How far right have the Republicans moved? America?

Here’s a measure.  It’s a quote from Ike.

“Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed….”

This is not a sentiment a modern Republican politician would be able to publicly offer without being drummed out of any significant position of power.  It is even difficult to imagine a Democratic politician speaking in this manner where citizen poverty and suffering is weighted against noble war.

Between that point in time and this, there has clearly been a successful derogation of the poor and disadvantaged.  They are, in this formulation, deserving of their status and condition (as are those at the under end of the scale, axiomatically).  As well, there has been a successful fetishization of war and soldiering and vengeance (how have Christian communities become so enamored of war and killing?  how is it the capture by Somali pirates of an American ship captain spurs the murderous rhetoric we now see from the right?)  Finally, there’s been a successful dissemination of the notion that external enemies abound, whose eager intention is to destroy America.

As the NY Times piece linked below notes, at the end of Eisenhower’s term, seven years had passed  without a single American serviceman’s death.  No President since can claim the same.  I truly don’t know whether America can get itself out of the grip of the enormous national dynamic which facilitates and promotes militarism.

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2 responses to “How far right have the Republicans moved? America?

  1. Thanks for pointing towards this great article. Don’t have much time today and probably would have missed it entirely. As a native of President Eisenhower’s home state, I grew up immersed in the myth of the man, which left me unimpressed. I never understood the accolades regarding his presidency. This article made me decide I need to dig deeper. And the quote you included should be tattooed on the chest of every person seeking public office. A simple truth we all forget.

  2. Hi Lulu

    It’s an interesting period of time with clear consequences for the modern era. I suspect his administration (and the present) would have been far more positive if it had been minus the influences of the Dulles brothers (one can validly think of them as precursors to the militarist and corporate-friendly neoconservatives…their exploits as related to the United Fruit Company are representative…see wikipedia).

    Don’t know if you’ve ever seen the excerpt from the 1954 letter Ike wrote his brother. I suspect you’ll think more fondly of the man after reading..

    “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

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