I'm a very big history buff...Most of the books which line my shelves are history books.
Personally, I tend to prefer (as pathetic as it sounds) the past to the present. I believe in the whole idea of the "Greatest Generation" and I think the WWII generation and the whole Post-War era to around 1993 was one of the greatest periods of history in America.
Now, I have to admit to you I am rather conflicted. Having been raised by Boomer parents, I do kind of feel loyalty to that whole social and political point of view--My dad was a long haired type, you know.
And at the same time, I kind of feel that the era of America being a badass, strong nation (on Foreign Policy) began to end with Clinton. I really don't know what to think of him in terms of policy--He was very ineffective on foreign policy, but his domestic record is harder to pin down. It's like hit and miss. Some really good parts, some meh. Not like Obama, who has overall been a failure.
Then you have Bush II...A generally good guy who IMO will go down as the Harry Truman of this generation, who made some foreign policy foibles. Like Truman, Bush was considered a political lightweight; He was considered kind of a dummy--Most of Truman's track record before becoming President was one of personal failures. They both had a background in business and were very religious men. Bush generally, like Truman, presided over a rather good economy until the end of his term, and got embroiled in a misadventure which made people hate him (Iraq). When Truman left office, he was hated--largely because of Korea. Now look, 50 years later--He's loved by most on the left and even on the right as a hero, the man who began the Cold War and brought WWII to a successful end. I believe in time Bush II's reputation will improve greatly.
Now we get to Obama...I think Obama is truly an anomaly. I know many here would dislike FDR and LBJ and the like politically, but I don't think either FDR or LBJ hated their country or had anything but love for it. I've read of FDR that with regard to the New Deal, he was basically trying anything he thought would work, and LBJ's Great Society--Many of the programs, except for the War on Poverty and Medicare, were IMO good ones. I don't really hold those against him, because they were grounded in idealism. I honestly think LBJ had an idealistic, misguided belief in that we could end poverty, and I believe this belief was founded in a virtuous intent. Now, the results we can argue upon, and I think undertaking a "War on Poverty" is foolish because poverty is one of the facets of human experience sadly. And Medicare, while a good program in theory, has been overly costly.
Obama on the other hand, surrounds himself with people who literally hate the country, who want to limit free speech; He surrounds himself with people who were the same people that LBJ and Nixon fought against in the 1960s and '70s. The Hippie Dippie types. I just don't think that Obama is really an heir of FDR or LBJ, even though he wants to be. FDR was a fighter politically, but he also had respect for those he fought with, and even FDR's staunchest opponents seemed to like and respect him--Because he gave respect in turn. Obama isn't like that...He's a radical type. He's divisive. He can't just disagree with you politically; he has to call the opposition party "enemies" in public.
Yeah, Nixon's Administration had an "Enemies List", but that was a private list and most of the people on that list were the kind of people Obama would surround himself with today--Socialists and Radical Hippies, the kind of people who were trying to undermine the war effort deliberately and try to create low morale. Also, the "Nixon Enemy List" wasn't even Nixon's own list--it was compiled by his staff without his knowledge. And in any case, I do believe there were many inner enemies in the '60s and '70s, and as such many of those people belonged on such a list--And sadly most of these people are out and in power today.
I really think Obama, and those he surrounds himself with, have deep seated issues with this country; He's the type that looks at America's history and sees flaws.
What I'm saying is...Obama, Pelosi and the rest of modern Liberals have given Liberalism a bad name. I really don't think that FDR, Truman, Ike, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush I were bad men. They were many of various political views, of all different ends of the political spectrum, but I believe beginning with Clinton and now continuing with Obama, Liberalism has changed. It's become infected with a socialist spirit. This radical, deranged Hippie mindset--the kind of mindset which fueled the SDS and groups like it.
I know many disagree with them because of their political beliefs, but I do believe that the generation of Presidents starting with FDR and ending with George Bush I was a different caliber of men from Clinton and Obama. FDR, for example, said a prayer OPENLY and on the radio for troops going into D-Day. Truman supported Israel because he was a Christian. LBJ often invoked God in his speeches, as did Nixon, Ford and Carter.
But on the other hand, look at Obama--He won't even mention God in the Pledge of Allegiance. How far we've fallen. I don't know when this socialist, anti-God element got into the Democratic Party, but it's sad.
Would anyone agree, that regardless of their political views, it can be agreed that FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush I did love America, and were proud of their country? I just think we should separate those men, and Old Liberalism in general, from the Liberalism which has grown under Obama.