A Little Something for Everyone

A slightly altered version of this quotation is making its way around the ’net lately, but in the interests of accuracy, I’ll present the actual original text (after ensuring its veracity, of course). I suppose that if I left off the first half of the quote, it would make a more liberal-friendly impression (and, in fact, that’s what the frequently emailed version does); but I think I’d rather be accurate — and complete — than dogmatic.

“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.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954 (from a letter to his brother)

Discuss at will.


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