There’s a meme or poster going viral on the Internet at the moment containing a quote from former Republican president, Dwight David Eisenhower. Ike’s words contain significant worth but the referenced poster doesn’t contain the complete quote, which I believe is needed.
Bear in mind that these words were spoken by the military genius who led us through the Second World War, guided us out of Korea, and formulated Cold War policies that helped contain and eventually defeat global communist expansion.
It was also Eisenhower, the general and president, who cautioned us against exactly what we’ve permitted to evolve in America, the military-industrial complex. These are words we seriously need to revisit.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
Unfortunately in today’s radically polarized America a man of Eisenhower’s intellect, insight, reasonableness, and compassion may not get elected mayor of a small town, let alone to the White House.