Culturalist.com is the place to shape, share and debate your opinions on anything and everything through Top 10 lists. The opinions presented here are those of our users, based upon the mathematical averaging of the lists they made. Disagree? Join the conversation by making your own list of the Best Political Leaders We Need Right Now, and make your voice heard.
It's Election Day once again, our annual reminder that we do technically need somebody running the country. We asked Culturalist users who they thought we need in charge, and we're here to count down their results:
10. Barack Obama
White House/Pete Souza
So, there's good news and there's bad news. The good news: Culturalist users thought that one of the Top 10 leaders we need right now just happens to be one of the leaders we actually have right now. The bad news: the President of the United States only just barely squeaked into the Top 10.
9. Ted Kennedy
United States Senate
Ted Kennedy's 47 years in the Senate - and the mythology around his last name - made him one of the most beloved American political figures of the 20th century. He combined an unapologetically progressive view of what the country could be with a pragmatic willingness to work across party-lines to get things done.
8. Winston Churchill
Library of Congress
His singular mixture of military stoicism and literary flair have made Churchill nearly synonymous with British character and resolve during World War II. It's one thing for a leader to show courage in the face of political opponents who want him out of office; it's quite another to hold the line when literal Hitler is trying to kill you at the same time.
7. Lyndon B. Johnson
Arnold Newman/White House
The legacy of Johnson's "Great Society" is somewhat tempered by his escalation of the war in Vietnam and expansion of the use of executive military power, which we're still wrestling with fifty years later. But there's no denying that his forceful leadership style and the scope of his political achievements in office earn him a spot on the list.
6. Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Department of State
With all the "will-she?/won't-she?" speculation surrounding a potential HRC presidential bid in 2016, Hillary Clinton could be the one leader on this list who we could actually still get to lead us. From her introduction as First Lady through her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton has been a somewhat polarizing figure who has elicited strong reactions from both her supporters and her adversaries.
Think Culturalist's list makers got it wrong? Set the record straight by making your own list!
5. Tip O'Neill
Jimmy Carter Library
O'Neill's five terms as Speaker of the House was largely defined by his tireless opposition to then-President Ronald Reagan's policies both at home and abroad. Despite their vast ideological differences, the two men remained friendly...as long as the press wasn't around.
4. John F. Kennedy
Cecil Stoughton/JFK Library
His presidency only lasted two years and ten months, but JFK's assassination and the momentous shift of the political landscape in that time have enshrined him in the American pantheon. Presidential scholars are divided over his effectiveness in office, but Kennedy remains one of the most popular and beloved Presidents in history.
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Elias Goldensky/Library of Congress
In today's political climate, it's hard to imagine somebody being so good at getting elected President that we actually had to change the rules. But that's what FDR and his "New Deal" achieved: a radical realignment of what was possible to achieve via government, even in the face of the Great Depression and World War.
2. Bill Clinton
Bob McNeely/William J. Clinton Library
The election of President Clinton marked the ascension of Baby Boomers in American politics and the longest period of peacetime economic growth we've ever enjoyed. He weathered impeachment and tabloid storms, and left office with the highest approval rating of any President since WWII.
1. Abraham Lincoln
Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress
Most political leaders spend their first few weeks in office charting an agenda, considering appointments, and learning new staffers' names. Lincoln spent it watching his country explode. The entirety of his four years in office were consumed by, you know, saving the Union. He succeeded...and he paid the price.
Those are who Culturalist's users think of as the Top 10 Best Political Leaders We Could Use Right Now. Agree? Disagree? Make your own list and be heard.
Next time: We've got Birdman on the brain, and it's never too early for Oscar buzz. What do you think are the Top 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances? We'll be counting down your Top 10 right here next week.