Words (and acts) of Wisdom once Common in America

I think we can learn something from the words of a great Republican President’s wise warnings about the future of America. This is a from the farewell address of President every-gun-that-made-is-every-warship-launched-every-rocketfired-signifies-12030955Dwight David Eisenhower to the American public before the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

“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.

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 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 alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now 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.”

Where have all the Americans like Eisenhower, or the “alert and knowledgeable citizenry” gone?

Here’s the ransoming of America’s future.

One thought on “Words (and acts) of Wisdom once Common in America

  1. Where have all the Americans like Eisenhower, or the “alert and knowledgeable citizenry” gone? They grew old and died. Their character was forged out of two wars and a Great Depression and they grew up to be the greatest generation. But then they were gone. Their conservative values, their sense of civic responsibility, their understanding of the importance of participatory democracy — all gone.
    Those who came after them, those who were part of the summer of love, the ‘Me’ generation, etc., they were more apathetic, less informed, less willing to compromise.
    So today we have an apathetic, uninformed, polarized electorate, too many of whom blindly voted to allow the inmates to destroy what took years to create and to financially cripple what is left.

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