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Americans Lower Expectations for Presidency

February 27, 2010 |  1:00 pm

Feb. 27, 1980, Op/Ed 

Feb. 27, 1980: This page is such a time capsule of the 1980s that I couldn’t decide on one story. There's Baltimore Sun columnist Matt Seiden's a piece on the war between humans and computers, an essay by Calvin Zon on Haitian refugees in Florida, Paul Conrad on the Iran hostage crisis and J.F. terHorst on Americans' dwindling expectations for U.S. presidents.

TerHorst writes: "Every year divisible by four, America dutifully chooses a president amid the hope that somehow the right individual will be selected to lead the nation. And, somehow, America lately seems to have gotten less than it bargained for.”

He adds, "Over the last quarter-century [George] Gallup says, the record of the last six presidents amounts to a steady and persistent erosion of the hopes we had in them and for them."