Kennedy the court may be changed for decades.
And we do not want to forget that he has opened a dialogue with North Korea that may see the end of the Korean Conflict. You might remember that war never ended when hostilities ceased in 1952. No peace treaty was ever signed. That well could become Donald Trump’s legacy.
Of course, his promise to seal the Southern Border is still being worked on. Should that be completed another possible item to be added to his legacy?
When you look at the legacies of those considered to be among the greatest Presidents of all time you only find one or two things that they are remembered for. When you consider what he has done in a short period of time, Donald Trump has to be mentioned among the greatest Presidents this country has ever had.
Just remember that the election this fall will determine whether we have a Congress that buys into Trump’s vision for America or if we will have a Congress dead set on destroying his legacy at all costs. You the American people must decide.