Nearly seven decades ago, when I was still a youngster, Americans learned Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a vaccine that could prevent polio.
I was too young, then, to know the significance of that life-saving vaccine and I was also too young to realize how devastating Polio had been to so many young people. It affected so many families during the first decade after World War II had ended.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a general in that world war, was elected our new president and served eight years (1952-60), a time I grew from a young boy to a teenager.
Eisenhower replaced Harry S. Truman in the White House. Truman had become president after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt and then won the election in 1948.
Eisenhower, of course, was married to Mamie (Dowd) Eisenhower, of Boone. The Eisenhowers visited Boone several times in those years. If one of those visits occurred on a school day, teachers at the old Alleman school would take kids out of class and walk the half mile down to Highway 69.
There we’d fan out in the parking areas of businesses and offer friendly waves and shout “Hi, Mr. President” to the limousine and the armed escort vehicles as they passed.
Naturally, it was dark and I don’t recall ever really seeing Mr. Eisenhower as he passed. Still it’s a memory etched in my mind and one I’ll not forget.
I remember the hullabaloo surrounding the candidacy of John F. Kennedy as the decade waned. The country had never before elected a man of Roman Catholic faith. That became a campaign issue, one that I didn’t understand.
Kennedy, of course, was elected, beating Richard M. Nixon that year. Nixon later became president and was the first man in history to vacate the presidency because of scandal.
Many men have served this country well from the White House.
Each of them talked to the nation in presidential tones, befitting the highest office in our United States.
We have a man faced with a new crisis. It’s called “coronavirus” and it’s sweeping around the globe in rapid fashion.
We have come to expect words of comfort, words of truth, to come from our nation’s leaders, especially from the man who occupies the highest seat in our nation.
Instead, we hear an angry diatribe, a man who chastises those he sees as his “enemies” and who has offered little leadership in our time of need.
We should have seen this coming. Donald Trump was nothing more than a late-night show guest who always said things that would irritate people who had a soul and who had compassion and who had a conscience.
Even during his campaign, he mocked anyone who opposed him. I’ll never forget that image of then candidate Trump standing before cameras and mocking a crippled man.
This man, without compassion, nonetheless became the savior of the Republican Party.
Christians around the nation refuse to look at Donald Trump as the man he is. They insist on looking at him as something of a Godsend, a man who was handed a Supreme Court nomination because of deliberate inaction by a Republican-controlled Senate that refused to vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland, even though he was nominated by President Barrack Obama in March, eight months before the next Presidential Election.
Donald Trump, of course, rewarded those senators with a conservative appointment.
Apparently, that’s good enough for right-wing fanatics.
This man, who has mocked the physically impaired, who has slept with many women, who has cheated small business owners all his life, who has owned multiple failed businesses, who enters a church only when it is politically favorable to do so, who refuses to show us his tax returns (my God, he must be hiding something really big there), and who tramples on the Constitution continually, is still the God child of most Bible totin’, Gospel preachin’ folks in this land.
Well, folks, I, too, have studied the Bible.
I believe every one of us is a sinner. I believe, though, that we can all have salvation. All we have to do is get down on our knees and ask for it. We have to believe it, but it’s there for our asking.
My fear is for those who believe Donald Trump is some kind of a “savior.”
Bill Haglund is a retired writer for the Boone News-Republican and Dallas County News and can be reached at email@example.com.