Talk:President of the United States

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US Presidents are often referred to as "the leader of the free world"

To be honest, I've never heard anyone who wasn't an American use this phrase. When I grew up this phrase was largely considered an American conceit (like US Football having a "world championship" or America being the "Land of the free", as if all the other countries in the West weren't). Wikipedia cites it as being primarily used in American foreign policy statements, or in Anti-American rhetoric.

Obviously the US president is a powerful person - I'm not suggesting otherwise - but the phrase "leader of the free world" is possibly just American jingoism. VOXHUMANA 07:41, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I think you're right. Is it going out of fashion though? Strikes me as very Cold War.Albannach (talk) 08:00, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Rankings[edit]

What happened to the rankings I posted? That was a pain to post. ClothCoat (talk) 00:43, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

"Historical rankings"[edit]

Which historical rankings? The linked-to page at Wikipedia has a whole bunch of different rankings, polls, etc. Where were the ones given here reproduced from, and why not link to the primary source instead of WP? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 00:44, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I used the Aggr. from the scholar survey results. They don't have one source since it's the combination of many reports of polls. Please post the rankings and add some snark. ClothCoat (talk) 00:50, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not really interested in adding snark. I also don't really see the value added in simply reproducing the work of another wiki project here verbatim. I think a more germane thing to do would be to look at specific polls and talk about what they reveal about the ideological slant of the pollsters, maybe. But if you are going to simply stick someone else's work back in here whole cloth, can you please find a way to reference it so that it's clear what you're quoting? The link you provided led to a page with, like, a half-dozen different rankings listed on it. And the phrase "according to Wikipedia" makes it read like these are WP's rankings. They're not. They're an agglomeration/compilation put together by WP based on other researchers' work. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 01:00, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok well they don't make it entirely clear where they got all the polls. I do note the bias at the end though, about how "popular" presidents may be overrated. Ok so the polls are listed at the top but is their a way to reference a specific area of a Wikipedia page. As in jump straight to "Scholar survey results". ClothCoat (talk) 01:24, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

on president clinton[edit]

You forgot the part where he ordered the death of innocent people in Waco. But hey, at least you remembered how dern popular he was. :) Burkean (talk) 22:50, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

One year anniversary reply! He didn't actually order that. Janet Reno, whom he appointed, ordered the compound stormed. The teargas they launched caused a fire which killed people. Less-than-lethal doesn't always mean non-lethal. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:32, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, because when there's a misunderstanding about who shot first, and a situation where families women and children are in a building, what choice did the government have but to smoke them out? What was I thinking. I also missed the part where the Attorney General isn't answerable to the president. And your claiming Clinton had no idea what was going on? Oh, well. Just another one of the many humanitarian acts committed by the ATF.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQjlpK9OzNM Burkean (talk) 09:27, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Why the smug antagonistic attitude? And how is a guy he appointed giving orders and him having an idea of what is going on the same as him giving the orders? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 09:16, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're trying to say but Janet Reno isn't a guy (close, though). If George W. Bush is responsible for the nefarious activities of John Ashcroft, then Clinton is responsible for Waco. He never expressed any dissatisfaction with Reno's decision. You might understand my attitude when you consult the documentary. The only reason some liberals (not all) even try and be wishy washy about this is because they were religious fundamentalists. If this had been a shoot out with black youths, it would've been decried as injustice. A lot of people died. They didn't have to. Koresh shares some culpability. The government shares more. fin. Burkean (talk) 09:27, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Fine, so I didn't pay much attention to the name. Look, if you wanna blame Clinton for appointing a bad Attorney General, be my guest, but that doesn't mean he's directly responsible for everything she did in that position. And generalizing the culpability of the FBI and the ATF to a vague "the government" seems kind of misleading. Why are you even making such a fuss about this? It's not like the article is particularly lacking in the bad-things-Clinton-did department. And with many things surrounding the Waco siege remaining unclear to this day and Clinton's involvement in the whole affair being strenuous at best, it doesn't seem like a thing that needs to be listed here. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 10:41, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
If you look on the rationalwiki page talk section for the branch dividians, secret squirrel discusses the fact that the official story was retracted and that the government shared the vast majority of the responsibility and that their story about how the fire started were a complete fabrication. So no, it isn't unclear. If what Harry Truman said actually has any meaning (and, full disclosure, maybe it doesn't) then the buck stops with him. It was all over the news. Clinton could have intervened. It wasn't as if things were happening so quickly he was powerless. And Koresh had already offered to show his cards at an earlier date before the events. I'm not telling you what to think or watch, but you might want to take a look at the documentary. And you're right, this was the misconduct of the ATF and the FBI. Other stupid government organizations who do other stupid things were not involved. Burkean (talk) 10:50, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Harrison getting wet and cold, dying[edit]

Isn't it a myth that getting cold and wet makes people ill per se? It doesn't cause colds or pneumonia, and Harrison died of pneumonia. So saying otherwise while simultaneously claiming getting cold and wet then dying shows Harrison is stupid, actually makes us look stupid.---Mona- (talk) 22:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Don't ask me, I get my US history from here;

Give it a watch. It's really fun. And edumacational, too! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Jokes asideWikipedia's W.svg. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:50, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, Google says it's an utter myth that these things cause pneumonia. So I'm taking that out.---Mona- (talk) 22:55, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Just make sure to watch that episode of drunk history before you do! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Except that it is, essentially, what historical record says happened. See here. Gooniepunk (talk) 23:32, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
But as a matter of medical science, that cannot be. One Internet site reciting bad science does not make it so.---Mona- (talk) 23:36, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Cold and rain will indeed not make you sick, generally, but it can and will weaken your immune system to the point that it can infect you.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:45, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
But as a matter of medical science, that cannot be. One Internet site reciting bad science does not make it so.---Mona- (talk) 23:36, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Here's the NYT:

The pneumonia was thought to be a direct result of a cold the 68-year-old Harrison caught while delivering a numbingly long Inaugural Address (at 8,445 words, the longest in history) in wet, freezing weather without a hat, overcoat or gloves.


But a new look at the evidence through the lens of modern epidemiology makes it far more likely that the real killer lurked elsewhere — in a fetid marsh not far from the White House.


The first clue that the pneumonia diagnosis was wrong lies in Miller’s own apparent uneasiness with it. “The disease,” he wrote, “was not viewed as a case of pure pneumonia; but as this was the most palpable affection, the term pneumonia afforded a succinct and intelligible answer to the innumerable questions as to the nature of the attack.”

The debunking blog, Mentalfloss, says this about current history:

Modern scholars think the explanation may be more complicated. In those days, Washington, D.C. had no sewer system, and the White House and its water supply sat mere blocks from a marsh that held a depository of “night soil,” human excrement and waste hauled in every day. Harrison likely suffered from enteric fever caused by one of two bacteria, Salmonella typhi or S. paratyphi, that devastated his gastrointestinal system. Two other presidents, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor, also suffered severe gastroenteritis while living in the White House, and Taylor, like Harrison, passed away in office.

Of all wikis, we should not be passing on bad science, much less shouting how stupid someone else is for causing their death in a manner science says cannot be. ---Mona- (talk) 23:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

And we don't but thanks for playing with one article and study saying otherwise. One person coming up and saying "but you're wrong!" doesn't change the historical record. Every other source I found, including whitehouse and history.com, say it was caused by pneumonia, one study says otherwise. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:51, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Also "that cannot be!" So you dispute that if I stand out in the rain and it is cold and windy, with crappy clothing to cover me, for several hours exerting myself with a speech, and then spend several hours in that clothing while it is wet, I will not be at any more risk of becoming sick due to a weakened immune system? Because that is what you replied to, and I think medical science disagrees with you Mona. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:53, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
So, are you saying we should say he died from standing out in the cold and rain? That's why he got what was likely enteric fever? If you are saying that, then I'll abide by it, but I think it's a very bad idea.---Mona- (talk) 00:02, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, could you link all these studies saying Harrison died of pneumonia and that the cold and wet killed him?---Mona- (talk) 00:04, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
We continue to not, but please, continue to argue points that aren't there. And One study saying otherwise does not change history, that is not how it works. If it is reliably trustable, it gets put next to the currently accepted version of history as "an alternate hypothesis", and then later, if it can get enough historians to accept it, it becomes the "actual history" while the formerly accepted is relegated to "and this is what they thought before", but a year after the (single) study is made is not enough time for a historical hypothesis to become accepted truth, no more than one study in physics is enough to rewrite our understanding of the universe. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:10, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
The only times you can edit history based on one thing is if it is undeniably true - evidence for farming dated thousand years before the commonly accepted version, but this isn't one of those hard concrete fact moments in the evolution of history. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:11, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
My original objection -- my first sentence, was this: "Isn't it a myth that getting cold and wet makes people ill per se?" At that point, the wording that made it sound like we were falling for the canard that getting cold and wet causes pneumonia. It doesn't. I'm sure exposure of sufficient length is bad for health, and does screw with the immune system, hence my "per se." As for the historical record, I don't doubt that formal publications do not catch up as fast as online newspapers and debunking sites.---Mona- (talk) 00:15, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that online newspapers and debunking sites are sometimes too fast to catch up, and declare it true before it can be verified and hashed out by the actual people whose job it is to do that (and it's online publications and amateur sites latching on too fast to these studies that lead us to edit wars over the newest theory on who is the ripper or what really killed Alexander.) History has a rightful reason to be slow to accept new ideas and theories - they aren't always true, esp. when dealing with fuzzy "might haves" like "what non-obvious thing like a bullet killed somebody", and the entire field has had a long storied history of biased historians bending the truth to their ideas, all the way down to the father of the entire field.
Like I said, it may be true, it's even convincing when I read the article , but one person going "but it might be this guys, here's some reasons" isn't enough to suddenly change the history books. If it was "We found actual evidence that this disease was present" then yes, it might be more convincing that we do need to change the history books, but this isn't that. It's exactly like Science, just because you said you got a different result on some test doesn't require us to suddenly rewrite the textbooks and declare what you found the truth. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:24, 11 December 2015 (UTC)


Predicting the Future[edit]

I take serious issue with the prediction seen in the Trump section: the one that says that we’re getting two full terms with him based on the results of the midterms. A few problems:

1: I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but... um... the midterms haven’t happened yet. Like, when I first read that, they were about a year away. Besides, with the recent sweep of democratic victories in special elections (especially the most recent one in which the GOP candidate somehow lost IN ALABAMA), it’s very likely that the GOP will suffer swift defeat, and thus the election will serve as a “referendum” after all.

2: What makes you so sure that Trump stands a chance of being re-elected? He lost the popular vote. He only won the electoral college vote, and only then because of decreased voter turnout. His election was a fluke that is highly unlikely to be repeated. That’s not even mentioning Trump’s record-low approval ratings - 32% in his first year alone, the lowest approval ratings of any president since Hoover, and with his constant scandals, fuckups, blatant corruption, creeping authoritarianism, and lack of real accomplishments, he’s not exactly endearing himself to anyone outside his rapidly dwindling base. If he’s so unpopular now, why would he have even a ghost of a chance at reelection? The American people aren’t THAT stupid.

3: This also assumes that he won’t be removed from office before the 2020 vote. Robert Mueller’s investigation is rapidly gaining momentum, with four of Trump’s associates already indicted and more and more evidence uncovered by the day. He may be the President, but he is not above the law. Should Mueller find enough evidence, even Trump’s biggest sycophants won’t be able to save him. 67.189.154.71 (talk) 06:04, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm guessing we're being pessimistic so that, either way, we're not disappointed. RoninMacbeth (talk) 06:27, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
As writer and artist Christopher Loring Knowles once said, “Defeatism is foolproof. You can’t control a positive outcome, but you can ensure a negative one simply by giving up and surrendering. Thus, the ego is protected.” NotYourAverageBoN (talk) 20:08, 23 July 2018 (UTC)