Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times
By Patrick Day, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
That great experiment in federal, republic government known as the United States is largely considered a work in progress. With each new president, citizens and historians learn a bit more about its shortcomings and advantages and as every administration ends, we come together and ask ourselves: What have we learned and how can we apply that moving forward?
The Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency taught us how to flex our national might on the world stage, while the George W. Bush era has been widely hailed as a cautionary case against too much arrogance. Our history entails 43 presidents, which means 43 lessons. But Americans don't read history, or so the conventional wisdom goes; they watch TV and go to the movies. We see presidents there, but that doesn't count, right?
Actually, we learn from our fictional presidents. They're made up, sure, but the movies are a font of smart information such as what to do in a zombie attack. Here are lessons learned from the most effective fake presidencies in recent memory.