Is Donald Trump Anything Like Dwight Eisenhower?

The Iowa Caucus is around the corner and the race between GOP front runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is tightening up. Some polls place Trump ahead and others give Cruz a narrow lead.

Keep in mind that poll results are determined by how and where they are conducted. Some are designed to target certain groups which obviously skew the results.

Yet a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports released on January 25, 2016, conveys:

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“48% of GOP Voters Prefer A Candidate Without Political Experience.”

According to this latest Rasmussen poll, 48 percent of likely Republican voters said they would prefer a presidential candidate that has no political experience with 34 percent of them preferring a candidate with political experience. Rasmussen noted that when the same question was asked in 2011, only 41 percent of GOP likely voters preferred a presidential candidate with no political experience.

Democrats didn’t share the same welcoming feelings towards political newcomers as 71 percent of them preferred a presidential candidate with prior political experience over those with no experience. (I can’t help but wonder if that’s because they don’t have anyone running on the Democratic ticket that doesn’t have political experience.)

When asking voters who do not identify with either major political party, 49 percent preferred experience over no experience.

Grouping the three demographics together, it yielded that 53 percent of all likely voters prefer a presidential candidate with prior political experience over one without any prior experience, but that was largely skewed by the Democratic demographic.

Interestingly, several news commentators have suggested that the GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s popularity is due to the fact that he is not a career politician. And this Rasmussen Poll evidences this. However, another person on the program compared Trump to our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was the last candidate with no political experience to be elected president. But are they similar?

Trump’s parents owned a real estate company and encouraged him to stay in the same business. He did so with a passion and eventually built his billion dollar empire. Many claim Trump eliminated the “little guy” sometimes using eminent domain to acquire property he otherwise would not have been able to legally take. In fact National Review wrote an expose on Donald Trump, eminent domain, and the Fifth Amendment.  land and homes from average people who didn’t have the money and power Trump had.

Eisenhower’s family owned a general store in Kansas in the 1880s but the store failed and his parents went broke. They moved from Kansas to Texas where Dwight was born in 1890. At the age of 2, his family moved back to Kansas. Growing up, young Dwight developed a love for the military by reading history books. His family life consisted of a strict regimen which included chores and family Bible reading that took place at breakfast and dinner.

His family didn’t have the money to send the Eisenhower boys to college so, Dwight and his brother Edgar agreed to take turns attending college. One would go to school and the other would work to earn the money for school. Edgar ended up attending a second year. During that year, one of his friends had applied to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, so Edgar urged Dwight to do the same so he applied to both Annapolis and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with the help of Senator Joseph Bristow. Ike went to West Point in 1911.

Dwight spent the rest of his life serving his country in the Army, working his way up from a First Lieutenant in 1916 to Brigadier General in September 1941, several months before the start of World War Two. His leadership skills shined during the war and by December 1944, Dwight D. Eisenhower was promoted to General of the Army, a rank signified with 5 silver stars.

In 1952, Eisenhower was pressed to run for the Republican presidential nomination. One of the big concerns at the time was the Korean War which had been ongoing for the past two years. Eisenhower’s military record won him the nomination and a landslide victory over his Democratic challenger Adlai Stevenson.

One of the key factors in Eisenhower’s military training and career was taking responsibility for the people under his command, a responsibility he took seriously.

Conversely, many argue Trump built his real estate empire at the cost of other people. He also looked out for himself more than those under him, as many claimed on his reality television show, The Apprentice.

When comparing their character, goals, and accomplishments, it remains to be seen if Trump and Eisenhower are anything alike. Is the comparison only superficial at best? And is Trump winning the White House a possibility?

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