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Bronze-level article

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Reagan ain't got shit on this guy.[1]
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I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.
—We must have the wrong person, right?[2]
You know, Jim, this bunch of scientists was one of the few groups that I encountered in Washington who seemed to be there to help the country and not to help themselves.
—On his deathbed. No, really, that's what a Republican used to sound like.[3]

General Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (1890-1969) was a war hero (World War II if you fell asleep during history class), the 34th President of the United States and the greatest Swiss-American (after Renee Zellweger of course). He helped engineer the final offensive against Nazi Germany in France and the Fatherland during 1944-1945. In 1952, he was "drafted" by the Republican Party to run against "egghead" Adlai Stevenson. He boosted the political career of then-Senator Tricky Dick by selecting him as a running mate.

It is well known that everyone liked Ike for president.[4]

General[edit]

He wasn't much of a battlefield commander - but hey, then neither was George Washington.[5]

Directly after issuing the order for the D-Day Landings, he scribbled a few words down on a piece of paper which he discovered in his tunic pocket a few weeks later, written in the event that D-Day ended in disaster[6][7]

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place were based on the best information available. The troops, the air and navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

Accepting responsibility? What a wimp! No wonder he never made it to 6-star general!

Elections of 1952 and 1956[edit]

In a messy open convention floor fight, Eisenhower was accused of, God forbid, "delegate stealing". But both the party and the nation survived anyway.[8][9] In 1956 Eisenhower wanted to dump NixonWikipedia's W.svg but couldn't get Nixon to go along.

Domestic policy[edit]

Ike was a total commie moonbat pragmatic and forward-thinking president. His domestic policies enacted historic change within the US. He signed the first set of civil rights bills into law since Reconstruction and pushed the desegregation process forward.[10] When you drive on the Interstate Highway System, you can thank Ike for starting that. He created NASA,[11] instituted the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the expansion of Social Security was one of his signature domestic policies. Eisenhower also established ARPA (now DARPA), which was eventually responsible for inventing and building the Internet.[12] His nomination of Earl Warren as Chief Justice is usually seen as one of the most important Supreme Court nominations.

Unfortunately, the "In God We Trust" national motto, as well as the "under God" addition to the Pledge of Allegiance, occurred under Eisenhower's tenure.[13] It wasn't just Christianity that Ike liked. He was persuaded by a lengthy 1954 National Security Council (NSC) memorandum, "The Religious Factor" by Edward P. Lilly to cultivate Islamist sentiment as an ideological weapon in the Cold War.[14] (How could something like that ever come back to haunt you?)

Foreign policy[edit]

Ike's foreign policy was commie appeasement a hybrid of dove and hawk. At the time, the Republicans were known for being the appeasers doves of the two-party system,[citation needed] and Ike had run for the Republican nomination against Robert Taft, who ran as a non-interventionist, on the platform of both ending the Korean War and fighting communism. Eisenhower was critical of Truman's handling of Korea and he popularized the "domino effect" concept of foreign policy, believing that communism would spread like falling dominoes. However, he quickly withdrew from Korea and left a South Korea that could (with some help that continues to today) defend itself from the North.

On the downside, he started the trend of allowing the CIA to dick around in foreign countries to support dictatorships. Ike caught the "commies under every bed" bug for a few brief moments in his presidency. The first time was in 1953 when Winston Churchill convinced him that Mohammad MosaddeghWikipedia's W.svg, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, was turning Red. This was actually bullshit as Mosaddegh himself was anti-communist, albeit his chicanery while in office[15] also wouldn't lead one to confuse him with a great guy either — Churchill was just pissed because he nationalized Iran's oil industry.[16] The Brits and Americans took out Mosaddegh and replaced him with the Shah. This came back to bite the US in the ass in 1979. Ike also sent contingents of "military advisors" to Vietnam, and although it was really barely anything at that point, it paved the way for JFK, LBJ, and Nixon to completely fuck it up.

He also let the CIA take out Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, another democratically elected leader. At the time, Guatemala had been completely fucked over by US railroad and fruit monopolies. Arbenz enacted land reform to allow farmers to use the fallow land owned by the United Fruit Company (UFC, later Chiquita). The CIA then cooked up some bogus connections between Arbenz and the Soviet Union to intervene on behalf of the UFC. Ike signed off on it and professional propagandist Edward Bernays then spread this bullshit conspiracy through one of the first big PR campaigns in history. The fact that the Arbenz thing "worked" so well, convinced the CIA that they could easily topple unwanted governments if they so chose and inspired their confidence to go forward with a plan that would become known as the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba under JFK.

Ike's farewell speech in 1961 is arguably the most famous in US history behind George Washington's farewell speech. Andrew J. Bacevich in Washington Rules says Eisenhower "offered the American people a glimpse of the powerful forces that lay behind and beyond presidential control."[17] Eisenhower warned the American people of the growing influence of a "military-industrial complex."
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.[18]
Too bad no one listened to him. Perhaps he should not have waited until his last days in office to raise the objection.

Legacy[edit]

Ike's presidential portrait

Despite his CIA screw-jobs, religious apologizing and failure to publicly fight McCarthyism (though he hated Joseph McCarthy in private and worked to undermine him in secret), Ike is remembered as one of the more practical and competent, if not outstanding, presidents of the 20th century. However, today's Republicans seem to have forgotten he even existed.[19] Probably because, as the John Birch Society claimed at the time, he was a total war hero RINO pinko commie.

Ike was a fiscal conservative, but he continued the 90% top tax rate to maintain a balanced budget (and was the last Republican to do so, and ironically, it was then cut by a Democrat). This is, of course, social liberalism social democracy socialism. Never mind that he oversaw the post-war economic boom, which would later be called "The Golden Age of Capitalism." Ike also totally trashed those calling for a repeal of New Deal programs, saying:

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. HuntWikipedia's W.svg (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.[20]

He also said some other pretty socialist things, such as:

No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice... No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.[21]
I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion.[22]
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.[21]
A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war. I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing... It seems to me that when, by definition, a term is just ridiculous in itself, there is no use in going any further.[23]

Goddamn Red.

Opposition to Ike's moderate agenda led to a backlash in which ultraconservatives largely took over the Republican Party in the 1960's - or more precisely 1964. They have solidified their power ever since.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. One example
  2. Nope.
  3. Hansen on Pres. Eisenhower and his scientists, ThinkProgress
  4. Ike for President
  5. Washington even had the advantage of not having those insubordinate egomaniacs Montgomery and Patton under his command.
  6. Keegan, John (1992). Five Armies in Normandy. Pimlico. p. 66. ISBN 0-7126-5579-4. 
  7. D-Day In case of failure letter, Business Insider
  8. The First Republican Contested Convention, Face the Nation, CBS News.
  9. United States presidential election, 1952#Republican ConventionWikipedia's W.svg
  10. Why don’t we remember Ike as a civil rights hero?, MSNBC
  11. Eisenhower on Encyclopedia Astronautica
  12. A Quick Look at the Early History of the Internet, Elon University
  13. Though he could probably be excused for this as it's nearly fucking impossible to get rid of even today. Seriously, 396 to 9?
  14. Ian Johnson, 2011. A Mosque in Munich. New York: Mariner Books. Pp. 69-75. ISBN 978-0-547-42317-3.
  15. https://books.google.com/books?id=qh_QotrY7RkC&pg=PA274
  16. Including the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company - in 1954, renamed British Petroleum (BP).
  17. Bavevich, Andrew J., 2010. Washington Rules - America's Path to Permanent War. New York: Metropolitan Books. P. 32. ISBN 978-0-8050-9141-0
  18. Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex" Speech: Origins and Significance, National Archives
  19. Forgotten in Republican campaign, Eisenhower rises in stature, Reuters
  20. Ike says they're stupid
  21. 21.0 21.1 American Presidential Address on "The Chance for Peace", Sherbrooke University
  22. Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, Wagner College
  23. This wasn't the first or last time he attacked the concept.
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