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Dwight D. Eisenhower: Television Address Delivered in the Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
308 - Television Address Delivered in the Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland.
October 31, 1958
Public Papers of the Presidents
Dwight D. Eisenhower<br>1958
Dwight D. Eisenhower

United States
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Governor McKeldin, Senator Beall, Senator Butler, Congressman Devereux--all Republican Candidates--Fellow Americans:

I am grateful for your welcome. It is good to have partners and friends, especially when there's a battle to wage.

Now we are in a battle. We are in the last days of a political campaign that will, among other things, determine the complexion of the Congress for the next two years.

This campaign is a continuation of the efforts that we undertook six years ago in the cause of good government.

I pledged then that if elected, Republicanism would bring sane, progressive, and honest government to America. We have done exactly that. But our work is not complete. And that is why I'm here tonight.
I want to talk to you here and to other thoughtful citizens across the country about good government, and how to keep it.

Now in my conviction, here in Maryland, this means re-electing your able Senator, Glenn Beall, who has steadfastly supported this Administration; it means electing your courageous soldier statesman Jim Devereux; it means re-electing Congressmen Ted Miller and DeWitt Hyde; and electing fife Symington. Indeed, my friends, it means electing a Republican team here and across the nation.

Now I have been urging the election of Republicans, because of my deep belief that America needs the honest, efficient and progressive kind of government that for six years has given us: --a sound, expanding economy
--a national defense, modern and strong
--and above all, a nation at peace and steadily striving to bring a just and lasting peace to the world.

And I believe if we are to continue this kind of sound, forward-looking Government, the best way is through the Republican Party.

I am convinced that it is the only political instrument that can give us sensible, united, and progressive leadership in America.
And here are some of my reasons. First, the Administration's record.
Do you remember back six years? Just recall these important circumstances of those times.
Our troops were fighting in Korea.
Our economy was shackled with odious price controls.

During the prior Administration, the cost of living had gone up 50 percent.

Now with respect to these three things, we can now happily say: "Since 1953 Americans have fought nowhere in the world.

"We promptly eliminated the stifling federal controls over our economy.

"And we fought to a practical standstill the rapid dilution of our dollar and have since held the rise in living costs to an average of less than one and a half percent a year."
Continuing with the record:
In the 1952 campaign we sought an economy based on peace-time prosperity, not war-inspired. Today personal income is at an all-time high, wages are higher and their purchasing power greater, housing is booming--and all in peace-time.

Here is a telegram just received from the Secretary of Commerce. In part, he says: "I have just received the most recent figures on new construction activity. They make it clear that October sets an all-time high and that the construction industry will reach the $50 billion mark in 1958."

Now in 1952, we promised to do something about giving every American citizen an equal right to register and vote his convictions in elections. Now for many years this subject had been talked about--nothing was done !

Today a law to that effect is on the statute books, the first major piece of civil rights legislation in 82 years. We are steadily moving toward the goal of equality of opportunity for all in our country.

We have reorganized and modernized our Defense establishment. Our defenses are the most powerful in history.

We are busily engaged in the construction of a gigantic road system which will build more than forty thousand miles of superhighways. We gave the American people the largest tax-cut in history.

We created a new Department of Health, Education and Welfare and a new space agency. A new Air Safety Agency will be born tomorrow, November first.
Small business has been encouraged and helped.

More than 250,000 excess positions have been eliminated from the federal payroll, an annual saving of $ 1 billion to the taxpayer.
Social security and unemployment insurance have been expanded.

These are but a few of the achievements of the past six years--of a Republican Administration.

Now these facts are impressive. Even our opponents cannot challenge them. Their only claim is that they could have done better.

Well now, could we not politely ask them, why they did not do so, when they had twenty years in which to try?

Now of course, none of us will forget that we had a downturn in the economy a year ago.

Such pauses in economic progress are inevitable in the operation of a free economy. But when they happen, the job before all of us, particularly the government, is to make certain that their effect is minimized both as to intensity and duration.

Now what did the political free spenders, of whom we seem to have so many in one wing of the opposition, have to offer on this downturn? first they tried to frighten all of us, even including themselves.

One Senator of this radical persuasion said last winter that the recession was "rapidly growing into a full-fledged depression."

But he didn't frighten a government that kept its eyes glued on the good of all Americans.

But one "gloomdoggler"--another Senator--actually said that the recession was, and I am quoting exactly, "planned, premeditated and pre-designed (by) this Administration."

My friends, to such a statement here is my personal reply: no true Republican ever has been, and never will be, guilty of the crime of preplanning, premeditating or pre-designing misery for Americans.

Apparently these men of little faith thought that the Administration would panic. It did not.

We instituted practical, sensible recovery programs. Previously in this campaign I have detailed what these helpful programs were and how rapidly and effectively they worked. They were designed to give a timely assist to those in need and to give a helpful hand to the economy until recovery could take hold.

The extremists, on the other hand, wanted to indulge in wholesale reckless federal spending.

Their extravagant expenditure programs would have ended in more debt, higher prices and an undermined economy. Happily much of this effort was blocked both by sturdy Republican opposition in Congress and by my vetoes.

Today every economic indicator proves that our Republican faith in the economy was right.

Just a few minutes before coming to Baltimore this evening, I received some information you will want to hear.

I have just learned that in the month of October unemployment went down another three hundred thousand.

This means that, in just the last three months, unemployment has dropped by one and a half million people.
That's the kind of progress I've been talking about.

That's Republican progress--not just talk, not leaf-raking schemes, not federal handouts. Just sensible leadership.
All across America things are good--and better every day.

Now of course the free spenders hoped to make a popular political issue out of last winter's recession. All America now knows how miserably they failed !
Then, the opposition thought they had another issue, the farm issue. But here, too, they ran into a bit of a problem.

The trouble was that the farm economy has prospered and that standards of living on America's farms are at an all-time high, in spite of the expected seasonal drop in prices announced today. The faces of farmers look happier than they have in years.
So, my friends, once more the opposition fell flat on its face.

And then the opposition thought it had a Sputnik issue. Again they tried the tactics of fright. They said that our missile programs lagged woefully behind the Soviets.

One opposition Senator spoke mournfully about the chances of "our isolation, submission or destruction."

But again the political charge broke up on a fortress of facts. The American people were not to be fooled.

This is what happened. for eight years between the end of World War II and the start of this Republican Administration not more than one million dollars was spent in any one year on the long-range ballistic missile program.

When this Administration was first inaugurated, we found that, in this crucial area of ballistic missiles, practically nothing had been done.

So one of my first acts was, naturally, to start an exhaustive study by some of the country's leading scientists. Some months later this study was completed, and on the basis of scientific recommendations we gave missile research and development the nation's highest priority.

Thus, more than two years before the word "Sputnik" was ever mentioned, the Defense Department was already applying maximum effort in talent, in time and in money to missile programs.

Today, not merely one million but hundreds of millions go into missile programs annually.

Today America--and all the world--knows that in less than four years we are rapidly closing the missile gap that we inherited. And Sputniks have been matched by Explorers, Vanguards, and Pioneers.

In another important area, Civil Rights, the opposition party found itself with no issue at all.

In this area, the Democrats have been too busy battling each other to have any time left for the rest of the nation.

Here I refer specifically to the sharp and publicized disagreement over civil rights between the Chairman of their own National Committee and the Chairman of their Senate Campaign Committee.

Now in sharp contrast to this stalemate stands the constructive and reasonable Republican progress in providing equality of opportunity to all citizens.
Actually, what does the opposition party really offer you? The answer: both sides of every issue.

The Democrats are split down the middle. Their gyrations to overcome the hopelessness of their position reminds me of an old verse that goes like this:
"To promise, pause, prepare, postpone;
And end by letting things alone."
It is no wonder, then, I say, for progressive and effective government we need Republican control of both the Congressional and Executive Branches of our government. This need is underlined by the evidence that in the opposition Party the spending wing is seeking desperately to dominate the American political scene.

But Republicans will continue to stage a persistent and aggressive fight against reckless spending and inflation.

Never forget inflation hurts everybody. It strikes most cruelly at the aged, the retired, and the white collar workers.

Labor, business and government must all work in harness to curb the wage-price spiral and oppose useless governmental spending, both of which create inflation. And inflation, we never forget, eats away our savings and shrinks the values of our pensions and insurance policies.
In this fight Republicans will never rest.
Beyond this many things remain to be done.

America is prosperous; the economic record of the past six years is unparalleled. The recent recession is rapidly fading into history. But so long as men and women who are willing to work, especially those with families to support, as long as they remain unemployed, we must never cease striving to eliminate the causes.
We must deal with this problem in every practical way.

We know that every man re-employed helps to build the general prosperity.

Since a worker out of a job is hurt, not helped by further diluting the dollar, which jeopardizes the employment of 64,000,000 other workers in the United States, we must oppose inflation and all of its causes all the time.

Looking ahead, we will continue to seek equality of opportunity for all citizens, irrespective of race, color, creed, or geography.

We will continue to practice efficiency, economy, and integrity in government. We will:

--push reasonable legislation to redevelop economically impaired areas;
--undertake needed tax reforms;
--stand for sound fiscal management;
--help our working men and women drive racketeers and hoodlums out of the American labor movement.

In this we must have and we welcome, the help of labor and business leaders, the rank and file of unions, and civic minded citizens everywhere. I shall press for legislation to make this possible.

And, finally, with all other Americans, we will continue to strive to bring a just and lasting peace to the word.

Now, with the election just four days off, a final thought. Remember, each election results in a kind of self-portrait of America. We want a portrait that will reflect the hopes and aspirations of all thoughtful Americans for sound, sensible and progressive government-a government ever ready to surmount crisis and to meet any test of spirit.

My friends, if this is what you want--and I believe that Republicans, Independents and like-minded Democrats do--then, do not blur the result.

Within each Congressional district, of course, some issues will tend to be of greater local concern than others. This is inevitable in America, where diversity is one of our sources of strength.

But I emphasize that the conflict of local interests must not be allowed to blunt the force of vigorous and sound leadership, at all levels of government, in both the Executive and Legislative Branches.

Let us remember that the Republican Party is a national Party, not a sectional, not a class, not a special interest Party but an all--interest Party. You help keep it that way by making certain:
--first, that you, yourself, vote on November 4th;
--and next, by devoting your time, your efforts, your self, both before and after the election, in winning support for this cause.

And now to the women of America I make a special appeal. In most places, voting day is still a working day. This means that normally women will have on that day a greater opportunity than men to carry on activities that will bring maximum support to their candidates. Relying on the proven dedication of American women to good government, I look to them confidently for their vigorous help at the polls. The goals before us are: --full security for our nation;
--good government for America;
--prosperity and opportunity for all our people;
--and, a just peace in the world.

The Republican program is the ceaseless and tireless pursuit of these objectives.
Thank you and good night.

Note: The President spoke at 9:00 p.m.
Citation: Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Television Address Delivered in the Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland.," October 31, 1958. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=11283.
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