Sunday, June 19, 2005

DID IKE REALLY SAY THIS?

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)
34th U.S. President (1953-1961)

"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 that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

Is this a real quote, or another one of the "internet hoaxes" that tend to get sent around?

If it's real, I would have to say it is quite perceptive!

Whether or not he actually said the above... d'ya think he's rolling in his grave right about now?

7 Comments:

Blogger halcyon67 said...

YEP he did. I saw that on TomPaine.com. I hope that it turns out to be true.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Which party is attempting to do this?

9:50 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Which party is attempting to do this?

Ike's quote never said anyone "is attempting to do this". He was saying that if anyone should attempt to do those things, he would consider them to be "stupid". I think he was suggesting that those who would push for such things are small in number, and maybe not too bright.

If Ike was referring to people who would favor eliminating labor laws and farm programs, I'm going to guess he was referring to people who may embody the mindset of today's Republican leadership (I will say leadership because I don't think the party leadership of today tends to represent the beliefs of many American Republicans.) There was surely some of that mindset around during the time when Ike was president.

If he was talking about abolishing Social Security and unemployment insurance, I must at the very least guess he was not talking about people who at that time had the political beliefs of most of today's Democrats... I'd guess maybe he was talking about people who did't like social programs at that time, which to my way of thinking corresponds with the mindset of the GOP leadership of today.

I'll hazard one more guess and say that if he was talking about Texas oil millionaires, most of today's Texas oil millionaires would either support the Republican leadership's causes, or they are holding key positions in the Bush administration. Those are just my guesses, of course. 8-)>

One inherent problem in using Ike's quote is that the political landscape has changed dramatically during the last 50 years. However, before I am accused of not having thought about this, I will say I posted the quote because it was made by a well-known and well-respected Republican, and he mentioned the kinds of things I see today's Republican leadership trying to do. The words themselves, although spoken some time ago, are relevant today, in my mind.

Sadly, I don't think Ike would know his own Republican party today. I also believe his quote is illustrative of how far to the right his Republican party has gone during the last half century. Of those people he described, numbers that were once "negligible" have grown... and whether or not they are actually "stupid", they are running things in the USA right now, as I see it.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

My ex boyfriend sent me the wuote the other day, and I looked it up. Apparently Ike wrote to his brother, so it wasn't actually a public quote. In the actual letter, he mentioned H.L. Hunt.

If you look down in my blog from about a week ago, I have a link to the actual letter.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Snave,

I don't believe that either party is attempting to do what Ike was saying. Just because someone proposes changes to how things are done, it doesn't mean that they plan on eliminating it. SSA is a perfect example. Everyone admits that SSA is in bad trouble. Something has to occur. Bush has proposed a change. Whether the change is right or wrong, it is just a change. It doesn't eliminate the program.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I wish I was as confident as you are about the preservation of Social Security, Phil. Change may be needed, for sure. I guess one fear I have is that the move toward privatization, if it succeeds, may leave us in more of a situation akin to gambling that to social "security".

I actually think Medicare may be in worse shape than Social Security...

10:30 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Snave,

Many have talked about making changes, but those old people vote. I doubt the R's that still have elections to win will support the change.

8:03 PM  

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