The Corner

Politics & Policy

Obama vs. Washington, Lincoln vs. Trump

About a week ago, an Economist/YouGov poll asked Republicans whether they thought Donald Trump is a better president than previous Republican politicians who held the office. The only past president to receive more support than Trump was Ronald Reagan, who received 59 percent of the vote compared with Trump’s 41 percent. But among Republicans, Trump narrowly beat out Abraham Lincoln, with 53 percent of respondents saying he was better, while 47 percent said Lincoln was.

This news, perhaps unsurprisingly, prompted progressives once again to resort to mockery and baleful opinion articleslamenting Trump’s corrosive effects on the GOP. Perhaps they ought to have held their fire.

A new Monmouth poll asked a similar question this week — pitting both Trump and Barack Obama against George Washington — and found that, while Republicans preferred Washington by a seven-point margin, Democrats didn’t feel the same way. A full 63 percent of Democratic respondents backed Obama and just 29 percent chose Washington.

Clearly both political parties suffer either from a lack of historical memory, a bad case of hero worship, or an unfortunate combination of the two.

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