Oh, my, my, my. Grampa Shouty-Pants is not gonna like this.
You’d think the guy who made America great again—just look around you—would be ranked higher than 41st out of 44 former U.S. presidents in the latest survey of presidential historians. And he would be, of course, if the voting panel consisted exclusively of multibillionaire bloodsuckers and the hapless corona-fodder who remain enthralled by Ocher Shrek’s every splenetic utterance.
Unfortunately, this list was put together by presidential historians, and they get their information from contemporaneous media reports and books, as opposed to 8kun threads and meatball-redolent pillow magnates.
Barack Obama moved his way up into the top 10 of C-SPAN’s presidential leadership survey for the first time this year, while Donald Trump clocked in at 41st on the list, months after the end of his term in office.
C-SPAN released the rankings from its Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, which is taken after each presidential transition, on Wednesday. This survey marks Trump’s first appearance on the list, on which the one-term president placed higher than only three other presidents: Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and the perpetually last-ranked James Buchanan.
In fact, Barack Obama—who inherited a disastrous recession from his predecessor and turned it into the longest economic expansion in U.S. history—was ranked the 10th best U.S. president, just behind Ronald Reagan who, um, sucked. Reagan was influential, though; most importantly, he didn’t try to overthrow the legitimate government of the United States by continually denying reality and aiming a mob at the U.S. Capitol.
But aside from that little hiccup—and the fact that two slaveholders remain in the top 10—it’s a pretty credible list. Though it might have even more credibility if the guy who’s still trying to destroy the country out of a deep abiding sense of irresponsibility and wanton ego were ranked lower.
Then again, Politico reminds us that Trump did come in last in some important categories.
In the administrative skills category, Trump was ranked last among … former presidents. He also fell in last in the category of moral authority, just below Buchanan — who is most widely known for his failure to prevent the Civil War. Trump fared better in the Public Persuasion category, in which he was ranked 32nd, and economic management, where he was 34th.
Sure, Trump was able to persuade some people. He could have goaded some people into eating a bug on the playground. But it’s not like he united the country in a time of crisis. And he had one coronapalooza of a crisis to work with. Unfortunately, it didn’t rouse him to action so much as turn him into a tepid puddle of spray-tan fluid and screechy incoherence.
So will he eventually fall even lower on the list? That depends on a few things. If his postelection pressure campaign actually rots our democratic foundations enough to turn us into a banana republic, I can only assume he’ll overtake James Buchanan, who is largely blamed for the onset of the Civil War.
Will he ever surpass Barack Obama on this list? You know he wants to.
Ha. No. And with historians putting renewed emphasis on social justice issues, Trump’s reputation is unlikely to be rehabilitated anytime soon—or ever.
The category that has seen the greatest change in assessments over the past two decades is the one focused on the pursuit of equal justice, a subject of increasing scrutiny by historians and others. On that measure, the standings of Ulysses S. Grant and Calvin Coolidge have most improved, while those of Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and Nixon have most declined.
“Despite the fact that we’ve become more aware of the historical implications of racial injustice in this country and we’re continuing to grapple with those issues, we still have slaveholding presidents at or near the top of the list,” said Edna Greene Medford, a Howard University historian and adviser to the survey. “So even though we may be a bit more enlightened about race today, we are still discounting its significance when evaluating these presidents.”
The entire list is here. Feel free to send it to Trump, if you can find a social media platform that will still have him.
It made comedian Sarah Silverman say “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Just $12.96 for the pack of 4! Or if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
Powered by WPeMatico