Thursday, February 07, 2008

If I wrote an autobiography it would be a dull one and wouldn’t sell a single copy. It could even be called, “Life of a Dull Man.” All I have done is study, work, love God and my family and try to stay on a steady course in life. I haven’t had an affair, taken dope or even smoked. My only real vices are that I love humor and hate hypocrisy. When I was drafted from a busy general practice with a family of three children during the Vietnam War, I didn’t run off to Canada, but went willingly into the Army because it was the thing I was supposed to do for my country. That’s what my brother and brother-in-law had done in World War II and it was expected of me. As it turned out, it was one of the greatest things to ever happen to this dull individual. That might be the most exciting chapter in the book, next to the eye-opening and revealing chapter about medicine and doctors.

I am so dull that one of my favorite presidents is Dwight Eisenhower. His presidency was a quiet and peaceful time for our country, when everyone seemed to respect the flag and not one American soldier was killed on the battlefield. We had a cold war but there was no shooting.

Today all the presidential candidates refer to the heroes of their past and how they are going to be like other great presidents. John McCane always refers to Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Reagan is his hero. McCane has never said a word about Eisenhower because Ike wasn’t flashy enough and our young folks don’t even remember who he was or what he did. Obama, of course refers to the great John Kennedy. Kennedy had the right tickets; he had charisma with good looks, a silver tongue and an attractive wife. In his inaugural address he said. “ the torch is passed to a new generation of Americans.” Kennedy was sort of slamming the old man who was about to pass the torch, Dwight Eisenhower. The main thing Kennedy had was a great speech writer named Ted Sorensen. He was otherwise short on substance, unlike the man he was about to succeed.

It’s to bad that nobody ever refers to Ike, the 34th president who served from 1953 – 1961. Here are a few of the things he did.
Oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War.
Created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Created and signed the Federal Highway Bill which authorized funding for the Interstate highway system
Sent Federal troops to Little Rock to enforce integration in the Little Rock High School
Created NASA
Sent the first US satellite into orbit
Signed the National Defense Act which provided loans for college students
Signed the 1957 Civil Rights Act
Alaska and Hawaii became states.

Before all of the above, he saved our rear end from the horror of Hitler and the Nazis as Commander of the American European Forces and the Allied Commander. Peace came to the world as we ended World War II.

But none of our current presidential candidates ever refer to this quiet man to whom we owe so much. The Democrats also never refer to LBJ, the champion of Civil Rights. The African Americans owe him a lot but never even mention him. Of course LBJ wasn’t black so he doesn’t count. The Vietnam War was his undoing and no one wants to bring that up, especially Obama and Ted Kennedy.

Anyway, I am happy that my back porch looks a lot like the one in the Eisenhower home at Gettysburg. I also have the biography of Ike on a table near my chair to remind me of the life of another dull man. I sure wish we could elect another dull president.


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