Human Rights as Presidential Success: The Truman Era
Siemers David J.
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Political success has traditionally been defined in terms of glory in battle and control over access to resources. This definition continues to be reflected in modern rankings of American presidents, which often measure executive success by personality traits, partisan influence, and attempts at increasing power while in office. However, the core purpose of American government, as stated in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, is to safeguard the human rights of American citizens and protect them from rights abuses. It follows that as the official defender of the Constitution, a president's human rights record should be the standard and primary criterion for measuring executive "greatness" or success. Because other evaluations have thus far neglected to employ such a criterion, this paper uses Harry Truman, who was president at the time of the United States' ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a beginning example of evaluating presidential greatness based on contributions to human rights.
United States - Politics and government - 1945 -1953
Truman, Harry S.
Political leadership - United States
Presidents - United States
Volume V, December 2010, pp.70-81.