Until yesterday, when I heard David Eisenhower discuss his grandfather’s iconic 1961 farewell speech, I never fully grasped the full wisdom of President Dwight Eisenhower‘s words.
David, in his new book Going Home to Glory, a memoir about life with his illustrious grandfather, puts the famous Military-Industrial Complex speech into a broader context, explaining why it is among the Top 10 Presidential Speeches. You may remember this quote from the speech:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Ironically, a former military leader cautions citizens of a Democracy to take personal responsibility for that Democracy versus becoming lazy by abdicating power to authority. As a result, Ike finds an enduring place in history not only for being the general of World War II or President of the US, but also for speaking a powerful truth – in a speech. Like most Americans, I look forward to the day when we stop bickering along party lines and start adapting solutions that are staring us in the face. All the answers we need are right around us, if we’d simply get over resistance.
Eisenhower’s thinking is the essence of Leadership-no matter what your politics. Visionary, insightful, meaningful, and enduring. I’d not given Eisenhower much thought and now I want to revisit my remembrance of this man-and how he lived his life. The book is on its way.