Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | June 6, 2014

D-Day: Three presidents, one of the great battles of history, and the heart and task of a nation


Landing at Utah Beach, June 1944. (US National Archives via

Landing at Utah Beach, June 1944. (US National Archives via

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!


  1. Amen.

    Again, J.E., this is both well thought out and well written. You should be the President’s speech writer. He could learn something from you.

    Apropo of that subject, you know there is a common fallacy. “If only I could think well, I would be able to write.” It is the other way around. It is clear writing which brings clarity of thought.

    For that reason, let me caution you. Watch those metaphors ! Master them, and do not let them master you !

    But on to substance. D-Day. It is a great story in so many ways. It deserves being retold the way you have.

    There is far more than I can run down in all of this. You go off in too many directions. So let me pick up on just one thing that you said. It is this:

    “Every few generations, Americans have embarked on an epic enterprise of breathtaking daring: the kind of enterprise a society of complacent busybodies, one that obsesses over “hate speech” and salt content, would call crazy or irresponsible.”

    Good oratory, better than President Obama’s. But false. The problem is that every few generations, Americans do no embark on epic enterprises, breathtaking or not; and they should. I think that is what you are saying in a rhetorical fashion.

    President Eisenhower saw to it that the Interstate Highway System was built, and most of it was, in about seven years. (During the 1920’s he oversaw the building of the “Lincoln Highway” from St. Louis to Los Angeles..)

    For better or worse, we are the nation we are today because of the Interstate Highway System. We have Eisenhower to thank for that, more than for Victory in Europe in WWII, over which he merely presided. (He would admit as much for he was not vain.)

    I for one, would like to see that Nation change. I would like to see it undertake such a new enterprise. What I would like to see it build is a high-speed passenger rail network from coast to coast, extensive as the Interstate highway system. That would change the character of the nation. That would put it to work. That would require investment in ourselves as a Nation. And that would alter all the equations underlying the social conditions of which you speak in this address to the Nation.

    Are you with me on this ?

    Of course, I am aware than Governor Brown, whose father was Governor, and I think, a good friend of Eisenhower, is having a very hard time just getting one very important piece of such a system built, by the great “Nation” of California. (Of which, by the way, I am native.)

    Oh, woe, alas, and alack. Does politics as we know it rear its ugly head once more ? It seems that the California Supreme Court has decided that the State of California can not get started on such a project, or proceed with it, by issuing bonds. Why ? Because the Court said the Governor failed to show from where all of the money for it would come. So says the Court: “We will not let you start, unless you prove to us you have all the money you need for the project lined up”.

    Really, now. If Eisenhower had faced such a challenge from the Warren Court, the Interstate Highway System would never have been built. But then of course, that would have been a preposterous notion, like a blue Unicorn.

    I was born in California on the day President Eisenhower took office. I was baptized by Dr. Roy Brown, army chaplain and survivor of the Bataan Death March. And I say let’s do it.

    P.S. Recommended reading: “Foreign Policy Begins at Home”; Richard N. Haass, Ph.D.

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