by Victor Davis Hanson
Presidents Aren't What They Used to Be
From 1933 to 1960, America had nearly three decades of fairly successful presidencies -- through the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the threat of nuclear Armageddon.
In Roman times, the equivalent would have been the period of the "Five Good Emperors." The 18th-century historian
In contrast, there has been no such stability during the last 50 years in this country, even as we have become ever more wealthy.
Now, the once-messianic Obama after six months is already experiencing sinking approval ratings -- perhaps because his first budget is
Is the problem with recent administrations that our presidents do not measure up to a FDR, Truman or Eisenhower? Or have we the voters ourselves become more unstable than our grandfathers? Or is it that the world itself has radically changed what we look for -- or need -- in our presidents?
Voters began to assume that someone owed us the good life. In contrast, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower had struggled to offer only an equality of opportunity to all: the beginning of civil rights, fair labor laws, overtime pay, disability and unemployment insurance.
But in the next half-century, that limited agenda morphed into one of a promised equality of result. Government grew to meet always-greater demands.
Then the larger world changed as well. High technology meant that the old radio and print news turned into a 24/7 video stream on the Internet and cable television.
Roosevelt was with his mistress when he fell fatally ill at
Apparently a prior, more gentlemanly media had neither the access nor the technology -- nor the desire -- to remind us that our presidents were all too human.
In addition, our contemporary commanders-in-chief have had to be "global fixers" as much as American presidents. An AIDS epidemic
Today in a more crowded, more interdependent world, an American president is a sort of global CEO who can misstep in ways unknown last century.
But the nature of our leaders themselves has also changed.
Recent chief executives certainly seem to have less stature.
Roosevelt fought polio. Truman was once broke and throughout his life remained a common man. Eisenhower led millions of soldiers.
In contrast, Johnson and Nixon were known first as political manipulators. The Bushes were born into splendor.
In sum, we have changed. The world is also different.
And the types we now elect as our presidents are not like those men of the past. No wonder they seem now more like the mercurial Roman emperor Commodus than the sober Marcus Aurelius -- the last of an era.
by Cal Thomas
Many Republicans, and even some conservatives, think Reagan's ideas are passe. Before moving on, Republicans, and those conservatives who don't want to live in the past, should be asked what better ideas they have to offer.
The GOP needs to find the old political compass or fade like the party it replaced. It's very simple: Good old-fashioned Republicans must come to the aid of the party or it will go the way of the Whigs, a major political party from whose own ashes it rose.
Sarah Palin's Resignation Leaves GOP Searching for New Leader
by Kenneth T. Walsh
To be sure, many core Republicans don't want her to pass from the scene. The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee remains the subject of intense public fascination as a vibrant, unorthodox conservative willing to take on the party establishment. Critics, however, say that she lacks knowledge of issues and is too harsh and divisive to extend her appeal beyond the hard-core right.
Available at Amazon.com: Catastrophe
- Young Republicans & the Death of Prosperity
- Ghosts of 1994 Loom for Obama and Democrats
- Future Of The Federal Reserve - Exclusive Conversation With Ron Paul
- Republicans at Crossroads Must Find Political Compass
- What Does the Future Hold for GOP? - Jonah Goldberg
- Once Upon a Time in 2002 - Victor Davis Hanson
- Conservative Republicans, We Need a Hero - Jonah Goldberg
- Dick Cheney: "We Are What We Are" - Garrison Keillor
- Obama's Liberal Arrogance Will Be His Undoing - Jonah Goldberg
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