"Prove to me that you're no fool: walk across my swimming pool" -- Herod's song, "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Not aware of any particular statistical studies having been done, but it would appear that no matter whom runs for American President one-third would be for him and one-third against. It is also probable that since the days of George Washington no matter what any President does one-third will announce him liar and fool, and one-third the populace declares him as honest as Abe and virtuous as Gandhi. In truth, in execution of his office probably one-third of the time he will be right, and one-third time will show as wrong. "Wrong", of course, being defined as not agreeing with [insert name] Party.
No President can know everything about every thing. Some things he knew coming in, others arrive unannounced on his desk. We hand him an impossible job and only history settles on a verdict concerning the third of his decisions no mere man would want to face.
Let us suppose in the year of our Lord 2008 that of the middle third of those who actually went to the polls more than half had voted for Senator John McCain of Arizona, making him the 44th President of the United States. What would change?
As this is being written Israel is again on the verge of armed conflict. Such conflicts have been going on since Moses crossed the Red Sea (OK, Sea of Reeds for you scholars). Every President since Truman has had to deal with the problem, to date none has succeeded. It is impossible for us to understand the "prime directive" driving the nation of Israel -- Never Again. If someone shoots back, the loyal one-third opposition would certainly chastise a President McCain.
North Korea, for reasons not understood by rational man, again threatens to draw this nation into a war we are treaty and honor bound to enter. The current series of stand-offs have their genesis before I was born -- maybe even before John McCain was born. A President McCain did not start this, cannot change it, and probably would not be able to do anything anyone else could do. If, though, the North Korean army again crosses the 39th Parallel, one-third of the country will immediately blame our hypothetical President McCain.
Let us suppose, again, a President McCain wakes up one morning and is told by people (whom themselves know little of the consequences) that the greatest man-made disaster ever is on his doorstep. Are we to assume one of his children has hidden away in their closet a sure-fire, once-and-for-all solution the President refuses to implement? But, the one-third duty bound to hate him because he is of the [fill in blank] political party will assume he is doing too little no matter who does what. Maybe, just maybe, it really isn't the fault of any President when good people do stupid things and bad people benefit there from.
This week the world commemorates what has come to be called D-Day. It is certain President Franklin Roosevelt knew many things about the June 6 1944 invasion of France by the Allied armies; saying nothing, or saying what would deceive. If it happened this week it is likely one-third would hold against him "not keeping the American people informed". Mistakes were made in World War II, and the President was responsible for actions around the world he knew nothing of and could not change. However, history records America did win the greatest conflict in human history without demanding the President of the United States walk on water.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.