John Sununu made an interesting point, and it certainly got me to thinking. Eisenhower spent several years honing his un-Americanism at the Ivy League's "Columbia boutique," where he set the stage for the future schooling of his comrade-in-arms, Barack Hussein Obama.
A video dialogue took place between American students at the College of Charleston, and Egyptian students, primarily from the American University in Cairo. Discussion centered on the students' experiences of the Arab Spring, as well as Egypt's on-going political transition.
The end of a racist nation cannot just come from an integration of races in schools, the workplace and politics. It must come from a very personal change in perception. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 changed the law, but it's the people that change a culture.
Several people report they cannot forgive Eisenhower's moral and political failure to speak out and repudiate McCarthy. That is not how it went down with Ike, according to Jim Newton's excellent new biography, Eisenhower: The White House Years.
Is it "nostalgia" to ask that the Eisenhower Memorial "shall blend with the essential lines of the old"? Would critics like to see Paris "improved" by some more oppressive skyscraper? Should Venice, Rome, and Florence get with the times and jazz up their hopelessly backwards cities?
As important as Ike's deeds were to our country, in some way his words were (and are) even more important, especially in this time of constant war and bloated budgets for "defense" and our burgeoning trade in deadly weaponry.
It was 48 years ago and in the annals of American presidential election lore, but looking back at the campaign of 1964 reveals some dramatic differences and striking similarities to this year's contest, as well as some familiar last names.
Eisenhower, Nixon, and Bush 43 all produced at least moderate income growth during their first four years in office; Obama so far has not. Unless the state of the economy improves, it's not likely to matter who he models his 2012 campaign after.