In the last blog I wrote about the various cover ups by American Presidents, especially related to health. I was a little harsh on President Eisenhower who was one of our greatest Presidents. His greatness is often overlooked because the nation was at peace and it was a calm eight years for the American people. The time was like that after a major hurricane. The major hurricane had been WWII.
Eisenhower was a true American hero. He wasn’t the flamboyant, showy type like Patton or McArthur. He wasn’t a military genius or great strategist but his ability to get along with people like Churchill, Montgomery and de Gaulle made him a great leader and able to carry out the greatest invasion in the history of warfare. The invasion of Europe at Normandy on D-Day was the deciding blow that defeated Nazis Germany.
After the war he was so popular he was elected President and it really didn’t matter to him about politics, Republican or Democrat. That’s probably what I liked about him the most.
Eisenhower is largely responsible for our interstate highway system. He ended the Korean War. He addressed the issue of Civil Rights by sending troops to escort black kids into the Little Rock High School. Some say he was not aggressive enough with Civil Rights. He started the Space Program as a response to Sputnik. He built a superior nuclear arsenal so that we were able to negotiate from a position of strength against the communist threat.
Things were so peaceful when he was in office people almost fell asleep with boredom. Ike was overshadowed by the charismatic young Senator from Mass. Folks wanted this bright young man who promised change and for the torch to be passed to a new generation. Kennedy’s image was the main thing that defeated Eisenhower’s vice-president, Richard Nixon.
My, how I long for those tranquil and boring days of Ike. It was a time when people took pride in their appearance, were generally courtesy and civil to one another, were responsible, loyal and took pride in their work. People were even honored to serve in the military. Now days we pay lip service to the military by placing little yellow bows on our cars and singing their praises over the internet, but no middle class person and above wants their offspring in the military.
So a little cover up by Ike regarding his heart problem is okay. I’m glad he was President and most of all that he saved us from the horror of living under Hitler. I’m putting up a picture of Ike on the porch to replace the one of Marilyn Monroe, which reminds me of JFK.