Thursday, October 14, 2010


From Eisenhower's farewell address, January 21, 1961:

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

A Republican president, a former general, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force during WWII, spoke the words. Sadly, and to our detriment, we have not heeded Eisenhower's advice.


  1. The old John Birch Society (whose heirs appear poised to take over the Republican Party) vilified Eisenhower as a Communist sympathizer or a secret socialist.
    Of course, he was nothing of the sort. He was what he always said he was, a conservative in the truest sense.

    Never thought I'd miss old Ike.

  2. If only the GOP were peopled today by folks of his insight and caliber.

  3. As we view the political landscape today, who would ever believe that there was a time when "principled, conservative Republican" was not an oxymoron?

  4. I LIKE IKE too, the first president I can remember from boyhood. What happened to our country that we don't seem to produce real leaders like him anymore?

  5. Arthur, I don't know what happened.


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