Department Of Health Education And Welfare

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

The Republican Party Advocating The End Of National Commitment To Education Standards: A Tragedy!

The Republican Party has declared war on the US Department of Education, and in so doing, will doom American education for the long term, if they are successful in winning power, and succeed in abolishing a department first started under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as part of a larger cabinet agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1953, and created separately in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter.

When Ronald Reagan came to the Presidency, he was dedicated to the abolition of the department, but dropped the idea, but it has come under attack ever since.

The attack on the Department of Education, advocated by Republicans who wish to allow states and local districts to control education without oversight, would bring about an education system which would promote mediocrity in educational offerings in poor districts, making victims of economically disadvantaged students and disabled students.

If there are to be funds coming from the national government, and higher standards of educational attainment and greater accountability demanded, then local control will not work, as historically, no matter how many complaints there are about the national government, the corruption and incompetence of state and local governments in much of the nation is notoriously scandalous!

That is why we were caught off guard in the 1950s, when the Soviet Union was first in space, and made us aware of the need for federal involvement and investment in education at all levels, leading to the National Defense Education Act of 1958.

Not only is it essential to provide for poor, minority and disabled students, but also if Pell grants are ended, it will destroy the idea of advancing educational opportunity for low income college students, which can lead to a better economic future for them and their families.

So despite Michele Bachmann specifically calling for the total closing of the Education Department, and in fact because of the very obvious ignorance she displays in her own educational experience, federal involvement in education MUST continue unabated!