C-SPAN’s preoccupation with the U. S. presidency and the men who held the office is on exhibit over the next couple of months, as the network visits presidential libraries across the country.
C-SPAN should acknowledge that most of our presidents have been narcissistic autocrats whose leadership injured the country. Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt were exceptions to the rule, the rule being Adams, Buchanan, Polk, and Wilson, not to mention Bush, Clinton, Bush, and these thugs’ political progenitor, Reagan. Some of our presidents have been decent men, and many have been villains, but few of them did even a reasonably competent job. The country survived in spite of them and not thanks to them.
The greatest strength of our presidents–that they all got enough votes to win a national election–might also be their greatest weakness. If any conclusion can be drawn from the history of the office, it’s that getting votes is not the same as taking care that the laws be faithfully executed.
The first 15 of our presidents, in line with prevailing public opinion, countenanced slavery, and all 43 of them have advanced the supremacy of the white race. Most of them were elected by men only, and none of the first two dozen suggested that women should be permitted to vote.
Acts of genocide by our commanders-in-chief, here and on other continents, have been commonplace, and these acts continue today. Most of our presidents couldn’t wait to wage war. Under every president since Roosevelt, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The last several presidents used the office to enrich themselves and their patrons.
The U. S. presidency is a sorry legacy that should not be celebrated but repudiated. Brian Lamb and the worshipful C-SPAN producers should give up hagiography and expose the damage done to our country by the self-dealing charlatans who occupied the White House. The current resident may be the worst, but he’s had plenty of competition, and his recent predecessors prepared the ground for him.