Home > In the News, Interest > Does American Democracy Truly Work?

Does American Democracy Truly Work?

We can all breath a sigh of relief now that George Bush is out of American politics, but this article from the NZ Herald does raise the question of whether or not American politics really works. Lets face it, George was the most stupidest guy you could ever put in charge of the world’s largest economy and superpower. How on earth does he get voted in TWICE?? Almost anyone running would have probably done a better job than him, yet not only did he get voted in the first time, he got voted in a second time. In my own mind, it beggars belief how he got in again. This article discusses the ratings of previous presidents, and unsurprisingly George gets dumped somewhere near the bottom. Maybe Obama should implement a minimum IQ test to qualify to run for office…

Historians name Lincoln named top US president – Bush close to last

“WASHINGTON – Just days after Americans honoured the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best US president.

Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.

Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting.

In contrast, Lincoln was ranked in the top three in each of the 10 categories evaluated by participants.

Compared to C-SPAN’s only other ranking of presidents, in 2000, former President Bill Clinton jumped six spots from No. 21 to 15. Other recent presidents moved positions as well: Ronald Reagan advanced from No. 11 to 10, George H.W. Bush rose from No. 20 to 18 and Jimmy Carter fell from No. 22 to 25.

This movement illustrates that presidential reputations are influenced by present-day concerns, said survey adviser and participant Edna Medford.

“Today’s concerns shape our views of the past, be it in the area of foreign policy, managing the economy or human rights,” Medford said in a statement.

After Lincoln, the academics rated George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman as the best leaders overall. The same five received top spots in the 2000 survey, although Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt swapped spots this year.

Rated worst overall were James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison and Warren G. Harding.

The survey was conducted in December and January. Participants ranked each president on a scale of one, “not effective” to 10, “very effective,” on a list of 10 leadership qualities including relations with Congress, public persuasion and moral authority.
Presidential rankings according to 65 historians and professional observers of the presidency surveyed by the cable channel C-SPAN. Participants ranked each president by 10 leadership attributes.

President       2009 rank / 2000 rank

Abraham Lincoln    1 1

George Washington   2 3

Franklin D. Roosevelt 3 2

Theodore Roosevelt   4 4

Harry S. Truman    5 5

John F. Kennedy    6 8

Thomas Jefferson    7 7

Dwight D. Eisenhower 8 9

Woodrow Wilson    9 6

Ronald Reagan    10 11

Lyndon B. Johnson   11 10

James K. Polk    12 12

Andrew Jackson    13 13

James Monroe      14 14

Bill Clinton      15 21

William McKinley    16 15

John Adams       17 16

George H.W. Bush    18 20

John Quincy Adams   19 19

James Madison    20 18

Grover Cleveland    21 17

Gerald R. Ford    22 23

Ulysses S. Grant    23 33

William Howard Taft 24 24

Jimmy Carter      25 22

Calvin Coolidge    26 27

Richard M. Nixon    27 25

James A. Garfield   28 29

Zachary Taylor    29 28

Benjamin Harrison   30 31

Martin Van Buren    31 30

Chester A. Arthur   32 32

Rutherford B. Hayes 33 26

Herbert Hoover    34 34

John Tyler       35 36

George W. Bush    36 NA

Millard Fillmore    37 35

Warren G. Harding   38 38

William Henry Harrison 39 37

Franklin D. Pierce   40 39

Andrew Johnson    41 40

James Buchanan    42 41


  1. Frances
    February 16, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I think I read that George W thought the media had underestimated him, so perhaps we only thought he was the stupidest. Then again, perhaps he was wrong.

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