Saturday, March 28, 2009
American History SAT Question.
Barack Obama is the worst president since:
(a) Jimmy Carter
(b) Warren G. Harding
(d) Jefferson Davis
The correct answer is (b) Warren Harding. It is tempting to answer Jeff Davis, if only for the sheer irony of it. After all, Davis wanted to keep men like Obama enslaved. And Davis's idea of dividing the country geographically is analogous to the modern statist's idea of dividing the country by socioeconomic and ethnic groups, aka balkanization. Davis wanted to balkanize the U.S. into 2 parts; Obama and his followers want to balkanize the U.S. into black, white, latino, wealthy, poor, gay, straight, Muslim, infidel, etc. This is all very logical and compelling, but unfortuntely, (d) Jefferson Davis is the WRONG ANSWER.
Warren G. Harding is the correct answer, because Harding and Obama were elected for the same reason. Many people think that Obama was elected because he is part black, and there may be some truth to that assertion (and it is a good thing that we have finally elected a "person of color" to the White House, because now that that is out of the way; we have proven that we can do it, and we do not have to worry about it any more). However, the main reason Obama was elected is that he is good looking; secondary reasons are that he is a good public speaker with a teleprompter, and he makes you feel like you are his best buddy. Malcolm Gladwell, in Blink, gives essentially the same reasons for Harding's election (73 ff.). In fact, chapter three of Blink is entitled "The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall for Tall, Dark and Handsome Men" (73). Also, according to Gladwell, "...[Harding] was not a particularly intelligent man," and "He was...one of the worst presidents in American history" (74,75). If this is true, then it was fortunate for our country that Harding died of a stroke 2 years into his presidency.
We now have another tall, dark and hansome president; whose intellectual powers have been exaggerated; and who has started his reign with the worst first 50 days of any American president. In reality, it is too soon to say that Obama is a worse president than Harding, but if he keeps it up, he will easily earn the title of worst president of all time.
Also, Harding and Obama both have catchy, middle eastern sounding middle names.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink. 2005. Back Bay Books/Little, Brown. New York.
Posted by Desman at 9:54 PM