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Gene Kopelson: "Ike and Dutch: the Mentorship That Changed the World" - 1/22

Gene Kopelson: "Ike and Dutch: the Mentorship That Changed the World"

Here's some of what you missed? Highlights from Gene Kopelson at TPM Jan 22

  • Gene began with a segment from a 1962 LP recording, “Mr. Lincoln’s Party Today.” A famous actor was chosen to narrate the record: Ronald Reagan. The LP stresses Republican themes of individual freedom; small government; and an inclusive, wide tent. Hear it:
  • In the early 60s Reagan became a Republican for Dwight Eisenhower and Eisenhower began his mentorship of Reagan.
  • Reagan gave his famous speech, “A Time for Choosing,” in 1964, supporting Barry Goldwater.
  • After the speech a Michigan group formed the first Reagan-for-President club
  • Ike’s themes show up in Reagan’s campaigns and speeches, such as “common sense solutions,” and “citizen-politician.”
  • Reagan was elected California’s governor in 1966 and 1970.
  • In 1967 Eisenhower says he will endorse Reagan for president if he is the GOP nominee.
  • In 1968 Eisenhower proposed hosting a luncheon for all prospective 1968 Republican presidential candidates, including Reagan.
  • Reagan’s position on Vietnam mirrored Ike’s: hot pursuit, no halt in bombings, threaten atomic weapons.
  • Few today know that in the 1960s Reagan was discussing world affairs and standing firm against communism!
  • Reagan’s words in 1967 about use of atomic weapons in Vietnam: “I still repeat what President Eisenhower said…perhaps one of our greatest mistakes…was in assuring the enemy in advance of our intention not to use (atomic weapons)—that the enemy should still be frightened that we might.”
  • The Tet Offensive, a major military disaster for the Vietcong was portrayed in US media, especially by CBS’ leftist Walter Cronkite, as a major US defeat. This “handed the communists a tremendous psychological victory.” Reagan was “deeply ashamed” of this and then President Johnson’s handling of the war.
  • Reagan said in 1968 of Vietnam that “with a sudden surge and thrust of power the war would be over.”
  • Did you know that in 1967-68 Reagan made multiple calls to “tear down the Berlin wall”?
  • Did you know who first said MAGA? A 1980 Reagan for President poster reads, “Let’s make America great again.”
  • Kopelson showed many similarities between Ike, Reagan—and Trump: They were outsiders entering politics late in life, used the “common sense” campaign theme, made direct appeals to minorities for votes, stressed “don’t show your cards to America’s enemies,” and suffered relentless attacks by liberal media.
  • Ike, Reagan and Trump: Plan a bold offensive and DON’T show your cards: Two years ago, in his third campaign debate with Clinton, Trump said, “On her website she lists the steps she’ll take in the Middle East. I’m not gonna do that. Don’t tell your enemies—let them find out.”
  • Hear Gene’s talks and find out more at
Event Date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 6:00pm

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