I have just finished Jean Edward Smith’s excellent biography: Eisenhower in War and Peace. It made me reflect on how far right the Republican Party has come since his time in office and how destructive that extremism is for the country, when what it requires is a non-hysterical moderate wealth creating alternative to the Democrats. If I had any optimism I would start a Republican back to Eisenhower movement.
I thought it would be fun to list the reasons I like Ike and think him the second best President of the USA of the 20th century after Franklin Roosevelt who faced the Great Depression and the Second World War so successfully. I love Republican President Dwight Eisenhower because:
- He built the inter state highways system
- He warned of the growing power of the military industrial complex
- He achieved balanced budgets without cutting New Deal social programs, while economizing on defense spending at the height of the Cold War
- He avoided wars because he had fought in one and knew how awful they are
- He tried to find a way to provide state healthcare comparable to what the military had
- He worked closely with the Democrats to get things done in the country’s interests
- He followed a very measured foreign policy including refusing to use nuclear weapons on China
- He steadfastly resisted extremists in his own party especially Joe McCarthy
- He passionately advocated science and funding of government pure research programs that helped build US national science based prosperity, and his funding of science education
- He started the move towards civil rights by integrating the US military and intervening in Little Rock with Federal troops to quell unrest around school integration upholding the rule of law
Of course, I liked his low key non narcissistic personality that made this all possible. Heck if he were running I would vote for him and he had the highest sustained popularity in US polling history. And after FDR our greatest President of the 20th century. Is that bi-partisan of me or what?