First we would like to preface this with a brief back story. We were raised in a conservative, evangelical, middle class home by parents who love(d) us and care(d) for us. In many ways we had the all-American ideal childhoods. We wanted for little and got a lot. Big, close family and lots of friends. More often than not, most of us tend to emulate our parents and reflect the values we were were raised with, even if there are years of “rebellion” where you are searching and deciding for yourself or “straying”. With no disrespect to our late Father or our sweet Mother – we both have retained and cherish many of those values, but as adults (and like all adults) we have chosen our own values separate of each other and also those of our parents and even completely rejected some others ingrained within our family for generations. We are not celebrating this or bragging, just making an observation about societal changes and changes within a very close family as well that always happens with time. Our Dad was an active, outspoken, social conservative evangelical. That wasn’t a bad thing, but we think Dad always expected both of us to mirror him in most ways. Neither of us did. Our Mom is also an active church member, just not nearly as outspoken and more willing to discuss different viewpoints than our Father was. Mom and Dad had a healthy marriage with balance and they were together for 39 years before cancer took him from us. As different as our parents were, we as brothers are just as different. One is a hard-core social democrat and atheist, happily married for 11 years. The other is a Republican who defines himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate to libertarian, does not attend church regularly, but still has his Christian faith. And to throw in another wrench he is openly gay and has been in a relationship for over 4 ½ years. Unlike our parents we have both been interested and involved in the political arena since we were young (by choice). As morbid as this may sound, it was the Reagan assassination attempt in March of 1981 that sparked the interest in us both. Kyle was eleven and Kirk was seven years old and they were home alone watching televised coverage and found ourselves captivated by the event itself and have been captivated with political events, history, civics and the media.

These rankings of the United States Presidents are a glimpse into two different world-views and opinions of what is best for our country and who has been the most effective domestically and internationally over the past 50 years. We welcome your comments, arguments, suggestions, etc.and look forward to your own “two cents”. Note: Behavior after they have left office can effect rankings.

Kirk’s rankings. Kirk is the younger, conservative Republican brother.

Positive domestic impact

1. Ronald Reagan
2. John F. Kennedy
3. Gerald Ford
4. Bill Clinton
5. George H.W. Bush
6. George W. Bush
7. Richard Nixon
8. Jimmy Carter
9. Barack Obama
10. Lyndon B. Johnson

Positive international impact
1. Ronald Reagan
2. George H.W. Bush
3. Richard Nixon
4. John F. Kennedy
5. George W. Bush
6. Bill Clinton
7. Jimmy Carter
8. Gerald Ford
9. Barack Obama
10. Lyndon B. Johnson

Kyle’s rankings: He is, of course, the liberal one.

Positive domestic impact

1. Lyndon B. Johnson
2. Barack Obama
3. Bill Clinton
4. John F. Kennedy
5. Richard Nixon
6. George H.W. Bush
7. Jimmy Carter
8. Gerald Ford
9. Ronald Reagan
10. George W. Bush

Positive international impact

1. John F. Kennedy
2. Barack Obama
3. Richard Nixon
4. Jimmy Carter
5. Bill Clinton
6. George H.W. Bush
7. Ronald Reagan
8. Gerald Ford
9. Lyndon B. Johnson
10. George W. Bush

Note: the rankings are far from scientific. The two brothers likely are using different criteria and may judge the same things differently, with their own biases. Each President had a Congress to work with as well as circumstances beyond their control, but owning the “Bully Pulpit” can set the tone.

Happy Presidents’ Day 2012!

Kyle Standerfer
Twitter: @KyleStanderfer
KyleStanderfer@gmail.com

Kirk Standerfer
Twitter: @KirkStanderfer
KirkStanderfer@gmail.com

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