Thursday, April 3, 2008

Worst. President. Ever.

A poll of historians has concluded that Dubya is the worst president in American history. Extrapolating from the graphs included with the article, two of the respondents thought that Bush's presidency had been a success, and did not deserve to be categorized among the ten worst. Although this poll was not scientific, it does prove one thing--two percent of historians are smoking crack.


Catnapping said...

Sometimes I wish I could be around in 50 or so years, just to see what the history books say about this war criminal, and the followers who even still praise him.

(I remember reading books quoting comments from Germans, who, as late as the 50s, still believed that Hitler was one of the good guys.)

Kevin Clark said...

What it really tells you is that the history profession has become thoroughly politicized. What the historians should actually have said is that as historians, they can't judge the Bush presidency until there are some years to assess the long-term impact.

I wonder if these supposed historians actually used any objective criteria to assess Bush. If so, what was it?

Archaeopteryx said...

Really, Kev? You think that 98% of historians are bleeding-heart liberals? Of the ones I know, the politics skews in the other direction. You think that people who study history for a living don't have some basis for comparison?

The poll was exactly that--a poll. It didn't claim to be scientific, nor did it purport to have objective criteria. It asked the opinions of the historians. But I think it's pretty telling.

Kevin Clark said...

There is a difference between history and current events. I don't think that dispassionate analysis of current events is necessarily within the expertise of historians. It's not what they have been trained in, and it does not follow that they have any particular facility for it.

There is an inherent bias toward a person's own time. One cannot see events one is currently living through with the same objectivity that can be applied to past events.

Thus, I see this poll as a misuse of history for political reasons. They did a poll of historians for the express purpose of making the poll seem authoritative, when it clearly isn't. The poll appears to me to be at best misleading, not necessarily on the part of the historians, but by the people who released the results.

By the way, I picked Kansas in my bracket, so I'm pretty happy today.