In his 1983 book Modern Times, Paul Johnson wrote, “Eisenhower was the most successful of America’s twentieth-century presidents, and the decade when he ruled (1953-61) the most prosperous in American, and indeed world, history.”
Here at taki.com, John Derbyshire remembers the above and writes about Ike, “America’s prosperity glows golden in the memory of us who witnessed it.” In his review of the soon-to-be-released Ike The Ringer, Derbyshire writes, “This was our best modern president.” Derbyshire recommends Paul Johnson’s Eisenhower: A Life for further reading on Ike.
I’m in agreement with John, and I would include Coolidge and Reagan on my very short list of excellent modern presidents. On the flip side of the coin is my list of the most destructive modern Presidents. In order of destructive force are Wilson, FDR, Obama, Johnson, Carter, and George W. Bush.
I cannot help but wondering what General Eisenhower would think, were he alive today, about the mindset of his fellow Americans who would have voted into the White House a president with a conflicted background, to say the least, and a postcard-thin presidential résumé. A presidential résumé, in fact, showing blanks for military background, management and organizational skills, as well as for business acumen. How was such a totally unqualified person elected not once but twice as president of the most important country in the world?
Barack Obama ranks as easily the most unqualified, elected modern president. Obama has proven, in his unfortunate six years in office, to be even more destructive and divisive than Johnson or Carter, a low bar indeed.
Now Americans have less than two years to figure out how to right the ship. I am not optimistic. The Republican Party, as configured today, is structured to promote the military industrial complex, built on a foundation of the military and Fortune 500 companies (fronted by Wall Street and the oil industry). “We the people” are not in the mix and virtually out of the picture in terms of influence. To think otherwise is simply naïve, especially where one is apt to raise a weak hand in support of the disjointed Tea Party movement. As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton? Really?
The Cato Institute is America’s small-government, non-intervention beacon. Debbie and I are significant backers of Cato’s ongoing research to support a true American constitutional Federal Republic as intended by the Founders. It is, then today, left to state governors and small government members of the House to form a bulwark against both the Republican and Democrat statists. I count but a small (single digit) number of senators who are not bought and paid for by “the complex.”
Governors and sheriffs (a lot of constitutional power) have it in their power to strike back at federal operatives on all levels. It is a question of resolve, backbone and local support, state by state. I would think that business friendly, low-tax states (Wyoming, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Florida) could lead the way by drawing business and residents away from high-tax, unfriendly to business, anti-gun states (California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts). The road ahead is steeply uphill for small government, states-rights-oriented Americans. It remains to be seen if an Eisenhower-type leader emerges to lead the way.
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