History Remembering Presidents

There is an interesting phenomenon which U.S. presidents are remembered. It’s typically the presidents who had momentous events occur during their presidencies. Abraham Lincoln had the Civil War and was assassinated. FDR had the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, and WWII. JFK was assassinated. Truman gave the go-ahead for the atomic bombs. George Washington was the first president and a great Revolutionary War general. Others come quickly to mind but presidencies in which there were wars and huge catastrophes tend to be the most salient.

This is why, like him or not, Pres. George W. Bush will be better-remembered than Pres. Clinton. I’m not comparing their presidencies or their performance; I’m just predicting who will be better-remembered in 100 or 200 years. Pres. Bush had 9-11 and the Iraq War. Pres. Clinton gets a little boost with his impeachment but what else happened during the 90s? It was a relatively quiet period of prosperity. History doesn’t easily remember prosperity. It remembers Alexander the Great, who conquered nations; it remembers Julius Caesar, who conquered nations; it remembers, Napoleon Bonaparte, who conquered nations.

So, again, whether or not you like Pres. Bush, history will remember him more than Pres. Clinton and a lot of other U.S. Presidents. Of course, no one will forget James K. Polk either and his presidency was pretty quiet (That’s actually not true. Polk was quite an effective President and did a lot of good for the country).

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