Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th President of the United States of America: but how much do you know about the others? Most people know that George Washington was the first, but who was the tenth, or the twentieth? Of course those Presidents from the late Twentieth Century are bound to be more familiar to us because of their proximity, but what makes a good leader, and how does history judge such people? What are the criteria? How does history judge who is great and who is not?
로널드 레이건 전 미국 대통령.
(버락 후세인 오바마 2세는 제44대 미국 대통령입니다. 하지만 역대 미국 대통령에 대해서 얼마나 알고 계십니까? 많은 사람이 조지 워싱턴이 미국 초대 대통령이라는 것을 알고 있지만 제10대나 제20대 대통령이 누구인지는 잘 모릅니다. 물론 20세기 후반 이래의 대통령들은 현재와 가깝기 때문에 좀 더 친숙하게 마련입니다. 그렇다면 무엇이 위대한 지도자를 만들고 역사는 그러한 지도자들을 어떻게 판단할까요? 기준이 무엇일까요? 역사는 어떤 대통령이 위대하고 어떤 대통령이 그렇지 않은지를 어떻게 평가할까요?)
Eight Rules for Judging a US President
“There is no single rule for assessing presidential performance.”
Richard Norton Smith of George Mason Universitya , a renowned historian and a scholar of U.S. presidents, said this at the 13th Annual Wharton Leadership Conferenceb.
He suggested eight rules for a more objective assessment of the chief executive, saying opinions of the commander-in-chief “bounce around like corn in a popper”. Smith′s eight rules for judging a president were posted on Forbes.comc.
① A leadership style of doing nothing is more problematic: Think Thomas Jefferson, who purchased the Louisiana territory in 1803 from France; Lyndon B. Johnson, who passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Harry Truman, who stopped communist aggression in Korea; and Richard Nixon, who began dialogue with China.
They were risk takers while in office but history rated them highly. The most difficult leadership decision could be to do nothing, however. George H.W. Bush snubbed the historic moment of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989d to avoid angering Russia.
② A president′s power comes from moral authority: Franklin Roosevelt built emotional credibility as he encouraged Americans to overcome the Great Depression in his radio speechese. Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt and underwent surgery in 1981f. He reassured Americans when he jokingly said, “Honey, I forgot to duck”.
③ A great president has a “great enemy”: Franklin Roosevelt had Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany, while Reagan had what he called the “evil empire” in the Soviet Union. These fights against their enemies made people believe they were proud warriors defending their people′s freedom.
④ A great president should have an air of mythology: Reagan′s national security adviser Robert McFarlane said, “He knows so little and accomplishes so much”. In other words, Reagan personified the principle that great leaders are essentially “mysterious figures.”
⑤ Popularity is not legacy: The beloved Warren G. Harding turned into one of the most maligned U.S. presidents after scandals broke out after his deathg. Criticism increased and newly discovered facts showed that he lacked ability in the course of becoming president and lacked quality as president. Harding, however, won his battles and helped bring stability after World War Ｉ.
⑥ Don′t judge a president by today′s standards: Modern scholars undervalue Andrew Jackson, who expanded voting rights from certain white people with land to all white people, but say he paid little attention to women and blacks. For a correct assessment of a president, the thoughts of the people and conventions of the times should be considered.
⑦ Accepting “unintended consequences”: Woodrow Wilson wanted to become the father of a “new freedom” emphasizing smaller national government, but failed in the wake of World War I. His vision was overtaken by unexpected events.
⑧ Even a weak president has a legacy: History generally is kind to strong presidents. Yet Calvin Coolidge, who was considered indecisive, should be reassessed in that he protected taxpayers and refrained from expanding the government.