We are often, overwhelmed, by the behaviour, attitude, actions, rhetoric, performances, etc, made by our current elected officials, especially our President. Although, a leader’s rhetoric, ethics, effectiveness, efficacy, and apparent willingness to lead, all Americans, instead of, only, those who may support him, is important, we should realize, it is a lot more significant, how his support, might influence future generations, than, evaluating him, merely according to his popularity, or, how he can, in the polls! With that in mind, this guide will try to, temporarily, consider, review, analyze, and discuss, how recent Presidents were thought of, when they were office, compared to, how, history considers them, today. How leaders leave the country, in a relevant, sustainable manner, is what their legacy, should be based on!
1. Recent Presidents (since the 1940’s): No discussion of legacies, would be complete, if it did not start with FDR. History only President, who served more than 2 terms, he had been known, during his government, for introducing the WPA (and putting Americans to work, on infrastructure, etc), introducing Social Security, and, for, his most reassuring talks. However, while he was, overall, a superb President, his legacy, was also marred, by allowing internment camps for Japanese – Americans, and denying entry to a ship load of Jews, forcing them to reunite, to Europe, to face persecution, and, oftentimes, far worse. He was known for his, The buck stops here, and being the first leader, to use, a nuclear bomb. While this, probably ended the war in the Pacific, with Japan, many innocent people, and future generations, were harmed, by their exposure to nuclear by – products. Dwight D. Eisenhower (known, as, Ike), followed, and was popular, since, he articulated a message of peace, and calm, which resulted in the popular image, depicted in Happy Days. Many sought a younger, more energetic leader, and we elected JFK, that had been believed, by many, as Camelot. After he was assassinated, LBJ became President, and became overwhelmed by Vietnam. Johnson got most of Kennedy’s civil rights, and other progressive legislation, enacted, but his legacy, became the war, and Kennedy, enjoyed the stardom. Then, we elected Richard Nixon, and although, he had the first diplomatic talks, together with China, suffers from the legacy of Watergate, impeachment, and the cover – up. Ford is mostly known, for pardoning Nixon, and only served in office, for a partial term. Running against corruption, the country, then elected Jimmy Carter, who really, had the audacity to believe, a public leader, must possess integrity and ethics. Although, unpopular for years, because of Iran, inflation, etc, his heritage, had been much kinder, reminding us, he was years ahead of his days, in the areas of human rights, energy conservation, alternative energy, gas mileage standards, petroleum reserves. His post – Presidential involvement with Habitat for Humanity, and helping foreign states, arbitrate/ mediate disputes, etc, has enhanced his reputation and legacy. Ronald Reagan was, and is, beloved, by most, but historians, also point to, the Iran – Contra scandal, eliminating gas mileage standards, and the realities of Trickle Down Economics (a.k.a. Reaganomics), and that, later, the budget deficit dramatically, enlarged, was the beginning of taxing Social Security benefits. Both Bush administrations has positives and negatives, but history, has spent more emphasis on the negatives, so far. While Obama’s heritage, is difficult to judge, since he was President, so recently, it has been improved by the inevitable comparisons with our current President.
2. How will this President, be remembered? President Trump, has much more strong, core supporters, who seem, to overlook any faults, compared to previous Presidents, but, also, more detractors. The nation has been more polarized, than previously, in recent memory.
A President’s heritage, is, far more important and relevant, than how popular, he is, for the nearer – term! Wake up. America, and carefully consider, who you vote for, based on their plans, ideas, and solutions, rather than rhetoric and promises!