Category Archives: Tangents

Now that the Election Is Over, How about Some Political Trivia?

So, it turns out that I need to learn my U.S. History a little bit better. I was sitting around the other day when I thought that I had made a brilliant hypothesis, that it was the habit of the Democratic Party to elect former Senators and the habit of the Republican Party to elect former Governors. It’s one of those “facts” that rings true when you hear it, but in actuality, is completely and utterly false.

It didn’t take me long to find the first problem with the above theory: Bill Clinton, our President throughout much of the nineties (1992 to 2000, to be exact), was the governor of Arkansas before being elected to the office. Not exactly where you would expect a democratic POTUS to come from, but then, this was probably common knowledge that I simply forgot in the formation of my (false) theory.

Let me stop here and say that, no, this post isn’t the response to me stating the above hypothesis in a debate and getting thoroughly thrashed for it. Rather, it was a thought that occurred to me which I then proceeded to see how true it was. It turns out, not very.

The last 10 Democratic Presidents follow, with their positions before the Presidency listed beside them. Essentially, this is a list of what their business cards would have looked like before becoming President, in reverse chronological order:

  • Barack Obama, U.S. Senator
  • Bill Clinton, Governor of Arkansas
  • Jimmy Carter, Governor of Georgia
  • Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President
  • John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator
  • Harry S. Truman, Vice President
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York
  • Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey
  • Grover Cleveland, Governor of New York
  • Andrew Johnson, Vice President

So, breaking that down, we have exactly 2 former U.S. Senators in the group, along with 3 Vice Presidents and 5 former governors. Let’s take a look at the last 10 Republican Presidents:

  • George W. Bush, Governor of Texas
  • George H.W. Bush, Vice President
  • Ronald Reagan, Governor of California
  • Gerald Ford, Vice President
  • Richard Nixon, Vice President
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander Europe
  • Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce
  • Calvin Coolidge, Vice President
  • Warren G. Harding, U.S. Senator
  • William Howard Taft, Secretary of War

Here we have 2 former governors, 1 military figure, 2 cabinet secretaries, 1 U.S. Senator, and 4 Vice Presidents. If anything, I was more wrong about Republicans than Democrats.

One thing that I would point out, though, is that we could make the statement that Republicans have more experience getting a previously non-elected official into the White House. All of the Democrats last 10 candidates, after all, previously held elected positions. 3 out of the past 10 Republican Presidents, however, previously had political positions which were appointed rather than elected. Does this mean anything? Probably not, other than perhaps the RNC shouldn’t be scoffed at when they decide to go for those who have never held an elected office. They’ve pulled that off just fine in the past.

I suppose this could be seen as arguable, of course. It depends on whether you define Vice President as an elected or appointed position. I personally see it as elected, because the Vice President is selected by the President, and the two then run together for both offices. So, by choosing a President, the voters also are choosing a Vice President. If we go with the supposition that a Vice President is appointed, however, the Republicans still show much more experience than the Democrats, with 7 out of 10 of their past Presidents being from non-elected positions compared to just 3 out of 10 for Democrats.

Just a bit of trivia for everybody. Consider it a palate cleanser of knowledge after several months of being fed lies and emotional appeals.

Ramblings of a Twenty-Something, Career-Minded Writer

I have taken to occasionally writing out my thoughts in as close of a stream-of-consciousness fashion as I can muster. Part of this is for the same reason that many people keep a diary: Catharsis is a great feeling. However, normally I decide that it doesn’t contain anything immediately publishable, and so I just keep a hold of them for later mining. The below, however, was surprisingly lucid, especially considering that it was only my second entry in November. The entry is primarily a reflection on where I am to go from this day. Perhaps it’s useless, but my guess is that people will be able to find some good takeaways for themselves, even if they are merely inspired by my words rather than directly gleaned from them. Here it is, without further ado. Continue reading

Ever Have a Weird Dream?

So, I wanted to get a post up for myself this week, more out of determination than anything. I don’t like the fact that I’ve been highly irregular as to when I posted, and I am, as a result, determined to put something up, even if it’s three days late. The goal after this will be to write something for Monday, too, in order to get myself back into a regular update schedule. Not that anybody is reading this blog just yet, but I know that consistency is pretty important for stuff like this.

The thing that is most impressed upon my mind right now is a dream that my wife had about me last night. See, my wife has a talent for remembering her dreams, and with both of us being Christians, we don’t discount the possibility that the dreams she remembers are meaningful. Likewise, perhaps there is meaning in the fact that I, unlike her, am horrible at remembering dreams. At any rate, the reason that I say all of this stuff about dreams is that I have been feeling rather low and uncertain lately. It’s hard, in a broken economy in a fallen world, to really know how to do right by your family and by God. I’m not trying to preach or anything, but rather I am just being honest about the assumptions that I hold in my daily life. Continue reading