By Steven R. Maher
If the Republican Party has one modern idol, it’s Ronald Reagan. Listening to Republicans talk about Reagan is like hearing teenagers swoon about their first love. But if there’s a Republican President the party should be praying to reappear, it’s the 34th President, Dwight David Eisenhower. The World War II commander in the European theater, it was Eisenhower who led the Republicans out of the wilderness into which the Great Depression had cast them.
Eisenhower was President from January 1953 to January 1961. Eisenhower ended the Korean War, balanced the federal budget, and kept the country out of any wars. While many of his contemporaries viewed Eisenhower as a mediocrity, after the turmoil of the 1960s the Eisenhower era was seen as a period of prosperity. This was exemplified by the 1970s TV show “Happy Days,” in which the 1950s were depicted as a happy interregnum of peacetime affluence and contentment.