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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

George W. Bush: Worst President Ever (According to some historians)


A sign of the times I suppose.

History News Network polled 109 historians and found that 96 percent of those found Bush to be one of the worst ever, with 61 percent finding him to be the worst ever.

“It would be difficult to identify a President who, facing major international and domestic crises, has failed in both as clearly as President Bush,” concluded one respondent. “His domestic policies,” another noted, “have had the cumulative effect of shoring up a semi-permanent aristocracy of capital that dwarfs the aristocracy of land against which the founding fathers rebelled; of encouraging a mindless retreat from science and rationalism; and of crippling the nation’s economic base.”
I don't know; it's easy for me to regard him as the worst president that I've been consciously "led" by, but to place him as the worst ever is hard for me to conceptualize. Plus, I think presidents deserve to be contextualized at least; who's to say Bush wouldn't have been great during Clinton's term? Who's to say that certain great presidents would have been awful in a different era? The reception of a president is not solely his fault--it's a reflection of the mind's of the people at the time, too. Also, it's hard to compare presidents we haven't lived through to presidents that are still in office.

Regardless, I think it's safe to say we could use a change of pace.

(Found via Kottke)

Note: In other Anti-American sentiment, Absolut pulled a controversial advertisement that was viewed as negative towards the US. Well aren't we just the most popular kids in town.

5 comments:

comoprozac said...

No. Really. He's the worst.

Lauren Kilberg said...

I started typing this whole long opinionated comment about the premature rankings/ratings of presidents, something I just spent the semester studying in my American Presidency class. But who cares. I agree with the historians, of course. But comparative study indicates Bush very well may end up being one of the highest ranked presidents in due time. History could be very good to him :(

comoprozac said...

Could someone explain to me who was worse than George W Bush? Please, I'd like to know.

Jake said...

Well, as I said in the post, I do know that he is the worst during my time. However, I have no real concept of other "bad" presidents. What was bad then? Would it be bad now? Should we judge them relatively or contextually, or what? It's all very confusing.

Lauren Kilberg said...

Well, typically Harding, Grant, and Nixon are given the 'worst' ratings. While I agree Bush is likely to make the list (or so I would think any rationally minded person would agree...ok that was pretentious)my point is that it's too soon to analyze. His presidency hasn't even ended (tear). Most political scientists won't even consider ranking/rating within the same decade they served their presidency. Some president's (Lincoln) made many of the same grave mistakes that have cost Bush his approval rating yet history has been good to them and put them within the highest ratings.

 
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