Jon: True, only the greatest of Americans dared believe that they alone could fix something, and in those moments we needed them most, they did. Today's lawyer-politicians, people who talk for a living, have no concept of this level of doing that only a few are capable of.
The greatest doers in American history were not well liked. Rockefeller built the world's most effective oil production and delivery system, before which products like kerosene were 10x the price. Carnegie, developed steel production, before which steel was so expensive it was only used for small items like swords. J.P.Morgan practically stole General Electric from Thomas Edison, but without his adaptation of Alternating Current and directing of the industry the US would have been 10 years behind the rest of the world in becoming electrified, rather than 10 years ahead. Them and others like them are what took America from war torn post Civil war to post World War super power, not politicians.
These guys had a reputation for mowing down whatever was in their path to get things done, referred to as robber barons. Compared to them, Donald Trump is Mother Theresa. By early 1900s standards Trump is hundreds of times more PC than these guys were. But Trump alone, in today's political arena, has anything like the spirit, drive and experience that these guys had.
Leadership is not about having one type of person that is the greatest leader for any time in history. No, just like Chamberlain stepped aside for Winston Churchill to lead England through WWII, we need different types of leadership for different situations. The robber barons actually reach a point where their corporations had too much power. This ushered in progressivism with Teddy Roosevelt, known for bringing these guys down with his trust busting. This happened at a time when it was needed. Of course there was a cost, there always is.
Progressivism in America was started by Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. Just like the the US party political machines are corrupt today, back then when state party delegates elected Senators and Presidents, the state party systems were extremely corrupt; especially New York's, his state. He solved it by fighting for popular elections and a largely decreased recognition of state's rights. Today, 100 years later his problem is basically moved to the federal level, where there can be no oversight. However, it took the resources at the Federal level to take on the megalith trusts. Standard Oil had more resources than any individual state. Before Roosevelt only a state could bring suit on one of it's corporations.
The cost of centralized power is greater than we realize. The forefathers design of "distributed management" and pushing management (rights, state and individual) down to the lowest levels was way ahead of it's time and far more effective then centralized management. It was and still is the most progressive method of government. So, progressivism is a lie, as the politicians who support it are liars. They still want even greater centralized power, which ultimately leads to dictatorship.
Though I personally dream of a leader who can bring back the fundamentals of distributed management (freedom, independence) created by the forefathers, this time with equality for all types of people, I don't see that happening right now. We have drifted so far as a people and most have no concept of what we've lost.
At this point we badly need damage control. The US is a dependent of other countries and a world banking system. I think we've reached a point where only a business mogul, a modern day robber baron, even has a prayer of putting the US in a position where we could just focus on improving ourselves for a while. We live in a world where it takes money to change anything and the US has negative 19 trillion + dollars right now. Only someone capable of "making better deals" for the US has a prayer. Right now that person is Donald Trump. He has many faults, but he is the only one in the arena with that set of leader qualifications who has stepped up to deal with this moment in history's issues. Are there risks of Trump centralizing power even more, like a "Progressive", yes, much risk. The problem is we WILL get that anyway with Clinton, but she is way too bought into the global system as it is to change it for America's betterment, so WE would lose more freedom and get nothing in exchange with Clinton.