During his term as the 38th President of the United States, an integral issue that Ford had to address was the deteriorating American economy. The economy of the nation was declining; as a result America was no longer predominant in the international economy. The depressed economy led to further issues such as an energy crisis, inflation, and unemployment. Another issue that occurred during Ford’s presidency that tended to cause conflict and disagreement in American race relations. In Boston’s parochial neighborhood communities, the busing of black students in segregated all-white schools led to violence, which only worsened when a white student was stabbed to death causing an increase in “opposition by white parents to court-ordered school busing” (Faragher, Buhle, and Czitrom 819) in the form of riots. Combined with the sluggish American economy, these issues caused Gerald Ford to lose to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election.
After becoming the 39th President of the United States of America, Carter desperately tried to succeed, to pull the country out of inflation, however, not only did he not succeed but ended up spoiling his relations with Congress. For instance, in 1978 Carter deemed a public works package inflationary was vetoed it as a response to the Congress’s rejection of his consumer-protection bill and the labor reform package. Moreover, it was during Carter’s presidency that the U.S. supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War, causing the OPEC oil cartel to raise oil prices “as a result [of which], Americans faced a severe oil shortage” (Faragher, Buhle, and Czitrom 807) adding to the inflation. Finally, also during Carter’s presidency, the Iran-U.S. relations also continued to deteriorate leading to the Iranian hostage crisis in November 1979. Carter failed to resolve this issue, and “[t]he political and economic fallout [in the aftermath of the crisis] was heavy” (Faragher, Buhle, and Czitrom 812). These issues contributed to Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election.
George H. W. Bush became the 41st president of the United States after the 1988 election. Bush’s ability as an American president was severely limited because of the substantial federal budget debt. Bush’s government did not have enough revenues to enact major domestic ventures that would improve the economy of the country. Another reason behind Bush’s failure to balance the country’s budget and reduce deficit was because he had pledged during his campaign that he would not raise taxes. Budget negotiations became a problem during Bush’s term as president as well. Moreover, the Democrats were controlling the Congress while Bush himself as a Republican. Even the Loans and Savings industry was collapsing during Bush’s presidency. Bush further weakened the economy with the Clean Air Act. During his presidency, Bush was also responsible of suppressing illegal drugs in the country, which was leading to an increase in violence in the urban cities of the country. Unfortunately, Bush failed to do any of these during his term as president and was badly defeated by Bill Clinton in the 1992 election.
Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush, the 38th, 39th and 41st presidents of the United States all made their faire share of accomplishments during their one-term presidencies. However, the above reveals an apparent pattern in their presidential terms and their failures. All three of them started out their presidencies in a period when the economy of America was not in good standing, and all of three of them either contributed and/or failed to improve the country’s collapsing economy. Moreover, incidents of one form of violence or the other were also common during their presidencies. Had any or all of them succeeded at reducing inflation, elevating the economy and preventing the violent incidents that occurred during their presidencies, perhaps they would have succeeded in their bids for reelection.
Faragher, John Mack, Mari Jo H. Buhle, and Daniel H. Czitrom. Out of Many: A History of the American People, Brief Edition, Combined Volume (6th Edition). 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011. Print.