We are often, overwhelmed, by the behavior, attitude, actions, performances, rhetoric, etc, made by our current elected officials, especially our President. Although, a leader’s rhetoric, integrity, effectiveness, efficiency, and apparent willingness to lead, all Americans, instead of, only, those who might support him, is important, we ought to realize, it’s far more significant, how his support, might influence future generations, more than, evaluating him, merely based on his popularity, or, how he can, in the polls! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, temporarily, consider, review, analyze, and discuss, how recent Presidents were thought of, when they were office, compared to, how, history believes them, today. How leaders leave the nation, in a relevant, sustainable manner, is what their heritage, should be based on!
1. Recent Presidents (since the 1940’s): No discussion of legacies, could be complete, if it didn’t begin with FDR. History just President, who served more than two 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 many reassuring talks. However, while he had been, overall, a superb President, his heritage, was also marred, by allowing internment camps for Japanese – Americans, and denying entry to a boat load of Jews, driving them to return, to Europe, to face persecution, and, oftentimes, far worse. He was famous for his, The buck stops here, and being the primary boss, to use, a nuclear bomb. While this, likely ended the war in the Pacific, with Japan, many innocent people, and future generations, were hurt, by their vulnerability to atomic – products. Dwight D. Eisenhower (known, as, Ike), followed, and was popular, because, he articulated a message of peace, and calm, which led to the popular picture, depicted in Happy Days. Many sought a younger, more energetic leader, and we elected JFK, who was believed, by many, as Camelot. Johnson got most of Kennedy’s civil rights, and other progressive legislation, enacted, but his legacy, became the war, and Kennedy, appreciated the stardom. Afterward, we elected Richard Nixon, and though, 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 nation, subsequently elected Jimmy Carter, who actually, had the audacity to think, a public leader, must possess integrity and ethics. Although, unpopular for years, due to Iran, inflation, etc, his heritage, was much kinder, reminding us, he was years ahead of his days, in the regions of human rights, energy conservation, alternative energy, gas mileage standards, oil reserves. His post – Presidential involvement with Habitat for Humanity, and assisting foreign nations, 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 radically, expanded, was the beginning of taxing Social Security benefits. Both Bush administrations has positives and negatives, but history, has spent more emphasis on the negatives, to date. While Obama’s heritage, is tough to judge, because he was President, so lately, it’s been improved by the inevitable comparisons with our current President.
2. How will this President, be recalled? President Trump, has far more strong, core supporters, who seem, to miss any faults, compared to previous Presidents, but, also, more detractors. The nation has been more polarized, than previously, in recent memory. Will Trump’s heritage, be, what he tells us he is done, or, will history, treat him, unkindly, and, point to, his rhetoric, empty promises, misstatements, and polarizing, adversarial style, as harmful, to sustainable environmental protection, human rights, civil rights, etc?
A President’s heritage, is, a lot more important and relevant, than how popular, he is, for the nearer – term! Wake up. America, and carefully consider, who you vote for, according to their plans, ideas, and solutions, instead of rhetoric and promises!