Ike’s warning to our nation
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered the greatest speech of his Presidency in saying goodbye to his countrymen for the last time after five decades of service to our country on January 17th, 1961.
What is amazing about this important address is that so much of what he says we can apply to our present situation. President Eisenhower warned:
*Of an atheistic ideology which is sweeping the world, and which poses a “threat of indefinite duration” to the American way of life. Ike was speaking of Communism, of course. The world’s largest disciple of Communism-the Soviet Union-has been defeated, but the ideology remains in the form of its twin children, secularism and socialism. We might look to Red China as today’s great threat-they are no longer adherents to the hard Communism of Stalin or Mao, but they do believe in an atheistic or secular model of government where the State controls the doings of private enterprise, and the free worship of God is severely restricted. A large wing of the Democratic Party in America is also devoted to secularism, and even to socialism.
*Of the growth of the military-industrial complex. Although Eisenhower makes it clear that this growth is necessary considering the threats to America’s national security, he understands the threat to liberty posed by the infusion of too much government into our industries. He sees militarization of our daily life as a real problem-anybody had a TSA pat-down at the airport lately? Homeland Security, indeed!
*That universities and scholars are becoming entirely too dependent on the federal government to subsidize their research and work, and that a federal contract is now an acceptable substitute for ingenuity and inventiveness. The President warns that the federal government pumping too much money into subsidizing scientific and university research will lead to professors and scientists dictating government policy (see embryonic stem cell research).
Ike saved his most important warning to be given near the end of his address, and it has been a warning that has not been heeded by many, and is not being heeded by many of our leaders today.
“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.”
Someone needs to remind President Obama of this…