Patton in Korea/MacArthur in the White House

Holy shit, BNC you honestly made me turn my view on him quite a bit. I always thought MacArthur was a bit of a dramatic and trigger happy man but your response made me really open my eyes and see how different he was compared to what I thought he was. Just an absolute brilliant response!
 
This is an amazing response and a brilliant way to view MacArthur imo. I've always been deeply interested in MacArthur for some reason, and I would agree with @Bob in Pittsburgh if the claim was simply that Eisenhower was a better president than Mac would be. However I think a lot of the "disaster" talk is a result of what seems to have been a very successful smear carried out over the years against the man, and I don't really understand why. Your response here is the best summary of MacArthur's worldview that I've ever seen.
BNC, that was an absolutely eye opening post. After so many years of "Dugout Doug" bashing here, this whole TL has been very refreshing. Well done on the 21' Turtledoves!
Holy shit, BNC you honestly made me turn my view on him quite a bit. I always thought MacArthur was a bit of a dramatic and trigger happy man but your response made me really open my eyes and see how different he was compared to what I thought he was. Just an absolute brilliant response!
Wow, thanks for the kind words, really means a lot :angel:.

About Korea I think that would seem probable that the next years/decades would be spent in a deep national rebuilding/pacification process, thus seems probably that would put their focus inward and except if forced otherwise would take a nearly isolationist stance in foreign affairs...
Agreed.

Also, I would guess that the Patton dead would be mourned greatly in Korea and that its figure even if a foreigner would be akin to the of a national hero...
There's a rather interesting quote said by Marshall Blamey about MacArthur sometime during WW2: "The best and the worst things you hear about him are both true." I'd have to say it applies just as well to Patton.
I'd prefer not to comment on whether or not Patton is seen as a hero in Korea (sure, there's always the respect for the death of a public figure, but after that), mostly because I'd prefer the audience be given the chance to make that decision for yourselves. History is never so simple as 'good person vs bad person*', nor should it be. I've tried my best to show Patton and now MacArthur as the very flawed characters they were, everything after that is up to interpretation - just because I happen to have a high opinion of Patton, doesn't mean you necessarily have to :)

- BNC

*= outside of a few utterly monstrous figures of course. You know who they are ;)
 
Part V, Chapter 33 New
PART V: PRESIDENT

CHAPTER 33


January 20, 1953

President-elect Douglas MacArthur could think of no greater honour. Here he stood, on the East Portico of the Capitol, Jean holding a Bible by his side. Out in the distance, untold thousands of people had come to witness this historic event, and many more would see it on television or hear it on the radio. Chief Justice Vinson asked if he was ready, and when he responded affirmatively, he said “raise your right hand” and began to administer the hallowed oath:

“I, Douglas MacArthur, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.”

“Congratulations, Mr President.” Vinson said. And with that, it was official. The crowd roared in approval.

***

Once inaugurated, the new President moved quickly to assert his authority. The first order of business was to put his cabinet nominations approved by the Senate. MacArthur had decided on all of the men he wanted in the top positions months ago, and with the exception of a couple of rearrangements the list had been final by Election Day. The Senate, split straight down the middle after the recent elections, was expected to confirm all of them without issue. Majority Leader Knowland was an ardent MacArthur supporter, and it was rare for presidential appointments to be challenged besides. Knowland had been given an envelope the day before the inauguration. It contained a single sheet from the legal pad, signed by MacArthur and listing who would go where.

State - Henry Luce
Treasury - Phil LaFollette
Defence - Bill Allen
Attorney Gen - Dick Nixon
Commerce - Robert E Wood
Labour - Courtney Whitney
FSA Administrator - Frederick Ayer
Budget Director - Joseph Dodge
CIA - Charles Willoughby
UN Ambassador - Ike


MacArthur’s critics had been using the image of him ruling the United States as a military governor, or worse a dictator, ever since he announced he would seek the Presidency. His commitment to serving the Constitution had never wavered, and he had no intention of doing as they claimed, but the image remained dangerous nonetheless.
Thus, he had decided long ago that the four top cabinet spots would all go to civilians. Luce and LaFollette had both been vital parts of his campaign, and it was natural that they would be rewarded with two of the top jobs. Luce had been floated as an option for State when Willkie had run in 1940, and MacArthur had no intention of giving the job to the otherwise obvious candidate John Foster Dulles, so the decision was easily made. Richard Nixon was someone that MacArthur had only recently met, but he looked to be a rising star in the party and MacArthur could see no immediate reason to object to the party suggestion. The Senate raised questions over a potential conflict of interest considering Allen’s recent time at Boeing, but the former CEO had already sold his share of the company and his good character convinced the Senate to approve him with a strong majority.
Five men from the Army would get important roles in the incoming administration. MacArthur trusted them wholeheartedly, and believed they would be best placed in jobs similar to those they held in Tokyo. Whitney had managed civil affairs, and as MacArthur was hoping to achieve labour reform he believed that to be the most suitable portfolio. Willoughby had already taken a job with the CIA and had been MacArthur’s source of intelligence information since 1939, while Dodge had been his financial advisor for the last four years. Eisenhower hadn’t been part of the MacArthur headquarters for over a decade, but MacArthur felt that as Eisenhower had almost single-handedly put him in the White House, it was only fair that Ike get any job he desired in the new administration. Ike thought his skills would be best used in the United Nations, and the Senate agreed.

The fifth Army man was someone the Senate had no say over: Ned Almond, who MacArthur appointed as his Chief of Staff. Truman had called John Steelman his Assistant to the President, but MacArthur was quick to replace it with the title he had used in Japan. Almond was no mere assistant. Taking orders only from MacArthur himself, Almond reprised his role as the unofficial second in command.
Just as he had in Tokyo, Almond would control access to MacArthur. No-one but Charles Willoughby saw the President without Almond’s approval, an approval that would largely depend on the person having a sufficiently high opinion of one Douglas MacArthur. No criticism of the President was to ever reach his ears. Almond’s fearsome, uncompromising presence in the office that had once been used by Truman’s secretaries, would make sure of that. In Washington, as in Tokyo, Almond was the gatekeeper.
The Oval Office, too, would be run by the rules used in Tokyo. Cabinet meetings would be rare occasions: when MacArthur sought information, typed or written memoranda were what would reach his desk. An invitation to MacArthur’s office was an invitation to one of his performances: he talked and you listened. His decision, once made, was final. Being president meant being in charge, and MacArthur had being in charge down to a fine art.
All of this, unsurprisingly, created an atmosphere of sycophancy. MacArthur was not interested in being surrounded with advisors who offered different opinions. He had chosen loyalists who agreed with his own views. No-one had lasted long in the Dai Ichi without a minimum level of admiration for MacArthur, and he had picked his followers carefully. This time would be no different. Henry Luce had been a believer in the MacArthur cause for at least a decade, and the rest of the cabinet was quickly discovering the procedure, with some even going so far as to address MacArthur not as “Mr President”, but as “sir”.

One prominent member of the administration who had no interest in falling into line was longtime boss of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover. Hoover had run the FBI like his own private empire since he founded it nearly three decades earlier. Having accumulated the secrets of every important figure in Washington and a good many outside as well, Hoover had bullied and intimidated his way into power, power that he held by promising every new administration that he would ruin them if they challenged him. FDR and Truman had not dared challenge his fierce independence, and Hoover was sure he could browbeat MacArthur the same way.
Waiting for Almond to retire for the night, Hoover invited himself into the Oval Office. MacArthur, who was reviewing the federal budget at the time, simply stated “You do not have an appointment.” An appointment that Almond had orders not to give.
Undeterred, Hoover explained “how matters were handled” by the previous administrations, and his desire to have them continue, along with the threats of what would happen if they did not. “I’m sure you wouldn’t like that to happen, would you, Mr President, would you?” he finished.
MacArthur was no stranger to threats. He had faced down the entire nation of Japan when he arrived there - unescorted - in September 1945, faced them down and come out on top. He already knew of Hoover’s power, ironically enough it had been Herbert Hoover who had first brought the matter to his attention about a month ago. He had already decided that he would tolerate the FBI boss, for now at least. The last thing the new administration needed in its earliest days was a scandal. So he said flatly, “Mr Hoover, in this administration there are procedures. You are subordinate to my attorney general, Mr Nixon, and you are to raise any Bureau concerns with him. If you require my time, speak with Ned, and he can arrange an appointment for a suitable time.” Now get out wasn’t spoken, but it did not need to be. The president’s tone said it all. MacArthur was furious. Hoover had better watch himself, and play by the new rules, or the former general would get rid of him, threats or not.

If Hoover needed any further warning, he needed only look at what had already happened to one prominent official who had made himself an opponent of MacArthur. That opponent’s name was John Foster Dulles, and he was widely considered to be one of the top foreign policy experts in the country. A committed Republican, he had been the heir apparent for the position of Secretary of State should the GOP win in 1952, and he had many influential supporters backing him.
What he did not have was a suitably high opinion of President MacArthur. Throughout the Korean War, State had constantly imposed restrictions on his authority, making the war more difficult to fight than it had needed to be. Dulles, on Truman’s orders, had then been sent to negotiate with the Red Chinese when the war wound down, cutting the victorious general out of any part of the peace negotiations. It was a slight that had never, and would never, be forgotten.
MacArthur had quickly realised that he had to tread carefully with John Foster Dulles. The 83rd Congress was split even in the Senate, and offered only a razor-thin Republican advantage in the House of Representatives, so he could not afford to lose votes early on. The Party would understand him not appointing Dulles to the State role, Luce had been one of his most important allies during the campaign, but if he unceremoniously sacked Dulles, there would doubtless be trouble. The solution he came up with would be to send Dulles to Canberra, where he could serve as the Ambassador to Australia. The Australians had played a vital role in MacArthur’s campaign across the Pacific, and remained a steadfast ally of the United States. The position had prestige, but nothing more. If there was an urgent diplomatic matter to attend to, MacArthur would attend to it himself, and any crisis wasn’t terribly likely to come from Canberra anyway. As far as the President was concerned, Dulles would be gone for good.

MacArthur would also be quick to impose himself on the White House itself. The building had undergone a major renovation during Truman’s first term, with work being finished only weeks before the Korean War broke out. Truman had decorated it as he saw fit once he moved back in, and if there was one person MacArthur did not wish to be associated with, it was Harry Truman.
First to go was the ‘The Buck Stops Here’ nameplate. The buck did not stop at the Resolute Desk, and the man behind it, during the MacArthur administration. Credit for victory presented itself solely to MacArthur, blame for defeat was a problem for someone, anyone, else. Truman had left it behind as a parting gift for his successor: MacArthur had it shipped back off to Missouri. In its place, the Resolute Desk would be home to three ashtrays, ‘In’ and ‘Out’ boxes that would rarely hold papers, a legal pad, and a picture of MacArthur’s father. The legal pad was brand new, everything else had come with him from Tokyo.
Paintings, too, would be replaced. Truman had given Franklin Roosevelt’s portrait pride of place, MacArthur had it swapped out for Theodore. Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington would also receive prominent places. Herbert Hoover would have taken Washington’s spot, but the Special Advisor believed it would be inappropriate to display the picture of a current administration official. When it came to MacArthur’s attention that Patton had hung a portrait of himself in several Eighth Army headquarters, he tasked Frederick Ayer Jr with finding the painting. The late general had played no small part in getting him into office, and his contribution would not be forgotten. A spot would be found for Patton too.
Finally, the telephone on the Resolute Desk had to go. MacArthur had never liked the devices, far too often they reminded him of how his hearing was failing him. His father had coped just fine with plain old letters, and he would do the same. He had done the same, with no telephone ever being installed in his Dai Ichi office. If someone needed to reach the White House by phone, they could speak to Almond. The procedure would not change just because someone couldn’t be bothered to come to Washington. Not on MacArthur’s watch it wouldn’t.

- BNC
 
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Now get out wasn’t spoken, but it did not need to be. The president’s tone said it all. MacArthur was furious. Hoover had better watch himself, and play by the new rules, or the former general would get rid of him, threats or not.

*snort.*

My money is on Hoover wining this fight.
There is a reason he was an administration boogeyman. His backup plans have backup plans and he knows where every skeleton is buried. EVen if you want to argue that MacArthur is a total outsider, he still knows shit.
 
An excellent summary of why MacArthur's Presidency will be a disaster. I reckon he and his crew of inept sycophants might cock this up so badly that their successors pass a constitutional amendment banning ex-military officer from serving in high office, just to make sure it never happens again.
 
Where to start with this one....?

'He wanted to bomb China' has become a meme. A meme with some basis in reality, yes, but a meme. The truth is more complicated. First, MacArthur didn't actually advocate for Truman to use nukes on the Chinese while he was commanding the UN forces. The underlined part is important here: it isn't a policy he came up with as a way that he would have won the war. Per MacArthur's War by Stanley Weintraub (p263-4), he had requested the Pentagon grant him a commander's discretion over the nukes, to be used "only to prevent or protect the ultimate fallback" (and in his other discussions with Truman and others, wasn't keen on its use even then*). Weintraub also makes the point that the 'radioactive belt along the Yalu' idea first came from Al Gore Sr, Mac just pinched the idea in a memo to Eisenhower... in December 1952. By that point he was (understandably) quite frustrated about being cut out entirely from the ongoing discussions about Korea, and lashed out with something extravagant that he probably wasn't entirely serious about**.
*= Re this, I'll point you to the speech he made on the Missouri at the time of the Japanese surrender. "We have had our last chance" and "Armageddon will be at our door" are not the sorts of things said by someone who was as nuke happy as MacArthur is often popularly described.
**= I believe this 'lashing out' thing may actually have been a bit of a trend with MacArthur: while I don't like to take the ego trope too seriously, here I think it does explain a side of him quite well. Mac had a fairly strong sense of face - in Japan it was his understanding of this that made him such an effective occupation governor, he knew what would upset the Japanese people and what would get them to support his efforts to democratise the country (I strongly recommend reading Reminiscences for the full explanation here) - but that strong sense of face worked against him when it was he who was losing face: Inchon was as dramatic as it was because MacArthur wanted to redeem himself following the disaster that was June-Sept 1950, he was so set on his "return" to the Philippines because only their recapture would redeem him for losing them in the first place.

Regarding him wanting KMT troops, this wasn't exactly a fringe opinion at the time. But there is another way to look at it: MacArthur's view on war was basically 'when you're at war, do everything you can to win it as quickly and cheaply as possible, don't screw around', and in this viewpoint using the KMT (and the nukes, if you want to go that far) make sense - they are things that will bring more weight to bear on China, and thus should be used to end the war more quickly. Through this viewpoint, 'limited war' as Truman advocated wasn't really a possibility, because the Chinese were already committing everything (they weren't, but MacArthur believed that they were). Considering Korea was the first time that 'limited war' had ever been tried, this could be as much a "wrong side of history" case as "let's start WW3".

But I've got another theory on how to look at this:

MacArthur came from a fundamentally different generation to those in power in the 1950s. Sure, Ike and Patton and Truman and everyone else weren't that much younger than he was, but in this case I think those few years make quite the difference, because of one year in particular: 1898. The Spanish-American War was quite the transformative event for the way the USA thought about itself: before the war, a lot of Americans thought that empire-building was a bad thing, after it the United States not only had an empire, but almost overnight was one of the strongest empires on the globe. What does this have to do with anything? They represent two ways of thinking about the world. Eisenhower and to a lesser degree Truman only really knew of America in one light: that of the American Empire. The American Empire has allies, and it has enemies, and this lens explains a lot of the conventional Cold War mentality. When Eisenhower threatened nuclear war against the communists in 1953 as a way of ending Korea, he was threatening nuclear war against the communists, as if they were a unified block. (That's not to say Ike wasn't aware of differences, he certainly was, but the post-1898 mindset would always be there: when he went into Iran, or Vietnam, or Egypt, it was always "the enemy is the enemy, how do I weaken them?")
MacArthur was well aware of the American Empire ideology, but unlike Ike or the others, he had seen another mentality as well. He was 18 when the Spanish-American War broke out, plenty of time to absorb and understand the pre-1898 way of thinking, which tended to be a bit more nuanced. The America of before 1898 didn't have allies and it didn't have enemies in the same way it did after the war (and particularly after 1917). Under this way of thinking, communism might still be an 'enemy', but its not the beginning and end of the story. In Reminiscences, MacArthur makes a couple of observations about how the Red Army is positioned in a 'defensive' manner - we know now that the Red Army wasn't exactly keen on busting through the Fulda Gap, but in 1964 most people believed that's exactly what they were planning. Furthermore, there's a couple of quotes from the 'Old Soldiers' speech on p402... "...This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia [ie the PRC] which for its own purposes is allied with Soviet Russia" and "Their interests are at present parallel to those of the Soviet". In other words, Mac was thinking of Korea (and I would go so far as to say, the Cold War in general) not as an 'us vs them' situation, but as a 19th century-style great power struggle. He noticed (or guessed, hard to say for sure) that the USSR wasn't too keen on attacking the US and NATO, and if that is the case, then he is safe to escalate the war against China. And in his worldview, you want to escalate against China because that will bring them to the negotiating table sooner. The USSR was a separate problem, with separate interests, that had no interest in getting involved directly (as MacArthur saw it).

Knowing what we know today about the Sino-Soviet split, he was right about this a lot more often than he was wrong. He wasn't perfect, but there's nothing there to really suggest that he was a bomb-tossing lunatic either. Plus, Eisenhower was just as willing to make the nuclear threat as MacArthur was. If MacArthur was more overt about it, well he was more overt about just about everything.

- BNC
It changed my view with McArthur. Makes me wonder if he will be a much more revered figure in the Philippines.
 
A showdown with Hoover and Mac is isolated from crises due to Almond and no phone in the office. This could end badly several different ways.

Also, why did he hang up a portrait of Robert E. Lee? I get that it was more acceptable to revere the guy publicly back then (and lamentably still is to a number of people even today), but to hang a picture in the White House of a guy who committed treason and fought against the US just seems weird to me.
 
First of all I absolutely love your explanation for Mac. You have really changed my mind about him. I also saw him as a arrogant, control freak who wanted to bomb China and that's why he was fired by Trueman. Also interesting how Mac made Dulles Ambassador to Australia. As an Australian I know all about the relationship between Mac and our Prime Minister at the time John Curtin and how Mac viewed Australia in the Pacific War against Japanese. Excited to see how that continues now that Mac is President. I can definitely imagine Mac and Hoover coming to blows and I am here for it! :p
 
On the one hand one could argue that without Dulles in an important position the US might avoid the more hawkish/ "us vs them" positions...That said Mac didn't like to be constrained in Korea and won't be questionned so this could turn out very badly. Then again he succesfully led Japan so who knows?

Also highly interested in seeing how he will handle post-1953 rearmament compared to Ike. After all he was directly involved in Korea and is a different officer.
 
On the one hand one could argue that without Dulles in an important position the US might avoid the more hawkish/ "us vs them" positions...That said Mac didn't like to be constrained in Korea and won't be questionned so this could turn out very badly. Then again he succesfully led Japan so who knows?

Also highly interested in seeing how he will handle post-1953 rearmament compared to Ike. After all he was directly involved in Korea and is a different officer.
Mac is bound to have a shock when he realizes that governing a homogenous and pacified nation that’s focused on just rebuilding is very different than governing the US. That is, he’ll have a shock once news and straight-talkers actually can get TO him without the Ned Almond filter. “Gallup says my popularity is at WHAT?! I’ve been told all my initiatives were well-received!”
 
Interesting! A new title?
A page or two back a couple of people suggested it would be a good idea, and I agree with them. Neither Patton nor Korea have played much role in the story for a while now and mentioning MacArthur as President might interest some more folks to come join us :)

My money is on Hoover wining this fight.
There is a reason he was an administration boogeyman. His backup plans have backup plans and he knows where every skeleton is buried. EVen if you want to argue that MacArthur is a total outsider, he still knows shit.
...which is why he simply sent Hoover out of the room instead of firing him on the spot like he might a colonel who tried to pull the same trick. Hoover had installed some FBI agents in Mac's Manila HQ some time before WW2 - Mac knew what Hoover was about.

An excellent summary of why MacArthur's Presidency will be a disaster. I reckon he and his crew of inept sycophants might cock this up so badly that their successors pass a constitutional amendment banning ex-military officer from serving in high office, just to make sure it never happens again.
Surely it takes more than three or four clowns to bring down something as big as the US government to the point they'd need an Amendment? Because Willoughby and Almond are the only two true incompetents in Mac's cabinet, plus Mac himself if you think that about him. And Almond's job is basically 'give people excuses for why I won't see them'.
I mean, the country has shrugged off plenty of bad presidents in far more difficult times than the early 1950s. Nor would Mac even be a great argument for banning generals from becoming president: Grant was pretty good, most at the time thought Jackson was good too, W.H. Harrison and Taylor both died before they did anything too bad - the record's far from terrible.

Secretary for Agriculture?
I won't be naming one. Agriculture won't be getting much of a mention in the story and I'd prefer not introduce needless characters just for the sake of it. They're there in the TL's world, but the story has enough excitement without mentioning them all in detail.

I'm wondering if McArthur will end up sacking any generals to show civilian control of the military?
:p I can see him trying to sack Bradley - although Bradley's more likely to just resign his post and go home when Mac enters office - the two did not like each other at all.
Would be wonderfully ironic to see a scene such as that!

Also, why did he hang up a portrait of Robert E. Lee? I get that it was more acceptable to revere the guy publicly back then (and lamentably still is to a number of people even today), but to hang a picture in the White House of a guy who committed treason and fought against the US just seems weird to me.
Believe it or not, Ike hung up that exact portrait IOTL (indeed, reading about Ike was what convinced me to include that scene in the first place). Doesn't hurt that Mac's mother (a great definition of 'helicopter parent' BTW - she was following him around until her death in 1935) grew up in the Confederacy and was obsessed with Lee, an obsession she passed down to Mac.

It changed my view with McArthur. Makes me wonder if he will be a much more revered figure in the Philippines.
First of all I absolutely love your explanation for Mac.
Thanks guys :)

Also interesting how Mac made Dulles Ambassador to Australia. As an Australian I know all about the relationship between Mac and our Prime Minister at the time John Curtin and how Mac viewed Australia in the Pacific War against Japanese. Excited to see how that continues now that Mac is President. I can definitely imagine Mac and Hoover coming to blows and I am here for it!
You mean how Mac gave our guys all the hard jobs and then took all the credit? Come to think of it, that's not far off what he is doing by giving us Dulles to deal with! :p
Mac and Hoover... the District of Columbia does not have space for those two egos... a clash was inevitable.

Came for Patton, now staying for Mac. Both magnificent bastards in my eyes now. Wonder who will face him in 1956?
Great idea, good to have you here! :) I'm fairly sure I've already mentioned somewhere in the thread that Mac won't be running in '56 (he'd be 77 a week into his second term!).

On the one hand one could argue that without Dulles in an important position the US might avoid the more hawkish/ "us vs them" positions...That said Mac didn't like to be constrained in Korea and won't be questionned so this could turn out very badly. Then again he succesfully led Japan so who knows?

Also highly interested in seeing how he will handle post-1953 rearmament compared to Ike. After all he was directly involved in Korea and is a different officer.
Mac's memoirs gave me a fair bit to work with for his foreign policy, and I won't be letting his cabinet get in the way of his ideas. Might be a few chapters before I get to them though - layout works better if I start off with domestic policy and then do foreign stuff later in 1953.

Mac is bound to have a shock when he realizes that governing a homogenous and pacified nation that’s focused on just rebuilding is very different than governing the US. That is, he’ll have a shock once news and straight-talkers actually can get TO him without the Ned Almond filter. “Gallup says my popularity is at WHAT?! I’ve been told all my initiatives were well-received!”
This made me laugh far more than it should have!

- BNC
 
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Since John Foster Dulles has been shuffled off to the sidelines, will his brother Allen suffer the same fate? Allen was Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952, and of course became Director after Eisenhower was elected. Now thay Willoughby has the top job at CIA, what will become of his deputy?
 
Surely it takes more than three or four clowns to bring down something as big as the US government to the point they'd need an Amendment? Because Willoughby and Almond are the only two true incompetents in Mac's cabinet, plus Mac himself if you think that about him. And Almond's job is basically 'give people excuses for why I won't see them'.
It's not the personnel (though I have doubts about some) it is thing like "No criticism of the President was to ever reach his ears.", freezing out his cabinet and the complete lack of any discussion or feedback. Deliberately creating an environment where no-one can question the President or even give him bad news. Frankly that alone ensures a disaster at somepoint. And because MacArthur will never accept any responsibility ("The Buck Stops Somewhere Else") he will just blame someone else, probably a civilian, but keep the same broken system until the next disaster. And the next. And the next.

I mean, the country has shrugged off plenty of bad presidents in far more difficult times than the early 1950s. Nor would Mac even be a great argument for banning generals from becoming president: Grant was pretty good, most at the time thought Jackson was good too, W.H. Harrison and Taylor both died before they did anything too bad - the record's far from terrible.
That was sort of my point, Mac will get things so spectacularly badly wrong that he will overshadow all of that.
 
That was sort of my point, Mac will get things so spectacularly badly wrong that he will overshadow all of that.
I think it’s still pretty implausible. There’s no serious thought to ban people from certain backgrounds running for office OTL even despite current circumstances. Short of Mac starting a WWIII/a nuclear war or trying to reintroduce slavery it just doesn’t seem likely. Worst case scenario is Mac get impeached and everyone moves on with a wary ness towards a military member running in the future.
 
Where to start with this one....?

SNIP

- BNC
This is a brilliant analysis which made me re-think how I view Mac. Never really thought of 1898 as a major turning point with regards to the USA's imperial mindset (I personally see the Mexican War as the real turning point, the first time the States projected power against a foreign country and annexed a large swathe of foreign territory by the sword), but I see where you're coming from. Bravo BNC!
 
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