These presidents all said they were going to change America. How’d that work out?Breaking News
tags: election 2016, Trump
Twenty-four years ago, William Jefferson Clinton promised change.
“Thomas Jefferson believed that to preserve the very foundations of our nation, we would need dramatic change from time to time,” the 42nd president said in his first inaugural address. “Well, my fellow Americans, this is our time.”
He had been echoing Jefferson promiscuously for days. Jefferson had won the first “change election” in American history, in 1800 — federalists out, “republicans” in — and now Clinton had ended 12 years of Republican occupation of the White House. He had journeyed to Washington from Monticello, recreating Jefferson’s trip 191 years earlier, this time in a bus with a license plate reading “Hope 1.”
His predecessor had been a heroic World War II pilot, part of the Greatest Generation. Clinton was a boomer. The Cold War was over, and Clinton vowed to focus on domestic issues, boost the economy, help the middle class, reinvent government and provide universal health care while balancing the budget and just in general being transformational.
Then came reality. “Dramatic change” in Washington is hard to come by — as Clinton and just about every other “change” candidate has learned.
comments powered by Disqus
- 50 Years Later, It Feels Familiar: How America Fractured in 1968
- Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War
- Ohio Teacher Put on Leave After Lynching Remark to Black Student
- One year in, Donald Trump has redefined the presidency
- In Trump’s Immigration Remarks, Echoes of a Century-Old Racial Ranking
- Sports Historian Explains Why She Wrote that the NCAA is the Modern Jim Crow
- Ibram X. Kendi says "The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial”
- Historians Call Trump’s ‘Sh*thole’ Comment "The Most Openly Racist by a President in Decades"
- Bruce Cole, renaissance scholar who led National Endowment for the Humanities, dies at 79
- New book lays out for the first time the full story of Cuba's Cuban Missile Crisis