Brevity: Getting Presidential

Kinda blew my own mind on Saturday.

If any of you know those of the historical bent like me, you know we try to see patterns in EVERYTHING. Let’s try this one on and see if it works.

It’s been argued for a while now that we’re living in another Gilded Age… so let’s see how things might match up when it comes to the Oval Office.

Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt:
Following a crisis at the very soul of the American experiment, a good man is cut down before he can finish repairing the country. Following him, we have many weak Presidents at the mercy of large interests and base racial animosities. The “spoils system” becomes de rigeur for the Executive Office, with only token nods to cracking down on the inherent corruption candidate after candidate. It takes more crises, mounting crises to finally galvanize the American people into fighting back and supporting an ultimately Progressive candidate for President in Theodore Roosevelt. If we break it down:

Abraham Lincoln: wanted to mend the country, cut down before he could finish
Andrew Johnson: Allowed racial animosities and general incompetence as President to sabotage the good work done by Lincoln.
Ulysses S. Grant: Ultimately overwhelmed by corruption within his office, leaving a checkered legacy.
Rutherford B. Hayes: elected by a trick of government over the popular vote, attempted basic reform that left fires merely smoldering.
James A. Garfield/Chester A. Arthur: President struck down quickly by cheated, spoils seeking officer, successor offers a few regulations to combat the system.
Cleveland/Harrison/Cleveland: Diametrical, nasty politics leads to inconsequential, uninteresting Presidents devoured by an acrimonious Congress
McKinley/Theodore Roosevelt: Yet more tragedy finally leads to the ascension of a true Progressive who enacts desperately needed and wildly popular reforms against the wishes of big businesses and such.

Now, let’s take a look at the New Gilded Age, brought along partially by Supreme Court Decisions since the late 1970s allowing more money in the political process, essentially returning us to…

Jimmy Carter: wanted to mend the country, cut down before he could finish.
Ronald Reagan: Allowed racial animosities and general incompetence as President to sabotage the good work done by Carter. Ultimately overwhelmed by corruption within his office, leaving a checkered legacy.
George H.W. Bush/Bill Clinton: President struck down quickly by cheated public, successor offers a few regulations to combat the system. Attempted basic reform that left fires merely smoldering.
George W. Bush: Elected by a trick of government over the popular vote, several crises leads to rising discontent
Barack Obama: Diametrical, nasty politics leads to inconsequential, uninteresting President devoured by an acrimonious Congress.

Now, this could be where we see the analog of Teddy Roosevelt. It could be now, and it could be:

Bernie Sanders: Yet more tragedy finally leads to the ascension of a true Progressive who enacts desperately needed and wildly popular reforms against the wishes of big businesses and such.

If it’s not Bernie now, it’ll be someone like Bernie later. You just can’t stop it.

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