Who did the most damage of the last 6 Republican Presidents?

Who did the most damage of the last 6 Republican Presidents?

  • Richard Nixon

    Votes: 70 2.8%
  • Gerald Ford

    Votes: 8 0.3%
  • Ronald Reagan

    Votes: 968 38.8%
  • George H.W. Bush

    Votes: 22 0.9%
  • George W. Bush

    Votes: 646 25.9%
  • Donald Trump

    Votes: 784 31.4%

  • Total voters
    2,498

Steel

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
12,935
Or another way, you can go back in time and ensure one of those never becomes president.

Given the choice, I choose Bush and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and save an entire region the instability, death and destruction of a kind most of us here in the West could barely fathom.
On the other hand, does Iraq happen without a Reagan Presidency propping up Saddam?
 

Axumite

Member
Nov 19, 2017
67
You all said it well.
If anyone wants to know more about how awful Ronald and Nancy Reagan were both as political figures, and just as human beings, The Dollop did a wonderful two part episode on Ronald Reagan with Patton Oswalt as a guest. It really taught me a lot about how awful Reagan was and how unfit he was for the job.

Part 1:

Part 2:
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,077
Dubya, followed by Reagan. Wouldn't argue too loudly with someone who has those two switching places as I understand and agree with the arguments for that case. The blood on Dubya's hands is too much for me to ignore though so he takes the top spot.

Trump hasn't got shit on Dubya and the fact he's got more votes at the moment is a perfect example of both recency bias and the disdain this place has for brown people with funny names.
 

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,753
Dubya, followed by Reagan. Wouldn't argue too loudly with someone who has those two switching places as I understand and agree with the arguments for that case. The blood on Dubya's hands is too much for me to ignore though so he takes the top spot.

Trump hasn't got shit on Dubya and the fact he's got more votes at the moment is a perfect example of both recency bias and the disdain this place has for brown people with funny names.
To be slightly charitable it's probably more recency bias and apathy not disdain
 

Psychonaut

Member
Jan 11, 2018
2,849
Imagine the kind of company you have to keep in order to make Watergate look quaint. It's eye-opening to realize that Nixon doesn't really even play here-- MAYBE top three. And H.W. also gets off scot-free, which is really something.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,841
O-H-I-O
Raegan is what started it all, Dubya being a close second. Trump fucking sucks and is a massive idiot, but even he isn't as bad as those two at least not yet.
 
Oct 27, 2017
982
Edinburgh, Scotland
It's unquestionably Reagan #1, Dubya #2, anyone who think Trump has come close to the horrendous, irreversible damage those two did to peoples lives both in the US and across the world is totally blinkered.

I'd probably say Nixon #3, Trump #4 (my suspicion is that both will have somewhat similar legacies post presidency, although that depends on if Trump gets a second term and how that would go), HW #5 and the still pretty bad Ford at #6.
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
Man that's a hard one.
Reagan set the seeds of all kinds of bad shit that we are still feeling today

Bush and his illegal wars and torture and destroying the economy and eliminating the budget surplus we had during the end of Clinton

Trump for destroying constitional norms and his foreign policy ugh. However, most of what Trump has done so far is quickly reversible via executive orders and a Dem winning the presidency in 2020. The only real lasting thing that couldn't easily be reversed is the tax bill. However, as stated, pretty much everything else he has done could be dismantled in a matter of months with a Dem president. I wouldn't be surprised if the Iran deal could be quickly redone if a Dem wins in 2020

I cant include trump, as he hasn't even served one term while the others served two. If I had to go with one it would be GWB, war based on lies, torture, and killing the economy and bankrupting the nation.
 

Bakercat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,070
'merica
Nixon imo. He sowed the seeds for what the party would become. War on drugs, southern strategy, etc. Pretty much set the stage for Reagan to come in and deal the big blow.
 

ieandrew

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
346
Wealth inequality is a huge factor in the biggest issues of the modern day, seeping into who has healthcare, what actions we have taken to protect the environment, etc.

Reagan.
 

Saganator

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,669
I voted Regan, because he set the stage for where we're at now with income inequality caused by his anti union, anti safety net, and anti government helping vulnerable citizens policies. Bush Jr is a close second. I feel like Trump is just finishing what Regan started. And then Nixon, with the southern strategy, ugh he did some damage too, but he's also responsible for the EPA. Really hard to pick one. They're all pretty terrible.
 

Aurongel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,676
Trump's influence on actual policy isn't nearly as expansive as his predecessors. Apart from the tax bill, the AHCA push was a massive failure for him and it tanked a lot of vulnerable Republicans during the 2018 midterms. I think the lasting legacy of Trump will be the digital disinformation campaign his organization leveraged and his impact on the judicial balance of the Supreme Court. Two aspects that I think we're going to see his eventual Republican successor lean heavily into - even if the Trumpian "cult of personality" subsides.

Reagan on the other hand enacted policies that not only exist today in some fashion but were also co-opted by Third Wave Democrats in the 1990's. The War on Drugs and other tough on crime measures come to mind in this area. The former of which is still the overwhelming law of the land today and has massively exacerbated our prisoner population and basically sentenced an entire generation of young men of color into a life of disenfranchisement and pitiful career prospects.

No one can even fucking touch the legacy of Reagan. He laid the ground work for a new era of silent Jim Crow.
 

efr

Banned
Jun 19, 2019
2,420
It’s Reagan. He created the modern day uneducated GOP.L, destroyed the middle class and brain washed Boomers into thinking trickle down economics is a thing. Hell, Trump just repeats Reagan’s talking points all the time. The Bushs and Cheney were at least trying to make money for the US in the global economy(despite using war as the excuse).

Trump has his racist issues, but he’s too busy worried about Fox News ratings and everyone around him going to jail to really hurt anything like Reagen or Cheney did. The current state of American politics should be blamed on apathetic non voters and social media allowing disinformation everywhere.
 

hyouko

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,003
Maybe maybe not. I could be wrong but nobody really wanted out of it and I wouldn't be surprised if everyone was ok with a "reset". New administrations are like a new console gen, all bets are off! ha lol
No. This has damaged the US' international standing long term. Even if the next administration makes a show of being a reliable partner, would-be allies and partners are now very aware that everything could be tossed at the whim of an electorally-advantaged minority of voters in four years' time. Any new deals on offer will certainly factor that in, and it will lead to less advantageous terms for the US side.

That's not even considering all the internal damage that has been done to the US diplomatic corps. Hopefully some sort of rebuilding can happen there, but it's going to take time and it will be expensive (again, the gov't is in a less advantageous bargaining position: why dive back in as a career diplomat if you know that politics can see you out of a job in four years?)
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
Trump's influence on actual policy isn't nearly as expansive as his predecessors. Apart from the tax bill, the AHCA push was a massive failure for him and it tanked a lot of vulnerable Republicans during the 2018 midterms. I think the lasting legacy of Trump will be the digital disinformation campaign his organization leveraged and his impact on the judicial balance of the Supreme Court. Two aspects that I think we're going to see his eventual Republican successor lean heavily into - even if the Trumpian "cult of personality" subsides.

Reagan on the other hand enacted policies that not only exist today in some fashion but were also co-opted by Third Wave Democrats in the 1990's. The War on Drugs and other tough on crime measures come to mind in this area. The former of which is still the overwhelming law of the land today and has massively exacerbated our prisoner population and basically sentenced an entire generation of young men of color into a life of disenfranchisement and pitiful career prospects.

No one can even fucking touch the legacy of Reagan. He laid the ground work for a new era of silent Jim Crow.
IDK, while I completely agree with you regarding Reagan, Bush Jr. is right up there. War based on lies, torture, and destroying the economy. I would say bush's presidency is having an equally lasting affect. Image a world where Gore became president. That's a huge swing.
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
No. This has damaged the US' international standing long term. Even if the next administration makes a show of being a reliable partner, would-be allies and partners are now very aware that everything could be tossed at the whim of an electorally-advantaged minority of voters in four years' time. Any new deals on offer will certainly factor that in, and it will lead to less advantageous terms for the US side.

That's not even considering all the internal damage that has been done to the US diplomatic corps. Hopefully some sort of rebuilding can happen there, but it's going to take time and it will be expensive (again, the gov't is in a less advantageous bargaining position: why dive back in as a career diplomat if you know that politics can see you out of a job in four years?)
Eh, everyone has short memories nowadays. If after 8 years of Bush Jr. people were willing to work with Obama, I'm sure after 4 years of trump things will be forgotten. Especially if any agreement is voted on by congress and not allowed to be just overridden by an executive.
 

efr

Banned
Jun 19, 2019
2,420
Eh, everyone has short memories nowadays. If after 8 years of Bush Jr. people were willing to work with Obama, I'm sure after 4 years of trump things will be forgotten. Especially if any agreement is voted on by congress and not allowed to be just overridden by an executive.
Most non-dictator countries rotate their political people as well. Just look at the EU since Obama
 

Polk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
1,133
IDK, while I completely agree with you regarding Reagan, Bush Jr. is right up there. War based on lies, torture, and destroying the economy. I would say bush's presidency is having an equally lasting affect. Image a world where Gore became president. That's a huge swing.
War in Iraq and Afganisthan was snowball of US policies during Cold War ans vastly influenced by Regan Administration. So it's really hard to judge presidents without taking what came before him into considaration.
 

onyx

Member
Dec 25, 2017
470
Reagan screwed America and wiped out the middle class. He also set the stage for all of America's middle east wars and crimes.

Bush used that stage for his war crimes.

Trump's actions has revealed the GOP and its supporters to be what I always thought they were. A hate group that only cares about gaining and keeping power so they can keep any group they deem as other down in the dirt or out of the country.


Reagan is the worst one in that list.
 

Aurongel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,676
IDK, while I completely agree with you regarding Reagan, Bush Jr. is right up there. War based on lies, torture, and destroying the economy. I would say bush's presidency is having an equally lasting affect. Image a world where Gore became president. That's a huge swing.
Very valid points but I would also mention the fact that Republicans paid for their mishandling of the war in Iraq when they were squashed by the Democratic Party in 2008. Hell, there are large parts of the Republican party to this day that vehemently criticize the Bush administrations handling of those wars. During the Republican primary, Trump broke with GOP orthodoxy at the time and specifically criticized the Bush (and Obama) administration's mishandling of the war and vowed to bring troops home. Whether he has remained true to that promise or not is one thing but the fact that a major GOP candidate was that vocal about an unpopular war another Republican admin started is kind of huge. I would point to that as evidence that Bush's wartime policies were decisively maligned by both sides of the political aisle.

In contrast to that, Reagan's domestic policies like the War on Drugs were literally so pervasive that the opposing Democratic Party in the 90's had to rewrite their core domestic platform to definitively move themselves closer to the political center. We've seen the effects of this as recently as 2015 where large numbers of non-white voters were (justifiably!) extremely critical of Hillary Clinton's past views on crime and her disgustingly coded remarks about "super predators", welfare queens and drug dealers. I can't think of any other Republican president who sent the opposing party out into the wilderness the way Reagan did. You could even argue that the Bush administration's misleading policies regarding the middle east are just an extension of our default Cold War doctrine that took form during the Reagan years.
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
War in Iraq and Afganisthan was snowball of US policies during Cold War ans vastly influenced by Regan Administration. So it's really hard to judge presidents without taking what came before him into considaration.
Reagan may have set the stage, but he didn't take us into a war still going on today, and he didn't make Bush Jr. approve torturing people as "enhanced interrogation", he also didn't waste the budget surplus Clinton had and take the country to a near depression. I agree you have to take the big picture, which is why republican policies in general as a huge cluster F, but when comparing you can only take what they did while in office into account.
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
Very valid points but I would also mention the fact that Republicans paid for their mishandling of the war in Iraq when they were squashed by the Democratic Party in 2008. Hell, there are large parts of the Republican party to this day that vehemently criticize the Bush administrations handling of those wars. During the Republican primary, Trump broke with GOP orthodoxy at the time and specifically criticized the Bush (and Obama) administration's mishandling of the war and vowed to bring troops home. Whether he has remained true to that promise or not is one thing but the fact that a major GOP candidate was that vocal about an unpopular war another Republican admin started is kind of huge. I would point to that as evidence that Bush's wartime policies were decisively maligned by both sides of the political aisle.

In contrast to that, Reagan's domestic policies like the War on Drugs were literally so pervasive that the opposing Democratic Party in the 90's had to rewrite their core domestic platform to definitively move themselves closer to the political center. We've seen the effects of this as recently as 2015 where large numbers of non-white voters were (justifiably!) extremely critical of Hillary Clinton's past views on crime and her disgustingly coded remarks about "super predators", welfare queens and drug dealers. I can't think of any other Republican president who sent the opposing party out into the wilderness the way Reagan did. You could even argue that the Bush administration's misleading policies regarding the middle east are just an extension of our default Cold War doctrine that took form during the Reagan years.
The fact that R's now bash at least the Iraq war idea but not Reagan really doesn't play into my comparison. Just because you can look back and criticize doesn't mean those decisions aren't equally as bad as ones that have not been criticized.

Really at the end of the day its a close call, and I can easily see arguments on both sides and its hard to pick between the two. So far Trump hasn't even gotten close to how bad Bush is... so far. That could easily change if he wins reelection and takes us even further into a authoritarian style govt.
 

Mr Jones

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,173
I think that it is way to early to include Trump in this. He's tried to sabotage our federal education policies and net neutrality by putting grossly unqualified cronies into head positions. He has demonized our Mexican allies, and has severely reduced good will with other foreign allies. He has repeated ignored, or provided only token support for Puerto Rico, which has over 3000 people dead from Hurricane Maria, and has just recently suffered an earthquake, with no acknowledgement. He has committed crimes for personal gain, and involved foreign governments in what many would say was treasonous activity to influence political elections.

But he's only served one term. He has only had a few military skirmishes that we know about, with the most recent being the assassination of General Qassim Suleimani. There hasn't been any declarations of war, and we have not had any reported attacks on US soil. There hasn't been enough data to show how his policies have affected the social or financial economy.
 

Darkstar0155

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
I think that it is way to early to include Trump in this. He's tried to sabotage our federal education policies and net neutrality by putting grossly unqualified cronies into head positions. He has demonized our Mexican allies, and has severely reduced good will with other foreign allies. He has repeated ignored, or provided only token support for Puerto Rico, which has over 3000 people dead from Hurricane Maria, and has just recently suffered an earthquake, with no acknowledgement. He has committed crimes for personal gain, and involved foreign governments in what many would say was treasonous activity to influence political elections.

But he's only served one term. He has only had a few military skirmishes that we know about, with the most recent being the assassination of General Qassim Suleimani. There hasn't been any declarations of war, and we have not had any reported attacks on US soil. There hasn't been enough data to show how his policies have affected the social or financial economy.
It should also be noted that the majority of what trump has done can be quickly corrected with a Dem president. The only thing that cant be quickly overturned is legislation. But all he has accomplished on that front is a tax bill.
 

thefro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,713
Reagan crippled unions and dropping the fairness doctrine led to the crazy-ass current GOP with the rise of right-wing talk radio.
 

SmugAcolyte

Member
Feb 4, 2018
452
It depends on how you define "damage".

Long-term damage? Reagan's is clearly present with the whole Southern Strategy basically making 40% of the population vote against their best interests, but the result of Trump's actions may be even worse but can't be observed yet.
Corruption? Nixon and Trump, for obvious reasons.
Domestic? All of them are terrible, but Trump has eroded our system of checks & balances and has actively and directly made lives worse for minorities between the trans military ban and the expansion of ICE.
Foreign relations? GWB basically destroyed the Middle East, but Trump has nearly completely ostracized America from its allies and is now saber-rattling with Iran.

...Actually, going over all of these it seems that Trump is a consistent quantity in each one, so I guess he gets my vote.
Reagan didn’t create the Southern Strategy, Nixon did.
 

WedgeX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,890
Nixon.
  • He sabotaged LBJ’s peace talks with Vietnam, which would’ve ended in 1968 rather than 1975. Also set the stage for Reagan’s sabotaging of Carter with Iran and Trump’s dealing with Russia.
  • Instituted the Southern Strategy, which carved out the GOP as the party of racist, reactionary white peoples and led directly to the GOP of today.
  • Halted George Romney’s attempt to reverse the effects of Red Lining, which killed bipartisan support for doing so.
  • His actions led to the Kent State shootings, and his response helped create an atmosphere of fear for protestors that extends to today.
  • And of course he was corrupt, and utterly destroyed people’s trust in government and the belief that corruption has negative consequences once caught.
 

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
7,933
Trump has taken our culture by storm and because of that its him.

I will never ever forgive trump voters and I will remember every single one of them 5 years from now. he destroyed what little progress this country was making.
 

ZealousD

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,298
It's hard to gauge the lasting effects of Trump, so as much as I hate him it feels premature to pick him.

Reagen is at the root of the toxicity of the modern Republican party. GWB and Trump don't happen without him.
 

MrCheezball

Member
Aug 3, 2018
642
Reagan did and said all the things Trump says, but made it go down smoothly, and actually "accomplished" things. Trump really hasn't gotten a whole lot done despite the bluster.