George W. Bush, in my opinion, has done a fine job as President, certainly top ten in terms of meeting his duties of the office and accomplishing the most important jobs. Some folks would agree with me, though to a different degree, while others would disagree with me. And some brain-dead vipers would be so consumed by their hatred of Dubya, that they would be unable to accept even the slightest of his successes.
Why mention this? Those people who have known me for years, know that every so often I like to compare Presidents in ranks, usually by a form of competition. And as the NCAA Basketball Tournaments wind down, my mind has once again found itself pondering POTUS match-ups. I do not intend to inflict that condition on anyone unasked, which is to say I will have the competition up on Stolen Thunder later this spring, but for now I am simply asking the reader, once again, to consider what it is that makes a President a failure or success.
The test is not one of popularity. I like whom I like, but that proves nothing in any objective sense. And it should be obvious that politicians in general seek to do what will make them popular, which is one serious reason why significant challenges go unanswered for so long – it takes real guts to try to address what has no easy answer, what does not promise immediate rewards, and which can usually only succeed where the leader in charge is selfless and humble to a degree scarcely found in people who run for elected office.
I would also say that accomplishments are not of even weight. A good President will understand that what solves the day’s problems is not as good an answer as one which solves threats to the generation. This is one reason why Reagan is properly acknowledged as so much greater a President than many who came before him; his actions – though controversial at the time – strengthened America and advanced her interests far beyond the moment. This is also why Clinton’s legacy will stand against him – he sought what worked for the season, never considering long-term effects of his decisions.
What I am throwing out for today, is discussion about which five Presidents you think have done the best job (let’s leave off failures for this discussion) and why, and then note which people today seem to have the most qualities in common with the great Presidents. If you see no such contender worthy of comparison, please note what you think might be useful in bringing such a person to consideration. This could be a useful tool is helping filter the dreck from the quality candidate, and less than a year from the primaries, such an exercise could be vital for both parties.