Tonight was the last episode of Rome on HBO. Great show, great cast, the show understood the real history. If you follow history, the next series to follow is I, Claudius (the book or the miniseries). During this time, I re-read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars to back up my theory of modern Presidents as representatives of the Julio-Claudian's. Here is the theory:
The Augustus: Augustan Presidents deal with civil strife, internal threats and defer the limits of the office as Augustus limited the Empire. They are controversial in their time because they change the structure of Government in some way (i.e. Augustus had his Triumvirates, then Empire). Augustans limit outside attacks to maintain the Republic.
The Tiberians: Tiberian Presidents maintain the Republic from their successors, yet go to war with the Political class. Tiberius almost allowed a coup by his Chief of Staff, Sejanus and allowed himself to fall into a decadent atmosphere on his island villa on Capri. The general public loves a Tiberius, but the political class knows (or is harmed) by his sins.
The Caligula: Caligula seemed like a relief for the political class after Tiberias, they were wrong. Caligula cared about neither Empire or civility. Where Tiberius' sin was to take from the political class by force, Caligula by madness. The public is also destroyed by a Caligula's madness. There have been no Caligula Presidents since FDR.
The Claudians: Literary and literate. Claudius expanded the Empire to Britain and kept the finances flush. A Claudian President re-builds the Republic after internal troubles and expands into the literary sphere as well. The Political Class looks down upon them as "not being good enough," These are the theoreticians of Presidents. Woodrow Wilson was one.
The Nero: Neros enjoy the stage. If their way is not accomplished, then hell literary breaks loose. The Republic teeters from Nero Presidents.
Now from FDR, here is how I see the theory play out:
Truman -- Claudian
Eisenhower -- Augustan
Kennedy -- Tiberian
Johnson -- Claudian
Nixon -- Claudian
Ford -- Augustan
Carter -- Nero
Reagan -- Augustan
Bush I -- Augustan
Clinton -- Tiberian
Bush II -- Claudian
Please tell me how this theory works in your worldview.....