Monday, April 24, 2006

Polls and Presidents

Well, I tried to post this earlier, but blogger was not happy with me...hopefully it will actually appear this time!
(from the article site)

Alan Dowd’s article Polls and Presidents was an interesting comparison of Presidents George W. Bush and Harry Truman. Both presidents chose (is choosing) to fight unpopular wars – Bush in Iraq and Truman in Korea. Neither one had (has) a strong popular support. Whatever your opinion of the war in Iraq is, I think this is an interesting article to read to consider current opinion and long term presidential decisions. Unpopular decisions are not necessarily bad decisions – that’s one of the reasons why being President is definitely not an easy job. I think that is one of the reasons why many past presidents can be reevaluated more fairly 50 years after leaving office – we’ve had time to see what their actions actually did as well as to overcome the basic “gut” reaction. An interesting assignment for students could be to compare the popular opinion of various presidents as well as the long-term evaluation of their careers. President Lincoln certainly got his share of bad press!

Dowd closes this thought:

This is not to say that Bush is destined for a Trumanesque legacy, of course; but neither is he doomed to failure. Tomorrow's historians — not today's polls or pundits — will render the final verdict.

Definitely makes you wonder what the history books will say about this war and president in 50 years.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Lincoln would have done poorly too had there been polls back then. Half the coutry hated him and the other half was divided. Not everyone thought that attacking the CSA was wise or legal either. But Lincoln was right...

It will take a while before Bush can be evaluated fairly by history. Frankly, the best Bush historians probably have not been born yet. These future historians can look at Bush without having their own political sensibilities coming into play and clouding their judgement.