I came across an article the other day whose headline declared that Barrack Obama was the worst President ever. I didn’t bother reading it (or linking to it) because it was certainly written by some guy who was affiliated with or worked for some group or organization that was funded by some billionaire with an axe to grind. Because that’s pretty much how American politics works these days, rabid denunciations from left or right with little regard for the facts.
I mean really, to declare Obama the worst President ever when you have so many to choose from? He may not even be the worst president this century given the strong showing of George Bush II. But even that is a matter of politics and way too early to judge. But wait, there’s more. Could he possibly be worse than Warren G. Harding or Herbert Hoover? How about Andrew Johnson or Nixon? History has had plenty of time to judge them and, friends, history has not been kind.
In the end, the measure of a President does not lie on the best-worst scale. It lies on the important-not important scale. The only thing that matters is: did that particular President change America in a way that can never be changed back? Did that President impact the world in ways that continue to resonate decades after his death?
I have no doubt that a hundred years from now people will still be contemplating the effect of Barrack Obama in ways that they do not currently think of John Tyler or Franklin Pierce. As the first black President, he had a huge impact – if only to demonstrate how racist America still is. I have no doubt that his work on encouraging solar energy will have an influence on the globe far in excess of the long term impact of George Bush’s adventures in Iraq (mostly because many of the real problems in Iraq have to be laid at the feet of Woodrow Wilson).
Of course, as we lead up to the coming election, facts are of little importance. It is vital that Republicans demonize Obama – in the same way Democrats demonized Bush. In reality, it won’t matter much. Whoever comes after will be equally demonized by the party that loses – that process has already begun. Or haven’t you been paying attention. Of course, it will be hard for the Republicans if Clinton II wins because then Obama will be the second worst President. Life is hard when you live in the extreme.
Meanwhile, in Canada, I know for sure that Stephen Harper is the worst Prime Minister we ever had – unless you count Bennett, Abbott and Tupper and that other guy I can’t remember.
But that’s ten minutes.