Dear Mr. Grosvenor,
I am an Eisenhower-Reagan historian and offer a different perspective on Susan Eisenhower's characterization in your recent October 2020 issue of American Heritage of Eisenhower as a "moderate."
After a spring 1962 GOP marketing-strategy meeting held at his Gettysburg farm, Eisenhower created a GOP publicity recording entitled, "Mr. Lincoln's Party Today." This recording was lost to history until I discovered it during my research for my Eisenhower-Reagan book below.
After being introduced by brand-new Republican Ronald Reagan, former president Eisenhower explained his most deeply-held basic political philosophy:
Looking back upon the years of the massive growth of the federal bureaucracy under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, conservative Eisenhower added:
Starting four years later, Eisenhower began privately mentoring Reagan on domestic politics and world affairs, and one can understand that the origins of Reagan's core belief in small government partially began with Eisenhower concise conservative philosophy espoused above. In fact, in an October, 1967 interview on William F. Buckley's Firing Line, Governor Reagan--running a 22-month long first campaign for the presidency--was asked why Eisenhower had not downsized the federal government.
Immediately, Reagan came to his mentor Eisenhower's defense. Reagan explained that for six of Ike's eight years as president, Congress was controlled by the Democrats, yet Eisenhower was able to make effective use of many presidential vetoes to stop further governmental expansion.
Dwight Eisenhower was quite proud of the conservative, small government goals he had forged and would be quite proud that his conservative Republican political heirs have followed.
Author of Reagan's 1968 Dress Rehearsal: Ike, RFK, and Reagan's Emergence as a World Statesman