More cynically, political gridlock makes us yearn for a hero who can break through the stalemate and get things done. We all sometimes think of the president, whoever is in office, as an ineffectual figurehead who’s not doing enough to advance our own personal policy platforms, so we fantasize about someone who’s more hands-on and take-charge.
If that’s so, then presidents should beware. The public that lionizes you one day and can turn on you the next. It’s the flip side of the same coin that presidents who are regarded as larger-than-life heroes can also become larger-than-life monsters.