Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks at a Dinner Sponsored by the District of Columbia Republican Women's Finance Committee

May 23, 1955

Mr. Vice President, ladies and gentlemen:

Had there been any doubt in my mind as to where I was coming this evening, it would have been removed when I heard the cheers and the yelling. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anybody attempting a serious task cannot fail to have a very heart-warming experience when he realizes that friends watching him approve of the general course of action he takes and the decisions he makes. So I simply could not overemphasize the feeling of gratitude that I have for you here.

Now, permit me to talk for a moment about the Republican Party and why I am so proud of being a member of the Republican Party. I believe that the greatest honor, the greatest distinction, that can come to any American is to feel that in his own niche he has been of service to the United States of America. I firmly believe that the Republican Party is today the finest political organism we have through which the electorate can do its part in preserving for the future the kind of America we have inherited, and, at the same time, make of the American government a dynamic sort of organism to make certain that every man, woman, and child can remain proud, always, that he is an American.

This country was rounded on the theory that man has his origin through a divine power. Our forefathers said "We hold that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." That was the explanation our forefathers gave to the world, whose good opinion they understood was necessary at that moment for the existence of this nation.

As we maintain and follow up that kind of thinking, we realize that any party that purports to be useful in the support of America must recognize that moral basis on Which we are rounded, and support it in every possible way.. Which means, in simple language, that every individual among us has been created in the image of his Maker. He has equal rights, equal opportunities. He is not to be regimented or controlled unnecessarily, but to be given every opportunity to live according to his concepts of justice, decency, and right. That is America.

Now this kind of concept does not mean that we forget the unfortunate, that we neglect the poor. On the contrary, it asserts that we are in a very definite sense our brother's keeper. When in this modern world the incidents and the circumstances of industrial production and mass production in our factories have brought about conditions that were unknown to our forefathers, we will never let those individuals, those free Americans--we will never let them down.

We follow the great concepts of our forebears: that every individual must remain free, that he must have his rights, that government must be divided not only functionally but geographically, that our control of others is limited to that necessary for the good of the whole. That is the kind of doctrine that the Republican Party presents to America for its approval and is the kind of thing that has been going on for the last two years and more, and which you people have been so kind as to approve. And I believe it is because the administration has tried to carry on in these basic concepts in accordance with your thinking.

Now we have been told that the Republican Party is a minority party. And I suppose by statistical records that is true. But it is not true that the doctrine I have been so roughly expounding as belonging to you and to me and the administration is minority thinking in this country--not by any means. That is majority thinking.

We are not trying to go back to the horse cars; we are not trying to fly to Mars. We believe that America is advancing to many expanding eras of prosperity, a prosperity widely shared among all our citizens. And in going to that place, we take the principles of the past and apply them to the problems of the moment. That's all there is to it. It is a very simple sort of idea.

And we are not doing it for the glorification of the Republican Party, but for the benefit of 160 million Americans.

Now it is, to my mind, a rather appealing and inspiring party this evening which has been brought together merely by women. I believe that women are more apt than are we men to live by strong convictions and spiritual values. They have the family to keep together, the children to raise, and they recognize that all our values are not material. And so, when they believe in something, they put their hearts into it. And I should like to express my particular appreciation to the women who make such a party as this possible--who have worked so hard to bring it about.

I would not want to say that we have not great leaders among the men. We do. You have one on the platform--the Vice President. And we have dozens of others of his age in the Republican Party who bring inspiration to all of us by their dedicated service to the United States of America. But to these women who have made this party possible, my humble appreciation, my deepest thanks, and the thought that by doing this kind of thing all over the Nation they will inspire thousands and millions of others who think as we do to join us, and finally to adopt our label--Republicans.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at the Sheraton-Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at a Dinner Sponsored by the District of Columbia Republican Women's Finance Committee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232811

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