So Who Was the Most Libertarian President?

By Doug Newman

One of the plethora of reasons I like sports much more than politics is that the answers in sports are much more easily quantifiable. Success in sports is merit-based, whereas in politics it is all about spin, image, manipulation and propaganda.

Elections are not basketball tournaments. Success and failure have nothing whatsoever to do with objective measurements of merit.

In a sane world, a presidential greatness index would be similar to a golf score or a pitcher’s earned run average, i.e. the lower the better. The lower the president’s index, the greater he would be.

However, in a world without .300 hitters or 1,000-yard rushers, how do you determine greatness or non-greatness?

Enter a young guy from Phoenix, Arizona by the name of Xavier Cromartie. In the late part of 2009, he released an absolutely fascinating article wherein he assigns scores and rankings for presidents of the United States with libertarianism as the main criteria.

The article lists 43 presidents, as Grover Cleveland was president twice. Cleveland was also rated as the second most libertarian in this study, behind only Martin Van Buren.

Our most libertarian president? Well, this study says so.

Please read this disclaimer about Obama at the top of the article.

Anyway, this article is based not on “liberalism” or “conservatism”, i.e. words that lost meaning a long time ago. Rather, it is an attempt – quite a good one, I might add – to measure objectively how much each president respected individual liberty.

There is a lot here that a lot of people will not like. And if you don’t like the findings here, you need to get honest with yourself and re-examine a few things.

Let the arguing begin.

And if you support liberty, then you need to support Ron Paul for President in 2012. Based on his voting record 12 terms in Congress, he will be more libertarian than Van Buren.

And his policies won’t kill any Native Americans either.
Classic article by Lew Rockwell from 1996: Down with the Presidency.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please email me and include a link to this URL. Thanks!

About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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