In recent days I have both written or read about the evaluations of various presidents from Carter, to JFK,Johnson, Nixon and also, Ford, Reagan,George W Bush and Obama.
Really,after all these readings thus far, it does not appear that any president truly gets a passing mark. Maybe JFK. After all he did stand up to Russia in the Cuban crisis. But because of his untimely death there was little time to assimilate judgement about his overall performance and efforts. And of course Ronald Reagan,who many still adore,but not everyone does.
Americans can be hard on their presidents; almost always half the people are unhappy with all of them. Because they are human and besieged by external events which are frequently beyond their personal control, presidents are often judged harshly and unfairly,and as though they are somehow in complete control of their nation’s plight. For example, how could George W have completely on his own unhinged the American economy? He never could do that,even though a misguided thought looking for an easy or simple answer might be excused for such a conclusion.
One observation that appears honest enough is that in modern times, the brightest people who are best equipped to be leaders do not end up in top political leadership positions in most countries. But yet how much blame do we the citizens deserve for the outcomes we finally get?