The granddaughter of the late Dwight D. Eisenhower, general of the U.S. Army and president of the United States, has decided to support Senator Barack Obama in this year's presidential election.
Her decision to leave the Republican Party did not come easy. But the reasons were compelling. Most had to do with the mess that Bush and the neocons have made of their opportunity to lead the nation.
Ms. Eisenhower says that "McCain and [the] Bush White House have learned little in the last five years. They mishandled what became a crisis in the Caucusus, and this has undermined U.S. national security. At the same time, the McCain camp appears to be comfortable with running an unworthy Karl Rove-style political campaign."
Then she asks the pertinent question: "Will the McCain operation, and its sponsors, do anything to win?"
Ms. Eisenhower expresses the concerns tearing at the hearts of millions of Americans. "We are disliked overseas and feel insecure at home. We watch as our federal budget hemorrhages red ink and our civil liberties are eroded. Crises in energy, health care and education threaten our way of life and our ability to compete internationally. There are also the issues of a costly, unpopular war; a long-neglected infrastructure, and an aging and increasingly needy population."
Today's Republican Party, says Ms. Eisenhower, has been "[H]ijacked by a relatively small few ... [and] bears no resemblance to Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower's party, or many of the other Republican administrations that came after. In my grandparent's time, the thrust of the party was rooted in: a respect for the constitution; the defense of civil liberties; a commitment to fiscal responsibility; the pursuit and stewardship of America's interests abroad; the use of multilateral international engagement and 'soft power'; the advancement of civil rights; investment in the infrastructure; environmental stewardship; the promotion of science and its discoveries; and a philosophical approach focused squarely on the future."
By so saying, of course, she implies clearly that today's Republican Party is devoid of all of those characteristics, an empty and vapid shell of its former self.
While I believe Ms. Eisenhower's view of "old" Republicanism is seen through too "rosy" glasses and also fails to consider how the rabid religious insanity of the Christian Right has impacted the Republican Party, she certainly lays out a view as to how things ought to be, a view which has been systematically rejected in every instance by Bush and company!
Ms. Eisenhower has announced her support for the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. "I am convinced," she says, "that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation's impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded."
I couldn't have said it better myself!
(Some of the material for this essay was taken from a Washington Post article which you can read here.)