Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

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Author: Dwight D. Eisenhower  | Date: April 8, 1954

77
Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the National Conference of Republican Women.
April 8, 1954

Madam Chairman, and ladies:

To illustrate the state of confusion in which I sort of find myself at this moment, I think I should tell you a story about three cross-eyed men who were called before a cross-eyed judge. And in starting theexamination, he said to the first, "What’s your name?" And the second one said, "John Smith." The Judge said, "I didn’t speak to you," and the third one said, "I know it."

For some reason or other, I thought I was to come to a business meeting of this organization and that I was to step in and more or less wave a hand and be on my way. I found that, as you can see, that I was a little wrong.

I have just come from assisting in the dedication of a new stamp. Sounds like a very commonplace and ordinary sort of thing to do. It was thrilling—and I will tall you why it was to me. Not only because of the company there gathered—representatives of all the great religious groups of the United States, and of our Government, and of others. The stamp has on it a picture of the Statue of Liberty, and on it also is stated "In God We Trust."

By putting on the Flame of Liberty, it seems to me it places America before the world, not as the greatest nation because of its tall buildings and its automobiles, but because it represents a concept of human dignity, that here all the world can enjoy this liberty, all of those who come to her shores; and also a Nation whose greatness is based on a firm unshakeable belief that all of us mere mortals are dependent upon the mercy of a Superior Being.

Now the reason this seems so thrilling is not just those thoughts, but the opportunity it gives to every single individual who buys the stamp to send a message—regardless of the content of a letter. You may, by placing that stamp on a letter, send a message of hope to those who are oppressed, or let us say, of inspiration and reawakening to our own friends and those among us who will be reminded thereby that this is the land of the free and in God we trust. So each of those stamps, I think, is a worthy messenger of the American system. And as I can see this, every proper, every dedicated political worker is exactly the same.

The Republican Party is by no means a conspiracy among people who simply thirst for power. The Republican Party is an agency of America, which means an agency for spreading further in the world this concept of the dignity of the human, our dependence upon a Superior Being.

And in those two concepts we find vast room to develop every single good thought, idea, program, for the benefit of our own citizens, and to serve as worthy leaders in the same way for the entire world.

Ladies and gentlemen—are there any gentlemen here?—I cannot tellyou how great I believe to be the opportunity that now lies before America, and before the Republican Party of that country.

Now, I understand—I have been told—that 52 percent of the votes cast for the Republicans in the last national election were by women. Consequently, I must say that it would appear the majority of my gratitude to the people for the work they did in advancing the kind of theory, of which I have been trying so haltingly to speak, belongs to the women.

I want to tell you now two tiny stories, one occurring this morning in my office. There is a man visiting us from Australia. He is head of the steel union—the iron and steel union of Australia. His name is Short. He is a very thoughtful, very earnest, and very sincere man. And he was talking about defeating communism. He fought for 15 years within his union to defeat communism, and finally did it, and is now chairman of that union, the greatest in Australia. He has, therefore, acquired a very great deal of experience, a lot of which we could possibly use. He does not believe that the defeat of communism lies merely in economic measures, in trying to raise the standard of living. He believes it is in work—work and organization. And he made the report that women are great workers, and if they believe something, if they are dedicated to it, their energy is tireless, their determination unbounded.

Not long ago I had the great pleasure of playing a round of golf—at least I went along—with Ben Hogan. Ben Hogan is, of course, the great golfer of our time—of these modern days. I said to him, "Do you think that such and such a young man will be a champion who can take your place?" And he said, "It depends entirely on how seriously he takes his job and how hard he will work." He said, "He has got everything; that’s all he needs to do."

I think that the tribute that I should like to bring to Republican women this morning is this: whenever they have come to my office, and their representatives, they have sought opportunities to work, opportunities better to organize, missions to carry out—something to do. I have yet to have a delegation of women come to my office and insist that so and so be appointed to this or to that, or that we lower taxes even on handbags. They have come as dedicated people, ready to work, appreciating the seriousness of their job.

I could wish that that kind of attitude and that kind of spirit was shared by every single American, no matter what their political faith,no matter what their political convictions. Because in the long run, it is only as America expresses with all its might what it believes, in its heart and its mind, are we going to be safe and secure in a free and prosperous world. If we do that we cannot fail. We must have that kind of dedication to win.

I am very grateful to you for asking me over in front of this distinguished body. I hope you have had a fine time here. I hear that you have been briefed by most of my Cabinet officers. And I get that every week, so I know you are very well informed about everything that is going on.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President’s opening words "Madam Chairman" referred to Bertha Adkins, Assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Later the President referred to Laurence E. Short, National Secretary of the Federated Iron Workers Association of Australia.

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Chicago: Dwight D. Eisenhower, "77 Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the National Conference of Republican Women.," Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1118 393–395. Original Sources, accessed February 26, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48IDWD8VJKW562N.

MLA: Eisenhower, Dwight D. "77 Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the National Conference of Republican Women." Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1118, pp. 393–395. Original Sources. 26 Feb. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48IDWD8VJKW562N.

Harvard: Eisenhower, DD, '77 Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the National Conference of Republican Women.' in Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1118, pp.393–395. Original Sources, retrieved 26 February 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=48IDWD8VJKW562N.