February 16, 2010

Quotables: Dwight D. Eisenhower

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

"Ankles are nearly always neat and good-looking, but knees are nearly always not."

"Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy."

"Don't join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed."

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."

"From behind the Iron Curtain, there are signs that tyranny is in trouble and reminders that its structure is as brittle as its surface is hard."

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

"How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?"

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends."

"I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens. "

"I deplore the need or the use of troops anywhere to get American citizens to obey the orders of constituted courts."

"I have found out in later years that we were very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it then."

"I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem - and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?"

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone."

"I'm saving that rocker for the day when I feel as old as I really am."

"If men can develop weapons that are so terrifying as to make the thought of global war include almost a sentence for suicide, you would think that man's intelligence and his comprehension... would include also his ability to find a peaceful solution."

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom. "

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."

"I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

"In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains."

"I thought it completely absurd to mention my name in the same breath as the presidency."

"It is far more important to be able to hit the target than it is to haggle over who makes a weapon or who pulls a trigger."

"Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him."

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free."

"Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg."

"Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin."

"Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs."

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."

"The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!"

"The purpose is clear. It is safety with solvency. The country is entitled to both."

"The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth."

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office."

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.

"You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."

"When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were - to the very last minute - a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything."

"You have a row of dominoes set up; you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly."

"There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home."

"Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America."

"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."

"There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure."

"Oh, that lovely title, ex-president."

-Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, five-star general in the U.S. Army and 34th President (R) of the United States, 1953-1961

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