Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Middle Way..............................

Eisenhower said that he and his administration were determined that a fair, just, and moral America assume its responsibilities for the nation's less fortunate and for those who had been victims of racism. Ike would face heavy headwinds, especially among Democrats, whose main political base consisted of Southern whites. Still, determined to be a president for the whole country, the Middle Way was, in his view, the only prospect the United States had for sustainable social and racial progress. 

     The objective of desegregating the areas controlled by the federal government had been difficult enough to attain, and they included measures of far-reaching impact such as progressive federal court appointments and the desegregation of federal contracting. But the attitudes prevalent in individual states would be harder to tackle, and they were outside any president's jurisdiction at that time. 

     To advantageously influence local affairs, "the President had endeavored to keep the trust of both sides so that when he acted he would be supported by the public," Herbert Brownell recalled. While Eisenhower's critics later blamed him for not doing more to create a new moral climate in this country, he realized that if the whole nation were to make good on its constitutional promise, it would require bringing the whole country along. 

 -Susan Eisenhower, How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower's Biggest Decisions

 Lest we forget, in 1957, Eisenhower both nationalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to enforce both order and a federal court decision mandating the desegregation of public schools.


1 comment:

  1. Leadership courage. He had it in uniform and had it in a suit. E.