Not everyone viewed the introduction of Obamacare as cause for national celebration, but that doesn’t mean history won’t remember it as such. Time has a habit of changing the perception of presidential initiatives.
The Gettysburg Address may be the most iconic speech made in America, but not everyone shared that sentiment in 1863. Far from being revered as an affirmation on human equality, Lincoln’s words were roundly criticized by the Democrats of the day, while the Chicago Times described the president’s efforts as “silly, flat and dishwatery utterances.” Moreover, Lincoln’s words weren’t even the actual Gettysburg Address; they were brief dedicatory remarks following on from Edward Everett’s two-hour oration.
Many moments that seemingly define American ideals have been repackaged as occurring in a society much different from their time. Often, the prevailing political landscape has been toned down to allow the depiction of a nation unified by positive thought.
Today, John F. Kennedy’s space exploration efforts of the 1960s are rightfully spoken of in the context of the successful moon landing, an effort that confirmed America’s unyielding ambition. Yet the public scorn of the era’s numerous failed rocket launches is long forgotten.