By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
EISENHOWER STATE PARK, Texas — There are times when our retirement journey intersects with current events.
It happened when we returned to a place near the birthplace of one of this nation’s greatest statesmen, military heroes … and politicians.
Dwight David Eisenhower was born just down the road from where we parked our fifth wheel. You recall the nation’s 34th president, yes? He graduated from West Point, served in the Army where along the way he took command of Allied forces in Europe during World War II and helped defeat the 20th century’s most despotic tyrant. He retired from the Army and then decided he would run for public office: the presidency.
He won election in 1952 and re-election in 1956. President Eisenhower wasn’t a natural politician, but he declared himself to be a Republican because he believed in the party’s basic principles.
He would be infuriated today at the behavior of the party he left behind. The party has become an organization he likely wouldn’t recognize. It has become the playground of one man, Donald Trump, who in a strange found his way to the presidency in a somewhat parallel path as the great man, Dwight Eisenhower. Trump hadn’t sought public office, either, before launching his presidential bid.
The similarity ends there.
Ike did things, such as launch an interstate highway construction program that revolutionized our way of life. Trump? Well, he hurled invective at his foes, at the media and finally at the government he took an oath to protect.
Our retirement journey is meant to remove us from from the hassles and headaches of the headlines. Sometimes, though, there can be no escape … such as when we venture to a park named after one of America’s greatest Republicans.
Yep, I do like Ike.