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June 02, 2005

President Eisenhower speaks

James Oakes: June 2, 2005

I'm not going to add any commentary to the following quotation.  It pretty much speaks for itself.  Its from a letter written by President Dwight Eisenhower on November 8, 1954.

Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas.  Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

By the way, the rest of the letter is chock full of gems, and there's some disturbing stuff as well.  You can read the whole thing here.

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Posted by: Jonathan Lundell

Another gem too precious not to show off:


A year ago last January we were in imminent danger of losing Iran, and sixty percent of the known oil reserves of the world. You may have forgotten this. Lots of people have. But there has been no greater threat that has in recent years overhung the free world. That threat has been largely, if not totally, removed.

Ike is referring, of course, to our overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadeg. leaving the Shah obligingly in charge--until 1979, anyway.

Posted by: Jonathan Lundell | Jun 3, 2005 4:40:42 PM


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