Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “FDR,” served the longest number of presidential terms. He became President during the height of the Great Depression, which lasted years and devastated the American people. The poverty was crushing. Meanwhile, fascism arose in Italy, Germany, and Spain. Imperial Japan was ready for war. The implications of FDR’s choices had a monumental effect in determining the post war world.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Great Depression
FDR was up to the task. Despite being a paraplegic from polio he created the New Deal to repair the nation’s infrastructure and put people back to work. As Britain was about to fall to the Germans the U.S. entered WWII after Pearl Harbor.
FDR also approved the development of the atomic bomb, which would forever change the face of total war.
The meeting of the Allied leaders at Yalta during WWII—Churchill, FDR, and Stalin.
Barack Obama was President during the 2008 Great Recession. His stimulus program helped prevent another depression. His major policy achievement was the Affordable Care Act, which greatly increased the number of Americans with medical insurance, saving lives.
America was in crisis during the Obama period. But Obama’s main legacy was to continue the neoliberal capitalist system which he had inherited. He also expanded the role of the imperial presidency. Obama engaged in thousands of drone strikes around the world. The U.S. also supported the disastrous coup in Libya, upending the Quaddafi government and causing Libya to be a failed state.
Quaddafi was leader of Libya for 40 years, and was the wealthiest and most successful African nation until it was destroyed.
In Libya there are public slave auctions thanks to the U.S. backed coup which killed Quaddafi. Some people even find it hilarious:
And if you aren’t convinced yet, consider the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s leadership and strength held the nation together during the bloody American Civil War. There would be no United States but for Lincoln’s leadership.
Brigadier General Gregg with his staff, near Fredricksburg, 1862. Colorized.