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The Schlesinger Polls and the Reasons behind the Change Essay Example for Free
The Schlesinger Polls and the Reasons behind the Change EssayAmericans love to take survey. They rank everything from Hollywood scandals to insects, and they often reflect the state of mind of the American people at the time of the ranking. This propensity for whimsey polls has been carried over to the equally American love of criticizing the government and the people in it, especially Presidents. maven just without delay has to turn on the television to watch spoofs about George W. Bush to get an idea of this. presidential ranking was begun by historian Arthur Schlesinger whom in 1948 polled 55 scholars. He took a sulphur poll in 1962 in which 34th president Dwight D. Eisenhower placed twenty-second, a pocketable over year after his second term of president. What is interesting to note that when son Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. , following in his fathers footsteps took an other(a)(prenominal) poll in 1996, Eisenhower placed 10th. Prior to this 1996 poll, other polls showed a s imilar tendency to advance Eisenhower in the presidential rankings, with 2000 C-SPAN Poll placing him at ninth place. (Watson and Berger) This paper will provide some insights into the come-at-able reasons for these shifts in opinions in the subject of Eisenhower from a historical perspective.I. Brief background on Eisenhower Dwight David Eisenhower, popularly referred to as Ike was born in Texas in 1890, the 3rd of s pull down boys. He was brought up in Abilene Kansas and was a atomic number 74 Point graduate who became stationed in Texas as a second lieutenant where he met and married Mamie geneva Doud. (Dwight D. Eisenhower) Ike was an excellent staff man, rapidly rising in the Army ranks under generals much(prenominal)(prenominal) as washstand J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, and Walter Krueger.His performance as supreme commander over the NATO forces in 1951 led to his nomination as commonwealth presidential candidate, with the slogan I like Ike leading him to the White put up. (Dwight D. Eisenhower) A successful soldier and soldiers leader, Ike nevertheless negotiated for peace whenever possible. The Cold War was escalating except he negotiated for better relations with the Soviet marriage ceremony from a position of military say-so, an effort undermined by the death of Stalin in 1953. In the same year, Ike sign a truce which rough armed peace in South Korea.In further efforts to catch up with with the Soviets, Ike invited Nikita Khrushchev to the Presidents Camp David retreat in Marylands Catoctin Mountains to discuss Khrushchevs demands for Western allies to get out of Berlin. Kruschchev did train to lift his ultimatum, which positive response was cut short in 1960 when the Russians shot down an American U-2 espy plane. (Eisenhower soldier of peace) It led to public humiliation for Ike, but it emphasized his desire to maintain dry land peace. He developed his atoms for peace program which was designed to develop uranium for peaceful use s.He in addition urged conservative military spending, pushing for enough military strength to ensure national security fleck monitoring potentially dangerous military spending policies. (Dwight D. Eisenhower) It was during his second term that he issue orders to mingle schools, a significant landmark in the civil rights movement, which was also carried out in the Armed Forces. He declared that There must be no second class citizens in this country. Ike was chronically ill, but he was a vigorous man and when he finally succumbed on March 28, 1969, he was roughly 80 years old.(Dwight D. Eisenhower) His popularity was such that he could have run for a third term if he wanted two and if the 22nd Amendment prevented him from doing so. (Eisenhower Soldier of Peace) II. Criticisms Despite his popularity during his two terms, Ike was constantly being criticized by political analysts for his middle-ground stance and was characterized as a caretaker president who did not really get much done. (Watson and Berger) In fact, in the 1970s Ikes presidency characterized as the Eisenhower doll You wind it up and it does nothing for 8 years. With the myopia of near history, many believed that Ike concentrated on keeping the status quo in military, neighborly and sparing issues. Of particular damage was his handling of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was condemned for his extreme anti-communist views and what is termed a witch hunt for Soviet spies within the government. (Ansary) I am convinced that the way for me to defeat Senator McCarthy is to ignore him, Eisenhower noted in a personal memoranda in April 1953. (Eisenhower soldier of peace) He was seen uninvolved and ineffective in the day-to-day running of the country.He often delegated such decisions to his aides and advisors and was widely considered to spend most of his days in pleasurable pursuits such as golf, social functions and vacations. Politically, he was aloof and he made no secret of the fact that he disli ked politics and politicians, and made many decisions which made him politically vulnerable. He once said that the only thing successful politicians had in common was that they married above themselves. (qtd. in Madonna and Young) The 1961 Time time article The Debits enumerated some of the specific issues.Ike was said to have been ineffectual to implement a workable elicit program, resulting in an annual $9 billion cost of price supports and food storage, from the $1. 5 billion at the end of Harry Trumans term. The tax policies were also criticized because Ike showed no interest in reforming outdated, piecemeal tax jurisprudences, preferring to concentrate on balancing the federal budget and reducing debt. His failure to promote the rule of law in his foreign policy and practical politics that would make him politically viable was also attacked.It is suggested that such criticisms stemmed from Ikes belief that in his dual role as spot of state (which unifies and symbolizes th e nation) and head of government (political decision maker), the former should be prominent while the latter should be hidden, a disposal course now referred to as the hidden hand presidency. (Madonna and Young) It also explained why in 1962, Ike ranked 22nd of 35 presidents despite his apparent popularity and military hero status. III. DiscussionThe up fightd revision on Ikes poll ranking may fountainhead be due to what is referred to as hindsight. Many of his policies made little sense to his contemporaries and the public during his two terms. However, later events proved that Ike was a man who was much than he appeared to be, and that his policies had a sound basis. Ike was first and foremost a military man. He realized from his campaigns that military eagerness was crucial to a nations security, and took great pains to ensure that the state of military strength during his presidency was adequate.However, he was also a staff man, so he was aware of the potential dangers ass ociated with get rid of military spending and took steps to ensure that there was balance between necessity and spending. His knowledge of war would also account for his efforts to avoid it breaking out as much as possible. As a soldier and campaign strategist, Ike had to deal with the casualties and collateral damages of war, and sought peace with justice (The Debits).He was unable to prevent the Cold War from escalating or the Cuban missile crisis that bore fruition in Kennedys term with such disastrous results, but he never stopped trying, an attitude which recent anti-war purview fully supports. Because he was a soldier, Ike probably loathed admitting physical weakness, but later accounts both from his personal memoirs and from other sources revealed that Ike suffered from several, severe health crises associated with gastrointestinal problems and heart disease.It was little known at the time, but Ikes health gave him a lot of trouble, and he was said to have suffered anywher e up to 7 cardiac episodes. However, because this was not widely known at the time, his recuperative periods were misinterpreted by his critics as part and parcel of his caretaker governing policy. In particular, his 12-day stay in the presidential retreat in Key West from December 28, 1955 to January 8, 1956 was illustrative of how lot could be grossly misleading. Far from being on a repairing lease, Ikes visitors and schedule showed how hard we worked even when he was supposed to be resting.(Madonna and Young Watson and Berger) It was this as well as other documentary grounds that was later revealed which showed how much more deeply Ikes hidden hand was in the various pies in political decision making and policy formulation, although his aim was to provide general policy guidelines than specific policies. Scholars now concede that Ike had a good grasp of most situations and made sound decisions that allowed him to keep his options open and in so far enabled him to act decisivel y when necessary. (Madonna and Young)It is well to consider as well that of the presidents three had great military reputations in actual war prior to ascending to the presidency and subsequently consistently ranked high in the polls. These were Washington, Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt. A fourth was Eisenhower, whose 1962 below average ranking was revised in later polls. This would attend to indicate that those who were great military prowess were likely to become good presidents when they are elected into office. term their styles of governing are widely divergent, they were all practical and sensible decision makers in times of crisis.(Schlesinger) In Ikes case, he chose to be relatively low profile in such decisions. potty doyen in his 2001 article Ranking presidents utter nonsense or useful analysis? points out that polls such as the ones undertaken by the Schlesingers were without any consistent basis for the criteria used by the surveyed scholars. Even with efforts to b ench mark the results, the results remain largely subjective and vague, making it difficult to provide comparisons within the polls as well as between polls. The fact that it was a survey of scholars it was by no means a expression of the general publics opinion of Ikes presidency.In fact, Ike was very popular when he unexpended office and retained the admiration of the public as a man of integrity, strength and modesty. (Dwight David Eisenhower) However, in the case of Dwight Eisenhower, existing documents and later events do seem to provide a basis for his rise in the polls. It may well be that the 1962 Schlesinger Sr. poll and the 1996 Schlesinger Jr. poll is an accurate reflection of the political and social climate of the respective time period. IV. Conclusion It has been said that one can miss the forest for the trees in retrospect, it seems clear now that Ikes politically unpopular centrist image was deliberate.It allowed him to move silently international from the limelig ht to make crucial policy and political decisions. Because he had projected himself as an ineffective president, he was able to put his policies forward without being targeted by his critics of being its author. Despite the criticisms, Ike retained his popularity, no interrogative as a result of his war record, his subsequent pacifist attitude as president and his widely known dislike of political posturing. In retrospect, he was more effective for his hidden hand style of governing than was initially suspected, as evidenced by the 1996 poll undertaken by Schlesinger Jr., considered a more accurate reflection than that of his fathers 1962 survey. Works Cited Dwight D. Eisenhower. The White House. 6 November 2007 http//www. whitehouse. gov/history/presidents/de34. html. Dwight David Eisenhower. Findarticles. 2005. 6 November 2007 http//findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_gx5221/is_2005/ai_n19136311/print. Eisenhower Soldier of Peace. Time. 4 April 1969. 6 November 2007 http//www. tim e. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,839998-9,00. html. Ikes Presidential Legacy. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. 6 November 2007 http//www. eisenhowermemorial. org/legacyreport/presidential-legacy.htm. The Debits. Time. com. 27 January 1961. 6 November 2007 http//www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,826765,00. html. Ansary, Tamin. Who Was the Greatest President? Encarta. MSN. com 2007. 6 November 2007 http//encarta. msn. com/encnet/features/columns/? article=greatestpresident. Dean, John Ranking presidents Utter Nonsense or Useful Analysis? FindLaw. 11 May 2001. 6 November 2007 http//writ. news. findlaw. com/ dean/20010511. html. Madonna, G. Terry Young, Michael. Why George Bush Should Like Ike. Real Clear Politics. 19 October 2007. 5 November 2007 http//www. realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/10/why_george_bush_should_like_ik. html. Murphy, Arthur. Evaluating the Presidents of the join States. Presidential Studies Quarterly 14 (1984) 117-126. Schlesinger, Arthur Jr . Rating the Presidents Washington to Clinton. Political Science Quarterly 11. 2 (Summer 1997) 179-90. Watson, Robert Berger, Dale. Reconsidering Ikes Health and Legacy A Surprising Lesson in Duty at the Little White House Residential Retreat. The Eisenhower Institute. Gettysburg College. 6 November 2007 http//www. eisenhowerinstitute. org/publications/opinions__editorials/Watson_Berger_Reconsidering. dot.