President Eisenhower on Political Moderation


President Eisenhower is easily one of my favorite presidents. It is actually surprising that I have not written much about him on this blog.

One reason that I love Eisenhower so much was that even though he was a small-government Republican, he recognized that having government programs and government oversight served its purpose in helping America be successful. Eisenhower was concerned with keeping the government within constitutional boundaries, but was not against using the government to do important civil works projects or to support the citizens of the country.

Here is a great quote from President Eisenhower about his politics.

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.

Where did this attitude go? Why don’t we see more of this sort of attitude in the modern Republican party?

It is important to remember that as we approach 2014 elections, that moderation in all things is important when discussing politics. Republicans may be concerned about an overreaching government. However, they also must realize that they can not just try to radically cut all of our government welfare programs. Not only will it not help the people, it will also stop them from winning elections.

Listen to Ike.


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