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Dwight Eisenhower on Principles & Values


Principal political disappointment was Nixon's 1960 loss

My principal political disappointment was the defeat of Dick Nixon in 1960. I cannot ascribe any rational cause for the outcome, for I still believe, as I did then, that any objective comparison of the relative capacities and qualifications of the two opposing candidates would have resulted in an overwhelming judgment in Nixon's favor.

But Senator Kennedy won by a paper-thin margin, and one of the questions that still haunts me is what more I personally might have done to achieve the right verdict. As of that time, I did what I thought best, and even more than the Vice President planned for. But I participated, on an intensively partisan basis, only in the final week of the campaign. I shall never cease to wonder whether a more extensive program of political speaking on my part might have had a favorable effect on the outcome.

Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.652-653 , Jan 1, 1965

US became great by principles in our religious philosophy

America did not become great through softness and self-indulgence. Her miraculous progress and achievements flow from other qualities far more worthy and substantial:To us and to every nation of the Free World, rich or poor, these qualities are necessary today as never before if we are to march together to greater security, prosperity and peace. I believe the industrial countries are ready to participate actively in supplementing the efforts of the developing countries to achieve progress.
Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1960 State of the Union message , Jan 7, 1960

America is best described by one word: freedom

America is best described by one word: freedom. If we hope to strengthen freedom in the world we must be ever mindful of how our own conduct reacts elsewhere. No nation has ever been so floodlighted by world opinion as the United States is today. Everything we do is carefully scrutinized by other peoples throughout the world. The bad is seen along with the good.

Because we are human we err. But as free men we are also responsible for correcting the errors and imperfections of our ways.

Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1959 State of the Union message , Jan 7, 1959

To grow and flourish people must be free

I believe it would be well to remind ourselves of this great fundamental in our national life: our common belief that every human being is divinely endowed with dignity and worth and inalienable rights. This faith, with its corollary--that to grow and flourish people must be free--shapes the interests and aspirations of every American. From this deep faith have evolved three main purposes of our Federal Government:
  1. To maintain justice and freedom among ourselves and to champion them for others so that we may work effectively for enduring peace;
  2. To help keep our economy vigorous and expanding, thus sustaining our international strength and assuring better jobs, better living, better opportunities for every citizen;
  3. And to concern ourselves with the human problems of our people so that every American may have the opportunity to lead a healthy, productive and rewarding life.
Foremost among these broad purposes of government is our support of freedom, justice and peace.
Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1955 State of the Union message , Jan 6, 1955

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Other past presidents on Principles & Values: Dwight Eisenhower on other issues:
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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2014