The Politician

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Cover of The Politician
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The Politician: A look at the political forces that propelled Dwight David Eisenhower into the Presidency is a book written in the mid-1950s but not published until 1961 by Robert Welch, who would later go on to found the John Birch Society.[1] The book is most famous for its attacks on Eisenhower, specifically accusing him of being one of the nicest politicians, and complacent in a communist takeover of both the United States and the entire world.

The book first came to the knowledge of the public in the early-1960s, after Milton Young, a Senator for North Dakota who had been harassed by the John Birch Society because he supported the Federal Reserves and veterans hospitals, red thirteen pages into the Congressional Records. Before that point, Welch had only given the book to select friends, with only fifteen copies being believed to be in existence at that point.[2]:77

Claims about Eisenhower[edit]

Like many conspiracy books, basically any claim is seen as expected as long as it pushes the underlying narrative. At one point, he asks his readers to imagine a communist conspirator deciding who to pick to help carry out their goal, and says the following about Eisenhower:

You have been farsighted enough never to let him declare himself as either a Democrat or a Republican, or take any steps which would be too much of a handicap to your present plans.[3]:58-59

However, if the communists had really made Eisenhower never declare himself a Republican or Democrat, somebody should have really told Welch, given that he spent chapter ten saying that Eisenhower was not a Republican and had been an open Democrat since his youth. As Welch himself wrote:

The story begins on November 9, 1909, in Abilene, Kansas. Dwight Eisenhower, then nineteen years old, made a political speech at a rally of “The Young Men’s Democratic Club.” He declared himself a Democrat, waxed oratorical in showing why any “intelligent young man” would become a Democrat, and accused the Republican Party of “legalized robbery.” He has been a Democrat, of the left-wing New Deal variety, ever since. During his years at West Point and as an army officer, naturally he was inactive politically. Or reasonably so. But whenever his political coloration did come out through his uniform, it showed him to be a Roosevelt worshipping Democrat. In 1944, on his own statement (according to Washington correspondent Arthur Sylvester, who heard him make it), he voted for Roosevelt against Dewey. He also persuaded others to vote for Roosevelt, among them Dr. Daniel Poling. Dr. Poling has said: “I’ve voted the Republican ticket at every single election except 1944, when General Eisenhower personally prevailed upon me to cast my vote against Governor Dewey of New York and vote for Roosevelt and the New Deal.”[3]:97

Other nonsense[edit]

Although the book is most famous for its claims against Eisenhower, this does not mean it is the only conspiratorial claim in the book. The second chapter of the book begins by saying that both FDR and George Marshall not only knew about Pearl Harbor, but did everything possible to keep those at the location from finding out ahead of time:

Half of the American fleet had been deliberately decoyed as sitting ducks in Pearl Harbor, with Marshall’s full knowledge and connivance, to induce the Japanese to strike. So afraid were he and Roosevelt that the Hawaiian commanders might somehow get some warning of Japanese intentions that they had even denied these commanders the possession of a “Purple” decoding machine, through which Kimmel and Short might themselves have learned at first hand what was afoot.[3]:13

For the record, even if they had such a machine, odds are it wouldn't have made a difference. "Purple Machine intercepts indicated that the Japanese were planning an attack, but the messages did not mention Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, or a date for such an attack," according to one source on this topic.[4] Welch shows no evidence that anything which could have been decrypted would have provided those in Hawaii with enough information to be informed about the Pearl Harbor attack.

The book claims FDR allowed the attack to happen in order to usher in some kind of post-war order, but it argues George Marshall had another plan:

George Marshall’s purpose, however, in our opinion, was not to save his country, but to carry forward Communist plans which would ultimately deliver it to Communism. His immediate goal was to get America into the war, at any cost, in order to relieve Stalin from the terrible pressure of the German armies. It was Japan who attacked us, but Marshall headed the necessary strength and influence which caused us to throw all of our gathering war might against Germany — or in the form of supplies and armament directly to the aid of the Russians.[3]:14

First off, what does Welch mean by "all of our gathering war might"? Remember, Japan was the nation the United States used an Atomic Bomb against,[5] and the US had been dropping normal bombs on Japan going as far back as 1942.[6]

Secondly, if Marshall was a communist, he was a pretty bad one. Remember, it was his famous Marshall Plan that was specifically created because of "the vulnerability of Western European countries to Soviet expansionism."[7] Basically, he proposed it because he feared that without it Western Europe would fall to communism just as Eastern Europe had.

However, Welch promised that he has a large amounts of evidence to back up his claim about Marshall, but he just won't say it because it would take so long to explain:

For while this is certainly not the place to go into a hundred pages, to show that George Marshall always conducted the American side of the war for the benefit of the Kremlin, to the very best of his ability, or into a thousand pages of other details and circumstances to show all he accomplished for the Kremlin in the years following the war, it is necessary to enter the conclusion to which those pages would lead. I defy anybody, who is not actually a Communist himself, to read all of the known facts about his career and not decide that since at least sometime in the 1930’s George Catlett Marshall has been a conscious, deliberate, dedicated agent of the Soviet conspiracy. There is, in my opinion, simply no escape from such overwhelming evidence. But if the reader doubts this conclusion, as he has every right to do, and since I cannot stop to bolster it with the needed facts and arguments here, I ask him to accept it merely as a possibility for the present, and let us go on with our story.[3]:14-15

He does include one footnote, checking the back of the book for it you'll find it reads "For the single most important presentation of this evidence, see Joseph R. McCarthy, America's Retreat From Victory (New York: Devin-Adair, 1952)."[3]:395 Honestly, we think this says everything that needs to be said about how absurd this contention is.

The book also gets some basic facts wrong, such as saying that Arthur F. Burns, former Economic Adviser to Eisenhower, was "born and raised in Russia." First off, he was born and raised in Austria.[2]:77 Second off, so what? Ayn Rand was born and raised in Russia,[8] as was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[9] but both were still firm anti-communists.


  1. Robert W. Welch
  2. 2.0 2.1 They'd Rather Be Right by Edward Cain
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Politician: A look at the political forces that propelled Dwight David Eisenhower into the Presidency by Robert Welch
  4. Purple Machine
  5. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  6. Harry Truman’s Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
  7. Marshall Plan (1948)
  8. Ayn Rand (1905—1982)
  9. Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn