[Mb-civic] NYTimes.com Article: National Unity
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Thu Sep 2 11:08:52 PDT 2004
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September 2, 2004
By WILLIAM BRAGG EWALD Jr.
My fellow Americans, as Abraham Lincoln said, "We must
think anew, and act anew."
Tonight I propose that we establish a historic innovation -
a government of national unity: a government staffed by
significant representatives of both parties.
Over the years, we have had bits and pieces that suggest
its shape. In World War II, Franklin Roosevelt brought into
his cabinet two outstanding Republicans - Henry Stimson as
secretary of war and Frank Knox as secretary of the Navy.
In February 1956, Dwight Eisenhower seriously explored
running for a second term with a Democrat as his vice
president, most notably Frank Lausche, the governor of
After Sputnik, as the cold war turned crucially on primacy
in science and engineering, both Eisenhower and John F.
Kennedy brought into the Oval Office the President's
Science Advisory Committee - a group of our most eminent
thinkers - with no thought of their political affiliation.
I need not rehearse the unprecedented challenges we face
today in our domestic economy and our foreign affairs. And
I need not outline tonight the government staffing I have
in mind, beginning with the cabinet, except to give one
cardinal illustration: I shall offer the post of secretary
of defense to America's most brilliant and knowledgeable
authority on national security, Sam Nunn, Democrat of
One final precedent. After the hard-fought and bitter
campaign of 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt asked his
Republican opponent, Wendell Willkie, to go on a trip
around the world to visit foreign leaders to assure them of
America's friendship and respect; to solicit their thoughts
on the conduct of international policy; and to make
unmistakably clear that, as members of the human family, we
all live - must live - in what Willkie so famously called
"One World." If I am re-elected, I shall ask my Democratic
opponent, Senator John Kerry, to undertake a similar
international mission, with these exact purposes.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the dogmas and divisions of
the past will not suffice in the stormy present. The moment
has arrived for acceptance: my grateful acceptance of your
nomination; our acceptance together of a government of
national unity for the American people.
William Bragg Ewald Jr., a speechwriter toPresident Dwight
D. Eisenhower from 1954 to 1957, is the author of
"Eisenhower the President: Crucial Days 1951-1960.''
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