The Mayan Temple ruins in Central America can tell us a lot about the rise and fall of the Mayan empire and its leaders. When the empire rose to power, it was a time of bounty. Rain was plentiful and therefore so were food and water, allowing the empire to flourish.
Upon looking at the Mayan ruins, archaeologists found that the most interesting artifacts actually came from the period at the beginning of the empire's downfall. Many people had offered up sacrifices to the god of rain because they had been experiencing an extreme drought. No rain meant no food or water. The Mayans quickly went from being wealthy in resources to having very little sustenance for anyone.
This caused the Mayan people to change how they saw their leaders. Even though the leaders had no control over the weather, people automatically associated them with a time of recession and unfulfillment. Many historians believe this is what contributed to the downfall of the entire Mayan empire.
Interestly, the same concept still holds true today. Even though our leaders don't directly control the economy, our view of them directly relates to the state of the economy while they are in power. When George Bush Senior began his presidency, the U.S. was in a state of prosperity. In 1990 we were hit with a huge recession, and Bush lost any chance of being re-elected. He lost the 1992 election with only 37% of the popular vote.
The economy isn't the only thing that contributes to the popularity of our current leaders, but it definitely has an effect on our overall opinion of them. It's part of human nature to associate leadership with society's success as well as its failure. It's the "drought effect."
Watch more Seeker:
The Indian Village That Breeds Strongmen
Learn more the Mayan Empire's relevancy in modern politics:
National Geographic: At Newly Discovered Water Temple, Maya Offered Sacrifices to End Drought
New York Times: Economy Plays Biggest Role in Obama Re-election Chances