C-SPAN recently completed its fourth Presidential Historians Survey, dated 2021. Since the first one was completed in 2000, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, has maintained the highest rating in each of the four surveys.
In keeping with their tradition, C-Span does not include the current president, so it rates only the first 45 presidencies and, since Grover Cleveland served twice, the rating is for the 44 presidents who served prior to President Biden. The survey examines 10 vital categories of presidential leadership which are: Public Persuasion; Crisis Leadership; Economic Management; Moral Authority; International Relations, Administrative Skills; Relations with Congress; Vision; Pursued Equal Justice; and Performance Within Context of Times.
The current survey gathered responses from 142 Historians, authors, attorneys, etc. from organizations such as Bob Jones University, The Heritage Foundation, The Naval War College, and many more including a few who didn’t report organizational affiliation.
Conclusion: Abraham Lincoln finished first and Donald Trump came in at an amazing No. 41 (actually tied with No. 42). It is outrageous that these survey participants found three former presidents that they rated equal to or below Trump — which were 14th President Franklin Pierce, who tied Trump; the 17th president, Andrew Johnson (also impeached by Congress); and, in the basement, the 15th president, James Buchanan (supporter of the dreaded Dred Scott Supreme Court Decision).
Though the three at the bottom led divisive administrations in the pre- and post-Civil War era, only Trump tried to subvert an election by attempting to use the military, the justice department, members of congress and others to keep him in office; leading an insurrection to stop the process of seating his successor and still after 9 months trying to halt a legitimate election because he just can’t accept being “a loser.”
The longer his fantasies persist, the lower he will most likely descend in coming surveys.
Rodney Dangerfield, who often lamented, “I never get no respect,” repotedly once entered an elevator and the operator glanced over at him and inquired, “Basement?” Future presidential surveys will likely continue to rate President Lincoln No. 1, but Donald Trump will almost surely occupy the basement.
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