Ike was 1950s America's Commander in Chief. He never puffed pot, tooted coke, tried to rap, cheated on Mamie, or got clipped for drunk driving. He was good Kansas stock - tough enough to beat the pants off Hitler in WWII but as wise with a smile as everyone's favorite uncle.

General Eisenhower commanded the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942 and was Supreme Commander for the D-Day invasion of France in 1944. As President, he was both a sharp-eyed Hawk, military lightning at the ready in his right hand, and an evangelical Dove, preaching the Book of Peace in his left - in short, an all together different breed from the ravens and pigeons feathering their nests in Washington today.

Life magazine captures the war hero in July of 1952, as he rallies a surge of optimism and the Presidential nomination from a Republican Party that had not put a man in the Oval Office since Herbert Hoover in 1933.

His domestic policy stressed strong federal leadership. U.S. foreign policy under Eisenhower valued high readiness, diplomatic continuity and the virtues of peace and partnership. In the national battle of wills against the USSR, he was America's front line of common sense, faith and ready courage. Sound thinking and plain spoken, today his words, especially the famous Farewell Address of 1961, provide a remedy for the tone-deaf rhetoric, diplomatic disengagement and policy incoherence of today's Rogue Elephant Republicans.

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity." January 10, 1946

Selections from the Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961:

  My fellow Americans:
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.
Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.
The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peace time, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

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. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

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 state house, 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.
(Ike also cites the research-academic complex, warning them against trendy leftism)

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we-you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.
So-in this my last good night to you as your President-I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace.
To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing inspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.



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