Fifty years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had three days left in office.
He proceeded to deliver what is often regarded as the second best Farewell Address, just behind George Washington in 1796.
He also gave the best speech he ever gave in office, without any doubt.
A famous World War II general, his utterances in that speech were particularly prophetic!
Eisenhower warned against the emergence of a “military-industrial complex”, a combination of defense contractors with the military, and he expressed concern that education and health care would suffer budget wise, and that democracy would suffer, as the military and the corporations would promote war and militarism.
What is often not recalled is that Eisenhower promoted cuts in the Pentagon budget, similar to what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been advocating during the Obama Administration.
It is also often forgotten that Eisenhower warned against the escalation of the Vietnam war under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The defense budget cannot be allowed to be sacrosanct as the nation has to consider budget cuts, due to the national debt and the deficit!
Eisenhower was a sage that we should listen to now, a half century after he gave us the best advice possible!