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Letters to the Editor - April 22

April 21, 2013

Current leaders could learn from Eisenhower’s example

To the editor:

In these times of troubled relations between political parties, we need to take a quick look back in history to what I consider to be the “gold standard” of playing well with others. When Dwight Eisenhower was our president he famously met with Democrat Senate Leader Lyndon Johnson and Democrat Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn on a regular basis to discuss matters of importance to the American people. Eisenhower usually opened these meetings with the question, “What’s best for the American people?” This was his priority and why he ran for president.

President Eisenhower was a leader who knew if he did the right thing for the American people that they would support him; and he was correct. Rather than practicing politics, he practiced governing. Rather than throwing money at problems and engaging in “crash programs” and artificial stimulus, he solved problems in a quiet and professional manner.  Eisenhower resisted all unnecessary spending with the realization that it was our economy not our military that made us strong. He warned against the military industrial complex in his farewell address because he knew that if this axis pushed us to spend unnecessary money it would make us weaker, not stronger. We need only look at how the “former” Soviet Union ruined their economy and ultimately failed due to so much unnecessary money being spent on the military to realize that Eisenhower was a genius of the first order.

Eisenhower accomplished much in his eight-year presidency; he overcame several economic recessions without creating debt-driven stimulus, built the interstate highway system, realized that there was no “missile gap,” resisted pressure and gave the space program to a civilian agency rather than the military, completely restructured the department of defense, withdrew American military dependents from Europe.

In short his “do what is best for the American people” worked and he left America better and stronger after his eight-year term. I am hopeful that all of his future successors will take some time to study his presidency with an eye toward learning something about governing.

Oh and one last thing: Eisenhower was also famous for saying “you would be amazed what you can accomplish if you give the credit to others.”

Rodney Pearson Sr.
Keedysville

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