Quotes by Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 March 28, 1969) was an American soldier and politician. He served as the 34th President of the United States (19531961) as well as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe ...

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Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.
Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.
You do not lead by hitting people over the head -- that's assault, not leadership.
The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!
May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.
Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.
The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.
Pessimism never won any battle.
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth
Don't join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed.
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Only Americans can hurt America.
We have heard much of the phrase, peace and friendship. This phrase, in expressing the aspiration of America, is not complete. We should say instead, peace and friendship, in freedom. This, I think, is America's real message to the rest of the world.
Plans are nothing; planning is everything.
Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it's usually lousy.
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 have found out in later years that my family was very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it. [On his childhood]
Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.
There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.
Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.
So that here we have, really, the compound, the overall philosophy of Lincoln: in all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with the peoples money or their economy, or their form of government, be conservativeand dont be afraid to use the word. And so today, Republicans come forward with programs in which there are such words as balanced budgets, and cutting expenditures, and all the kind of thing that means this economy must be conservative, it must be solvent. But they also come forward and say we are concerned with every Americans health, with a decent house for him, we are concerned that he will have a chance for health, and his children for education. We are going to see that he has power available to him. We are going to see that everything takes place that will enrich his life and let him as an individual, hard-working American citizen, have full opportunity to do for his children and his family what any decent American should want to do.
Biggest damfool mistake I ever made.
Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.
The free world must not prove itself worthy of its own past.
We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.
Unlike presidential administrations, problems rarely have terminal dates.
Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.
There is no victory at bargain basement prices.
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.
The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.
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.
Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.
Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs.
Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg.
There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home.
Things have never been more like the way they are today in history.
An atheist is a man who watches a Notre Dame -- Southern Methodist University game and doesn't care who wins.
I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem -- and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?
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.
I'm saving that rocker for the day when I feel as old as I really am.
The most terrible job in warfare is to be a second lieutenant leading a platoon when you are on the battlefield.
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. 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 citzenry 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.
Some day there is going to be a man sitting in my present chair who has not been raised in the military services and who will have little understanding of where slashes in their estimates can be made with little or no damage. If that should happen while we still have the state of tension that now exists in the world, I shudder to think of what could happen in this country
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.
But I believe this: by and large, the United States ought to be able to choose for its President anybody that it wants, regardless of the number of terms he has served. That is what I believe. Now, some people have said You let him get enough power and this will lead toward a one-party government. That, I dont believe. I have got the utmost faith in the long-term common sense of the American people. Therefore, I dont think there should be any inhibitions other than those that were in the 35-year age limit and so on. I think that was enough, myself.
If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. Theyll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.
I believe that for the past twenty years there has been a creeping socialism spreading in the United States.
The emergence of this new world poses a vital issue: will outer space be preserved for peaceful use and developed for the benefit of all mankind? Or will it become another focus for the arms raceand thus an area of dangerous and sterile competition? The choice is urgent. And it is ours to make. The nations of the world have recently united in declaring the continent of Antarctica off limits to military preparations. We could extend this principle to an even more important sphere. National vested interests have not yet been developed in space or in celestial bodies. Barriers to agreement are now lower than they will ever be again.
I am convinced that the French could not win the war because the internal political situation in Vietnam, weak and confused, badly weakened their military position. I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader rather than Chief of State Bao Dai. Indeed, the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bao Dai was a factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese that they had nothing to fight for. As one Frenchman said to me, What Vietnam needs is another Syngman Rhee, regardless of all the difficulties the presence of such a personality would entail.
With 450,000 U. S. troops now in Vietnam, it is time that Congress decided whether or not to declare a state of war exists with North Vietnam. Previous congressional resolutions of support provide only limited authority. Although Congress may decide that the previously approved resolution on Vietnam given President Johnson is sufficient, the issue of a declaration of war should at least be put before the Congress for decision.
I say when you get into a war, you should win as quick as you can, because your losses become a function of the duration of the war. I believe when you get in a war, get everything you need and win it.
There are two kinds of mines; one is the personnel mine and the other is the vehicular mine. When we come to a mine field our infantry attacks exactly as if it were not there. The losses we get from personnel mines we consider only equal to those we would have gotten from machine guns and artillery if the Germans had chosen to defend that particular area with strong bodies of troops instead of with mine fields. The attacking infantry does not set off the vehicular mines, so after they have penetrated to the far side of the field they form a bridgehead, after which the engineers come up and dig out channels through which our vehicles can go.
The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated. The worst is atomic war. The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth. Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
I have serious doubts about the value of debates in a presidential election. They tend to be a test of reaction time rather than a genuine exposition of the participants philosophies and programs. Further, in debate, candidates tend to overstate their views. In the 1960 situation I had a very practical objection: Nixon was widely known; Kennedy was not; dramatic debates would therefore help Kennedy.
Legislation to apply the principle of equal pay for equal work without discrimination because of sex is a matter of simple justice.
But we know that freedom cannot be served by the devices of the tyrant. As it is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence. And any who act as if freedoms defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America.
I make it a practice to avoid hating anyone. If someones been guilty of despicable actions, especially toward me, I try to forget him. I used to follow a practicesomewhat contrived, I admitto write the mans name on a piece of scrap paper, drop it into the lowest drawer of my desk, and say to myself: That finishes the incident, and so far as Im concerned, that fellow. The drawer became over the years a sort of private wastebasket for crumbled-up spite and discarded personalities.
Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own withdrawal?
War demands real toughness of fiber--not only in the soldiers that must endure, but in the homes that must sacrifice their best.