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While Donald trump is the worst president to rule American

By on January 12th, 2020 Under NEWS | Download Naija Music

These “academic parlor games,” as historian and presidential expert Richard Norton Smith calls them, have been conducted for years. None are perfect, he says, and historical comparisons of leaders who served in two completely different eras becomes difficult.

“The criteria change over time. The older I get, the more skeptical I become of the exercise,” says Smith, who has in recent years participated in and provided commentary for C-SPAN’s presidential rankings. “The presidency in the 20th century is a radically different office than the presidency in the 19th century.”

In drawing comparisons, Smith notes that James Monroe presided over the Panic of 1819, which saw America dive into its first major economic depression. But in 1820, Monroe picked up all but one electoral college vote during his reelection bid. His popularity wasn’t crippled by the downturn – certainly not to the degree that future presidents would be judged by the economy’s performance on their watch.

Smith notes that Herbert Hoover became the face of the Great Depression 100 years later, and that Hoover’s posthumous reputation is “in some ways haunted” by the economic strife that Monroe breezed through.

“In the 19th century, people did not expect the federal government to address what was widely seen as the almost God-like boom and bust cycle in the economy. But at the beginning of the 20th century, just take the first Roosevelt – a president who argues that the government is responsible for protecting consumers against tainted meat or drugs, or argues that the government has a responsibility to conserve park lands, wildlife refuges, basically to become a leader in conservation,” Smith says. “It is not surprising that one consequence of that is people come to expect more from government and from the president, in particular.”


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