Was General Eisenhower a communist sympathizer

United States

Jakob Schissler

To person

Dr. phil. habil., born 1940; Political scientist and Americanist, lecturer at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt / Main, Sauvo / Finland.
Email: [email protected]

The endurance test for George W. Bush came with the fight against terrorism. A simple enemy image and a decision-making that relied on hardship came into play.


Often the American presidencies are judged by the style of administration. Whether they were active or passive, whether they were open or suspicious: Such typifications have only limited expressiveness, but they can shed light on an essential aspect of American politics. No presidency since that of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt has been privileged enough to make its mark on American society or history through presidential decisions alone. Roosevelt, too, was not able to pursue a consistent policy until the beginning of the war, through which the USA rose to become both a military and an economic power of a unique standing in the world.

President George W. Bush graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. It would therefore be assumed that, as President, he would have attached great importance to the organization of an institution. In the field of politics, this would also mean that the President, as the highest decision-maker, would have let the policy proposals of his staff have an impact on him very precisely. But his management style was based on its own principles. In addition, on September 11, 2001, a situation arose for him in which he only felt safe when the decisions as president took his values ​​into account. These consist primarily of strong moral ideas about justice and freedom. The level of morality was additionally supported by religious principles, standing in a certain tradition of American political culture. In the Global War on Terror, Bush not only did not listen to the CIA, he also tried to put the security service under pressure so that its fact findings could be adapted to his image of the war. Bush did not lead the administration in a concise manner as an MBA graduate, rather it is striking that he hardly resorted to the expertise of his ministries and staff, that he kept his advisory group unusually small and that he tried to make presidential decisions on the basis of principled moral and religious convictions to fell. In terms of type, it was an extremely suspicious presidency.

In order to outline the styles of presidential politics in the postwar period, it is necessary to go back to the time of Roosevelt's presidency. When he died in April 1945, this ended with general uncertainty among the population: the USA stood there as a towering world power, but did not know how to use it. The coalition in the war against Germany lost its power of definition. Above all, the partner in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, suddenly appeared overwhelming and equipped with a hostile ideology aimed at world domination. Should the world become communist? Didn't the US look a bit socialist too? Where had the American values ​​of freedom, market economy, and democratic separation of powers gone? Roosevelt's successor Harry Truman understood the crisis in the same way as his compatriots. Under the influence of the future Foreign Minister Dean Acheson, he developed a different approach towards the Soviet Union. This was no longer perceived as a partner who in a certain way was entitled to his war profit in Eastern Europe, but as an opponent to whom one could no longer surrender a millimeter of land and whose ideology one should fight sharply in the name of democratic freedoms.

But the Democrat Truman and his administration were lost. The Republican Party sniffed the morning air. The New Deal had triumphed long enough; most recently as a strong organizational force to wage the war against Japan and the German Empire. Now one could suggest to the population that this was not only a successful but also a problematic policy. The campaign was systematic; the fear of communism turned out to be an election campaign hit. In 1946 the Republicans won a majority in Congress for two years. A confident Congress reviled President Truman as a failure.

In this situation, Truman and Acheson wanted, with the help of Winston Churchill (the British Prime Minister had coined the term "iron curtain" which had fallen in Europe) and by taking sides against the communists in the Greek civil war, to maintain the opinion leadership in the global struggle against communism . But Truman and his administration failed to maintain the legitimacy of the New Deal-era staff. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular, was suspected of secretly colluding with communism.

Aside from McCarthyism, it should be noted that the Republican Party, which had increasingly accepted the basic features of the New Deal in the 1930s and during the World War, now fell into a new aggressiveness. The people in the country were frightened, conspiracies and treason were uncovered everywhere - unfortunately also actual ones. A new defense organization, the joint defense ministry in the Pentagon, was created and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) brought into being to openly and covertly take action against world communism all over the world.