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Presidential Follies

May 2024
1min read

Is there something in the nature of the American Presidency that leads itself to the type of behavior described in “The Presidential Follies” in the September/October issue? Or is there something in landslide political victories that leads presidential staffs into the extreme arrogance shown by those you describe. Grant, Harding, Nixon, Reagan—all won landslide victories. And you can add to this list the efforts to pack the Supreme Court during Roosevelt’s second term and Johnson’s rapid escalation of the Vietnam War after his overwhelming victory.

The feeling perhaps is that the country liked you, or liked your candidate, overwhelmingly over the “other guy,” so it will tolerate anything. Hubris is right, an arrogant and prideful belief in being the elect rather than just the elected.

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