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‘Greatest’ presidents are also most canceled

ANALYSIS: Political scientists like these presidents, but some colleges don’t

The “greatest” presidents are sometimes also the most canceled on college campuses.

Two political scientists recently released their latest rankings of presidents, based on a survey of its “current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section” in the American Political Science Association.

University of Houston Professor Brandon Rottinghaus and Coastal Carolina University Professor Justin Vaughn conducted the survey. Both stated multiple times that President Joe Biden preserved the “norms” of the United States, saving them from President Donald Trump.

Among the top choices are Presidents Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson – representing a contrast between political scientists and campus activists.

Jefferson has received the most hate on college campuses, as previously reported by The College Fix.

But a statue of Washington at George Washington University found itself decapitated. Lincoln has endured cancellation attempts, including at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University.

The political scientists also ranked Presidents Barack Obama and Biden high.

They ranked President Obama 7th overall, after President Harry Truman. Biden, still in his first term, is the 13th greatest president of all time, ranking him ahead of Presidents Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, and James Monroe. Yet, he was also one of the “most difficult to assess,” according to the survey.

Both conservative and liberal political scientists were united in their disdain for President Trump.

He ranked dead last in the overall survey, and 41st among Republican survey takers. Democrats, Independent/Other, Liberal, and Moderate all ranked him last. Conservatives ranked him 43rd, ahead of just Presidents Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan.

President Franklin Roosevelt, who imprisoned Japanese Americans and instituted economic controls, received high “greatness” ratings across the board.

Trump did come in first – for “most polarizing,” followed by Andrew Jackson, Obama, Reagan, and Richard Nixon.

Biden received praise for returning the country to its “norms,” Rottinghaus, the University of Houston political scientist, stated in a news release.

“Scholars often emphasize stability of norms in assessing presidential greatness, so Joe Biden, serving after a tumultuous Trump administration, entered the survey on a high note,” Rottinghaus stated.

MORE: Trump, evangelicals are ‘enemies’ of democracy, professor says

He and Vaughn made similar points in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece yesterday.

“Trump, meanwhile, maintains the position he held six years ago: dead last, trailing such historically calamitous chief executives as James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson,” they wrote. “In that and other respects, Trump’s radical departure from political, institutional and legal norms has affected knowledgeable assessments not just of him but also of Biden and several other presidents.”

After mentioning the Hunter Biden “family scandal,” the pair of professors reiterate how they believe the current president saved the country from Trump.

“Biden’s most important achievements may be that he rescued the presidency from Trump, resumed a more traditional style of presidential leadership and is gearing up to keep the office out of his predecessor’s hands this fall.”

Other professors have repeatedly warned that “democracy” is at stake if Trump is re-elected, as reported by The Fix.

The professors ended their LA Times piece with one more reminder of how “norms” are at stake.

“As for the Americans casting a ballot for the next president, they are in the historically rare position of knowing how both candidates have performed in the job,” they wrote. “Whether they will consider each president’s commitment to the norms of presidential leadership, and come to rate them as differently as our experts, remains to be seen.”

MORE: Scholars warn ‘democracy’ at stake if Trump elected

IMAGES: White House

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.