I frequently refer to Ronald Reagan as the greatest president of the second half of the Twentieth Century in large measure because of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s masterful preparation for and leadership during World War II. Perhaps, because of his Angophilia, perhaps for other reasons, FDR forged a particularly strong bond with the greatest man of the last century, Winston Churchill. (For whatever reason that relationship served our nation–and Western Civilization–extraordinarily well.)
Their friendship and his commitment to that alliance–even before Pearl Harbor (recall that the Atlantic Charter was drafted nearly four full months before we entered the war)–helped keep the bond between our two nations strong, allowing us to win the war, after overcoming many obstacles and numerous setbacks early in the war
So, despite the failure of FDR’s economic policies to end the Great Depression, I consider him the greatest president of the last century for helping save civilization from Nazism.
Over at Big Government, Burt Folsom offers a different view. That History professor gives the laurels to the Gipper: “Reagan, by contrast [to FDR & Woodrow Wilson], won the Cold War and also revived the American economy from decades of abuse. He was successful both at home and abroad.”
Folsom contends there were three parts to the Gipper’s genius: his vision, his character and his teachabilty: “We have to believe in something and we have force of character, but we also have to be ready to modify.”
Read the whole thing and let me know: who is right, that historian on this blogger? Like the Gipper, I am willing to modify my views when circumstances call for a change.