November 20th, 2012

Eisenhower As A Taoist Presodemt

I briefly listened to an interview on NPR this afternoon discussing a book on the Eisenhower presidency.  I think it might have been this one:  The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader: Fred I. Greenstein: 9780801849015: Books .    It occurred to me that the behavior of Eisenhower as President of the United States could have been modeled on advice from Lao Tse.

Don't advance an inch if you can retreat a foot.  Don't lose sight of your baqgage.  stay humble, fear war, don't show your hand.  Choose wise advisers, not people who already agree with you..  Do what needs to be done, then leave quietly.  Act with Modesty, moderation and compassion.  Of course, President Ike didn't always act like this, but he did so often enough to be, in retrospect, pretty impressive.  I haven't figured out how one can be compassionate and ruthless at the same time; its a Taoist trick.  If i catch on to it, i'll let you know.