It’s no secret that President Donald Trump doesn’t really seem to know what he’s doing. He came into office promising to use that lack of political experience to the advantage of the “forgotten” people of the United States, but the time since he was inaugurated has proven that he has seemingly no intention to do any such thing. Instead, he continues to forge ahead in his efforts to impose his will and that of his corporate cronies on the U.S. and the world no matter what the cost, and it’s so far had less than optimal results, with American society struggling and divided.
In light of the obvious negative effects of the Trump presidency on American society, political science professors Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin Vaughn surveyed experts on the office of the presidency for their opinions about the Trump presidency. Maybe in reality, Trump really is executing some secret plan that’s really putting the United States on a path for success, and people are just getting distracted by his endless incendiary remarks?
According to the experts surveyed by the professors, Trump is doing no such thing.
Combining the results together reveals that overall, the 170 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents and Executive Politics section surveyed believe Trump to be essentially the worst, most ineffectual president ever.
In the overall results of the “presidential greatness rankings,” Trump comes in dead last, behind even James Buchanan, the president who led the country into Civil War. (In the rankings, there are only 44 names, since one president — Grover Cleveland — served two non-consecutive terms as the nation’s chief executive.)
In stark contrast, the rankings have our most recent former president, Barack Obama, in the number eight spot, which is ten slots higher than the spot he finished in the last time that the poll was conducted, in 2014.
As it turns out, then, endlessly going after your most recent predecessor doesn’t magically turn you into something better than him after all.
Trump maintains his dismal spot even when breaking up answers by the self-identified partisan affiliation of the poll respondents.
Only considering responses from Democrats has our current chief executive in the last spot, while only considering responses from Independents has Trump ahead of just one president — Buchanan, the one who led us into Civil War.
Trump remains low on the list, as the 40th best president out of 44, even when considering only Republican responses. Among the few chief executives Republicans want to say are worse than Trump is William Henry Harrison, who only served for a month before dying of “pneumonia.”
In other words, his slight boost in rankings doesn’t mean much.
The dismal opinion held to by the surveyed experts matches other measurements of dismal public opinion of the current president.
He’s set records for having the lowest approval rating of a chief executive only this far into their tenure.
The RealClearPolitics average of the president’s approval rating currently has him at a 42.1 percent approval.
Even in the face of less than optimal public opinion of him — an opinion that has been buoyed in the wake of the recently signed tax reform plan, which many view as producing little more than a bubble — Trump has pressed on, infamously and belligerently insisting in some contexts that all negative polls are fake news.
Considering these facts, it’s unlikely that the president would concern himself with the opinions of the surveyed experts, were he to hear of the poll results.
It’s not as though he’s already worked to surround himself with knowledgeable, experienced, and independently competent people.
Featured Image via Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images