This 16-minute speech from President Dwight Eisenhower, who, as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War 2, bore as heavy a responsibility as anyone in the 20th Century, is very much worth the time to watch.
As the nation was so ready to hand the torch of leadership to the new generation, many at the time considered Eisenhower a sleepy, out of touch grandfather, whose time had passed. Though far from a great communicator, what he lacked as an orator, Dwight Eisenhower more than made up for with his vision.
Known as the Military Industrial Complex Speech, President Eisenhower’s farewell address goes far beyond that issue in addressing the challenges the nation would, and we now face. Central to his call is the place of statesmanship and the need for balanced cooperation between private and public spheres. He also charges the nation to resist the temptation to live in and act out of the state of fear and seek to work for the good of the nation now and for the future. Much of his comments regarding the struggle against Communism is applicable to the struggle against terrorism.
Perhaps not in touch in the time of Camelot, this speech shows the President was very much in touch with the challenges facing our nation through the ages.