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美国20世纪最伟大的100篇演讲Dwight D. Eisenhower - Farewell Address

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AmericanRhetoric.com


Dwight D. Eisenhower:
Farewell Address

delivered
17
January
1961

AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:
Text
version below
transcribed
directly
from
audio

Good evening,
my fellow
Americans.

First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television
networks for the
opportunities they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation.
My special thanks go to
them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.


Three days from now, after half century in the service of our country, I shall
lay down
the
responsibilities of office as, in
traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the
Presidency is vested in my successor.
This evening, I come to
you with a message of leavetaking
and farewell, and to
share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other Like
every other citizen, I wish
the new President, and all who will
labor
with
him, Godspeed. I pray that
the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity
for all.

Our people expect
their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on
issues of
great
moment, the wise resolution of which will
better shape the future of the nation. My own
relations with
the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a
member of the Senate appointed me to
West Point, have since ranged
to
the intimate during
the war and immediate postwar
period, and finally to
the mutually interdependent
during
these past
eight years. In this final relationship,
the Congress and the Administration
have, on
most
vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation
good, rather than mere partisanship,
and so
have assured that
the business of the nation should go
forward. So,
my official
relationship with
the Congress ends in a feeling on
my part
of
gratitude that we have
been able to do
so much
together.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
1



AmericanRhetoric.com


We now stand ten years past
the midpoint of a century that
has witnessed four major wars
among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts,
America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world.
Understandably proud of this preeminence,
we
yet
realize that America's leadership and
prestige depend, not
merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches, and military
strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human
betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been
to keep
the peace, to
foster progress in
human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity, and
integrity among peoples and among nations. To
strive for less would be unworthy of a free
and religious people.
Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension, or
readiness to
sacrifice would inflict upon
us grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward
these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict
now engulfing the
world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings.
We face a hostile ideology
global
in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insiduous [insidious] in
method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it
successfully, there is called for, not so
much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis,
but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the
burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we
remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and
human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In
meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small,
there is a recurring temptation to
feel
that
some spectacular and costly action could become
the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A
huge increase in
newer elements of our
defenses. development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill
in agriculture. a dramatic
expansion in basic and applied research these
and many other possibilities, each possibly
promising in
itself, may be suggested as the only way to
the road we wish
to travel.

But each
proposal
must be weighed in the light
of a broader consideration: the need to
maintain balance in and among national programs, balance between
the private and the public
economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages, balance between the clearly
necessary and the comfortably desirable,
balance between our essential requirements as a
nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon
the individual, balance between actions of
the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and
progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. The record of many decades
stands as proof that our people and their Government
have,
in the main, understood these
truths and have responded to
them well, in
the face of threat and stress.

But
threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. Of these, I
mention
two only.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
2



AmericanRhetoric.com


A vital element
in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty,
ready for instant action, so that
no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own
destruction. Our military organization
today bears little relation
to that known of any of my
predecessors in peacetime, or, indeed, by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.


Until
the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American
makers of plowshares could, with
time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no
longer risk emergency improvisation of national
defense. We have been
compelled to
create a
permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million
men and women are directly engaged
in the defense establishment. We annually spend on
military security alone more than the net
income of all
United States cooperations corporations.


Now this conjunction of an
immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new
in the American experience. The total influence economic,
political, even
spiritual is
felt
in
every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the
imperative need for this development. Yet, we must
not fail
to comprehend its grave
implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all
involved. So
is the very structure of our
society.

In
the councils of government, we must guard against
the acquisition of unwarranted
influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial
complex. The potential
for
the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must
never let
the weight of
this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for
granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel
the proper meshing of the
huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful
methods and goals, so
that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin
to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrialmilitary
posture,
has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In
this revolution, research has
become central. it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing
share is conducted for, by, or at
the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of
scientists in laboratories and testing fields.
In the same fashion, the free university,
historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a
revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a
government
contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old
blackboard there are now
hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination
of the nation's scholars by Federal
employment, project allocations, and the power of money
is ever present and
is gravely to be regarded.


Yet, in
holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be
alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a
scientifictechnological
elite.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
3



AmericanRhetoric.com


It
is the task of statesmanship to mold,
to balance, and to
integrate these and other forces,
new and old, within the principles of our democratic system ever
aiming toward the
supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into
society's
future, we you
and I, and our government
must
avoid the impulse to live only for today,
plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot
mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their
political and spiritual
heritage. We want
democracy to survive for all generations to come, not
to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

During the long lane of the history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours,
ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be,
instead, a proud confederation of mutual
trust and respect. Such a confederation
must be one
of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with
the same confidence as do
we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That
table, though
scarred by many fast frustrations past
frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certainty
agony of disarmament of
the battlefield.


Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we
must
learn
how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.
Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official
responsibilities in this field with a definite sense
of disappointment. As one who has witnessed
the horror and the lingering sadness of war, as one who knows that another war could utterly
destroy this civilization which
has been so
slowly and painfully built over thousands of years, I
wish I could say tonight
that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I
can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward
our ultimate goal has
been made. But
so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I
shall never cease to
do
what little I can
to help the world advance along that road.

So, in this, my last good night
to you as your President, I thank you for the many
opportunities you
have given me for public service in war and in peace.
I
trust in that in
that in
that
service you find some things worthy. As
for the rest of it, I know you will find
ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I, my fellow citizens, need to be strong
in our faith
that all nations, under God, will
reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be
ever unswerving in devotion to
principle,
confident but
humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression
to America's prayerful and
continuing aspiration:
We pray that peoples of all
faiths, all races, all
nations, may have their
great
human
needs satisfied. that
those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to
the
full. that all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
4



AmericanRhetoric.com


Those who have freedom will
understand, also, its heavy responsibility. that all who are
insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity. and that the sources scourges
of
poverty, disease, and ignorance will be made [to] disappear from the earth. and that
in
the
goodness of time, all peoples will come to
live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding
force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward
to
it.


Thank you, and good night.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
5


 

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