The more I read about Eisenhower the more I like him. A friend the other day sent me this quote from his military-industrial complex speech, aka his Farewell Address, which I thought was very approppriate for today:
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
“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.”
Sure, Ike had McCarthy to deal with—or not. But, as you know, there was Communist infiltration in the country—and ultimately, wasn’t it an Army lawyer, Joseph Welch, who did him in with his “Have you no shame? Have you no sense of decency, sir?” comment? Perhaps Ike was just waiting for the fever to break, or the boil to grow enough to be pierced and drained.
Besides, think about the greatest Democratic icon—FDR. He was pretty ruthless when it came to civil rights. I think tens of thousands of Japanese had every reason to detest him. Plus, he wanted to intern all people of German and Italian ancestry in the US, only the fact that the US Attorney General advised him there wouldn’t be enough camps to hold them all got him away from that madness.
That’s why my all time favorite president is Geo. Washington. He could have been king but he refused, he could have stayed in office forever, but he quit after two terms, and he could have kept all his slaves for his family but he freed them all upon his death and he was never known to mistreat any of them. Plus he was a war hero from the French and Indian War. Sure, he was funny with the money when it came to expense accounts and Washington DC just happened to be on land that he owned but hey, who’s counting? That’s what government was for, then—and still is, by and large, to the well connected. I’d rather someone of his stature rake it in on the side than to have fools and war criminals screw up the country and still manage to make millions. Anybody remember LBJ and his radio stations? Or Halliburton and a certain Darth Vader VP?
Well, enough of that. Obama is a disappointment but he’s what we got right now. Patience is a virtue, or as the I Ching wisely counseled me once ten times in a row, perseverance furthers.