Eisenhower- last great Republican

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Phil Ayesho, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Phil Ayesho

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    Excerpted Text from his last address to the nation. Emphasis mine-

    My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

    ....In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

    II.

    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....

    ....We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent 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. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

    But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration....

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, 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 States 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 militaryindustrial 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....


    ...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.


    He would be so sad to see the military money mill this nation has become... so horrified at the notions of Blackwater and Halliburton....

    So disgusted by the actions of this administration and the congress that has borrowed us into bankruptcy.
     
  2. texas41-38

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    Ike had never voted or belonged to any political party until he ran in 1952. In the context of his times, he was likely the most liberal president ever. Wanted to dismantle the FBI; appointed Earl Warren to the Supreme Court; sent Federal troops to Little Rock in 1957.
     
  3. Phil Ayesho

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    Ike famously said that he most greatly feared what would become of this nation when the president in the oval office knew far less about the military than he did.

    He was NOT liberal- the Republican party was, back then, the party of small government and fiscal responsibility.

    He saw the rise of militarism as the ballooning of government... and not in ways that HELPED the people, but in ways that only helped corporations.

    He steadfastly felt- as did ALL republicans at the time, that defense spending should be kept as low as was reasonably possible. And that regulation was needed to keep Congress out of the pocket of defense contractors. IN his original draft of his address ... he called it the Military/CONGRESSIONAL/Industrial complex.



    Remember- it took Kennedy and Johnson to escalate us into Vietnam.


    As far as dismantling the FBI- yes- he felt that Hoover had become a THREAT to democracy... and events kind of proved him right. AND, again he was for SMALL government.


    As to Arkansas- Ike was the last great republican because he was the last republican who did not see Government as a "problem" and the last republican who honestly believed in upholding the ENTIRE Constitution.

    Equal treatment MEANS equal treatment and he was NOT going to allow some racist in the south defy Federal law.


    By contrast with today's EXTREME RIGHT republican party and its rhetoric of divisiveness, Ike SEEMS liberal- but he wasn't-
    He was what the term Conservative REALLY means. Against borrowing money, FOR the Constitution and FOR civil rights.
    Need I remind you that the Republican party was FOUNDED on the principle of civil rights... over the issue of abolition of slavery?



    Ike was a good president BECAUSE he honestly put the benefit of the nation above party.
    His final address was prescient... and astonishing in both its candor, and its foresight.


    Perhaps the most qualified President in US history to comment on the military and its effect on the political and social landscape of the nation... he was clearly right.
    What we have, now, in Washington, is precisely that of which he warned.

    On 9/11, there were a million Iranians in the streets of Tehran, waving American flags and lighting candles.

    Our politicians INVENT enemies for us to fear to invent rationale to award contracts to the corporations that make them wealthy.

    Just look at Cheney.

    Of ALL the Nations in the middle east- Iran is the closest to being a western republic.
    They should be our ally... but we insist on rattling our sabers.

    They seek a nuclear weapon because Bush made it clear that those WITHOUT nukes get invaded, while those WITH them, like North Korea, get financial aid and trade relations.

    We are spending more to fight a few thousand cave dwelling assholes, than we spent in the Cold war when we faced the military might of China AND the USSR.

    I am sick of it.
    Sick of children in foreign lands being blown to pieces with my tax dollars, while New Orleans drowns and our economy lies in ruin.


    Y'know, Reagan get all the credit for the fall of the USSR... but he didn't do it. America OUT-produced them, that's all.

    And US productivity saw its biggest increase as the result of the interstate highway system.

    The system that Ike built.

    Ike laid the foundation that defeated the USSR. Hell- Ike invented the military that held them at bay.

    I do NOT want a Blue president.
    I do not want a Red president.

    I want a purple president.
    Like Ike.

    I want a president who is honorable enough to speak honestly to the American people about the REAL threats to our future.
    I want a president who will, like Ike, use DEFENSE appropriations to build our next major infrastructure- rather than piss it away killing people who did us no harm.


    Powell said this election can be a transformational moment in US history.

    We can choose to become the great nation we have the potential to be- or we can choose to be the Empire the NeoCons fantasize of.


    We are DOING the things we once called evil when others did them.

    They are still evil...


    I repudiate partisan politics... my enemy- our only enemy, is division.

    The first republican president famously warned that a house divided against itself can not stand.

    Time for an END to the divisive politics of the modern republican party.
     
    #3 Phil Ayesho, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  4. Qua

    Qua
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    Not disagreeing, but I want to correct a bit of your history, Phil. The Republican Party was not an abolitionist party at its inception. It was simply against the extension of slavery into the then-territories. This was in opposition to the potential for big Southern plantations with their free labor supplies to choke out any Northern farmers who sought to settle there. Anti-corporation in a sense. And racist to a degree. Many early Republicans simply didn't want blacks in the territories. Abolitionists made up a slice of the Republicans, and an increasingly dominant one in the late 1850's and especially into the Civil War, but popular opinion trumped, particularly since the Republicans were a rather broad coalition, ranging from former Whigs to anti-slavery zealouts.
     
  5. Phil Ayesho

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    Sorry- but that's not how I read history.
    The republican party was anti slavery from its inception. Not only in the territories, but also on a national level.
    Like any party- it had its extremists and its moderates...
    Given the strong opposition to this platform, many Republicans moderated to compromise positions... against the expansion of slavery- as a first step to their ultimate goal- not unlike modern conservative attempts to undercut Roe V Wade in small steps.

    Lincoln, in campaigning for the presidency was often criticized for being far TOO moderate in his approach to slavery. But the "House Divided" speech in the Douglas debates made perfectly clear the Republican platform that Slavery was the dividing issue. And that it would HAVE to be resolved.

    And, frankly, the war began the minute a republican was elected to office because the South knew full well the ultimate Republican political objective was to end slavery.

    At the time, the Republican party was the PROGRESSIVE party. Not the conservative party.
     
  6. houtx48

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    i think he played more golf than any president in history...........including ol shit for brains W
     
  7. D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead

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    Eisenhower in the 20th Century = Colin Powell in the 21st Century

    The difference is that Powell opted not to run for president
     
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