Dwight David Eisenhower, was the 34th President of the United States. His accomplishments are too numerous to list but before he became President, he was the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. A man from the heartland of America, President Eisenhower grew up in Kansas and he became a man imbued with uncommon, common sense and with the values that his parents helped to instill in him.
President Eisenhower was one of the most popular President’s in our history. Who doesn’t remember the refrain, if your old enough to remember, We like Ike? He presided over, perhaps the greatest prosperity that any nation has ever experienced.
Let us in a moment of nostalgia look back at the 1956 Republican Platform. In the platform Lincoln was quoted to have said,” The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or can not so well do, for themselves in their individual capacity. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves government ought not to interfere.”
Let us not forget that candidates for President and in particular sitting President’s have an input on the content of a party’s platform.
President Eisenhower followed that Abraham Lincoln quote with one of his own. “In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”
The views as previously stated are sound, common sense ideas. There is nothing radical or unusual about them, but in this day and age, the thoughts as expressed by both Lincoln and Eisenhower would be considered too liberal for today’s Republican Party. The views expressed were the mainstream, moderate views of most Americans.
Perhaps a part of President Eisenhower’s farewell address helps explain who hijacked Lincoln and Eisenhower’s Republican Party. He warned Americans who were, “giddy with prosperity, infatuated with youth and glamour, and aiming increasingly for the easy life.” He went further, warning against “Living for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.”
Ladies and gentlemen, President Eisenhower described for all of us what has become of us. We have the greatest disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of us. The Republican Party today plays on man’s selfishness. Aided by the Madison Avenue skills of selling soap they now sell candidates both Republicans and Democrats. You too can become wealthy. The lies about how everyone can become wealthy if only, you try hard enough spreads even to the pulpit. We now have ministers, especially those who are on television tell us how Jesus would want you to be wealthy. The corporate owned media sells our fellow citizens on their vision of America. They don’t want you to see the dark side, the squalor, the poverty nor the racism that exists. For if the media did that, it might destroy the myth that they sell the public. And God forbid if you are not happy, it must be someone else’s fault. It’s the brown person’s fault, or the illegal alien, or black people or people who are on food stamps. If only they were not getting help that they are told that they don’t deserve everything would be fine. The truth is we have the least social and economic mobility in a century or more.
In contrast to the moderate views of Lincoln and Eisenhower extremism rules the day. The powers that be want to keep Americans in the dark about how we pay twice as much for the same drugs at a pharmacy as they do in Canada. Ask yourselves why is it that we have an economy humming along, doing much better than Europe but people here are less happy than people in places like Norway and Iceland? It is because the corporate bosses do not want to pay their employees more. Slowly things are beginning to change regarding our minimum wage and the fact that if you pay people more,they will be happier and spend more money and pay more taxes that pay for the services that we all enjoy.
Selfishness and greed are the bane to all Republics. Government has a place in our lives just as President Lincoln said so many years ago.
Surprisingly the following issues made their way into the 1956 Republican Platform:
1. Federal assistance to low-income housing.
2. Protect Social Security.
3. Asylum for refugees.
4. Extend the minimum wage.
5. assure equal pay for equal work.
6. Strengthen labor laws to make it easier to join a union.
Hmmmmn!!!! Eisenhower must have been a Democrat. No, he was a moderate Republican who people trusted. He was President when we had the greatest economy in the world. But no, today’s Republicans fight against everything that made that era successful. Instead of all boats rising together the fiction that trickle down will work continues. They pretend to want to be careful with people’s money. Eisenhower balanced 3 budgets and had the highest tax rate along with the greatest prosperity we have known. But not today’s Republicans they don’t want to emulate what helped to create prosperity, they instead want to try over and over again policies that have been proven to fail.
Let us ask ourselves if we have not forsaken and totally ignored the warnings of President Eisenhower. We have a military industrial complex that continues to make a fortune as we careen from one war to the next. And sadly we are all about the money, what’s in it for us. We have a crisis of moral depravity where youth is worshiped and the concerns of the masses go unanswered and heeded. As P.T. Barnum once said, “A sucker is born every minute.”
The Republican Party of Eisenhower was hijacked. If they want to be a successful political party in the future they would be wise to follow the examples of President Eisenhower and President Lincoln. Give me a President Eisenhower any day!!!!