On Selecting A President [Updated]

Selecting a civil leader is a very important task. It is important because the political leader is entrusted with authority over the state, which is the organ of society, established by God, given to protect freedom and restrain evil.


Romans 13:1–5 (KJV 1900) 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

The State
The Head of the State
The People
The Issues

The State

Governmental Authority is From God

Romans 13.1 says that

  • We are all, both believers and others, to be subject to the governing authorities,
  • Governmental authority derives from God as the creator of the institution
  • Those authorities that do exist are appointed by God.

The word “ordained” [NT 5021] means

1 to put in order, to station. 1a to place in a certain order, to arrange, to assign a place, to appoint. 1a1 to assign (appoint) a thing to one. 1b to appoint, ordain, order. [1]

The word is a perfect passive participle, which means that God performed the ordination in eternity past, with the result that at some time certain these authorities are put into place. This principle is illustrated throughout the scriptures, especially in the book of Daniel.

Daniel 2:20–21 (KJV 1900) 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: For wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, And knowledge to them that know understanding:

In the book of Daniel God temporarily removed Nebuchadnezzar from his throne until he was willing to acknowledge this truth that God “removeth kings and setteth up kings” (Dan 4). In the time of the king’s grandson, God removed the dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar altogether and gave the kingdom to the Medes and the Persians (Dan 5). God is responsible for the succession of every human government. God is free to elevate the wise or ignorant, the virtuous or evil to governmental power.

Daniel 4:17 (KJV 1900) 17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Also,

John 19:10–11 (KJV 1900) 10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

There is really no such thing as some political movement overturning the will of God in this matter of governing authority. Although God holds each believer responsible for his own decision-making process and ultimate choice in voting, as always, the decisions of men work together to accomplish God’s purposes.

Proverbs 19:21 (KJV 1900) 21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; Nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

Government is a Civil and not a Spiritual Institution

All, persons, regardless of religious affiliation or spiritual status, are expected to submit to government (Rom 13.1 “Let every soul be subject”). This is because government, although established by God, is not a spiritual institution, but a civil one. Although God established the institution of government, it is a civil and secular institution; it does not share the mission of the church, nor has the institution of government been entrusted with any spiritual resources.

The Jews attempted to confuse the issue of church and state by proposing a conundrum to Jesus:

Luke 20:21–25 (KJV 1900) 21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? 24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. 25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.

Jesus demonstrated that he perceived the true intent of their question: should the Jews serve the state or God? Jesus clarified that the two are not mutually exclusive, that there was a legitimate duty due to the secular government from the people of God and that they (Israel) should render it. Jesus then distinguished duty to the state from their duty to God-He did not commingle the two. Caesar was not a believer; on the contrary, he claimed to be God. Nonetheless, Jesus said that there was an obligation due to him as the representative of the state. Later, when the Roman state would demand the worship of believers, Christians were correct to resist, because the issue now was not taxes (or voting, I might add), but taking from God what belonged rightly to Him, namely worship. Even in this, the early believers demonstrated a singular unwillingness to commingle the obligations to the state with those to God.

Israel’s primary problem was that they did not render to God that which was due Him as their spiritual sovereign. Their Messiah was presenting the promised Davidic Kingdom which they expressly refused to enter, but rather subjected the Potentate of the Universe to a political litmus test regarding taxation.

Despite the abuses of the Roman government and many others before and since, the purpose of government is not to establish religion or to pursue spiritual outcomes. Nor is it the responsibility of Christians to attempt to make the government into an organ of the church. It is not the calling of the government to eliminate sin or to bring in the kingdom of God. Nor is it the responsibility of the government to win the lost, make disciples or to advance Christianity. It is the job of government to preserve the inalienable rights of liberty by opposing those forces of evil both within and outside of the state which conspire to eliminate the freedom of its citizens.

Romans 13:3–4 (KJV 1900) 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

The properly functioning government does good. It should be an agency of ethical integrity. Government should establish justice and execute punishment upon the enemies of justice, without respect of persons. Therefore the government cannot practice evil in the form of injustice, oppression or crime in the performance of its duties without ceasing to perform its function and ultimately bringing upon itself the wrath of God.

Daniel 5:18–20 (KJV 1900) 18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: 19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:

The scripture above followed the famous handwriting on the palace wall in the time of Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. It was spoken by Daniel to that king to give witness that although Belshazzar knew the testimony of his powerful ancestor, he did not heed it. Consequently, that now famous handwriting proclaimed that Belshazzar’s kingdom had been weighed in the balance, found wanting and was that very night to be delivered to the Medes and the Persians. Hence, not only is God the arbiter of who will rise to power, but it is also true that an administration has not and will not continue a single day beyond the duration which the patience of God allows.

God expects human government to follow the dictates of ethical thinking derived from his general revelation to all mankind via the created universe and the human conscience [Rom 1.18-20; 2.14-15]. Therefore, crime is the province of the government; sin is the province of the church.

The domain of government is crime. The government enforces a system of morality codified into laws which control human behavior. The objective of laws is public safety in preservation of human freedom. When the government becomes the agency of injustice and other forms of evil, God acts to discipline that nation, often through the very leaders he places into power.

Exodus 7:3 (KJV 1900) 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

Romans 9:17 (KJV 1900)17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Sin is the domain of the church. Although the root of many[2] crimes is sin, the answer to the problem of sin is not government, but Christ, who provided through his sacrifice upon the cross a complete solution to the sin problem.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV 1900) 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Acts 16:30–31 (KJV 1900) 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Christians cause problems when they assign the problems of government to the church for solutions and assign the problems of the church to the government and political leaders for resolution. It is not the job of the church to control politics nor is it the job of government to stamp out sin.

The mission of government and the church do complement one another: when the government properly protects the freedom of all citizens then the church is free to do its work without harassment. Likewise, when the church is producing spiritual light and life, then government has a pool of responsible citizens for service as well as a law abiding community that respects the God given institution of government. The government that would become the instrument of God inevitably draws the nation into systems of tyranny; and the church that seeks to manipulate government, regardless of the justification, leads ironically to the very same tyranny.

The Head of State

Oath of Office of the President of the United States

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”[3]

The improper choice of a civil leader can result in the expansion of evil and subsequent loss of human freedom. When the governmental leaders are selected on the basis of spiritual qualifications serious problems are inevitable. One does not select a heart surgeon, an airline pilot or a chef on the basis of their religious convictions, but upon the basis of their skill in performing their chosen profession. Christianity does not typically impart professional skill and Christians can be as professionally incompetent as anyone else.

Nor does the Christian public have any means of determining the actual spiritual status of any political candidate since they have little to no intimate exposure to the candidates under normal circumstances. Today however, nearly every major political candidate is pressured into claiming to be a Christian (or admitting that he is not) and voters are voting on the basis of these claims. A civil leader should possess moral strength, but he does not have to be a Christian to possess this quality. Although God is the basis of all morality, one does not need to be born again in order to possess morality. We rely every day upon officers of the state: policemen and firemen, judges and civil servants to be honest and to uphold the law whether they are believers in Christ or not. In fact, the prevalence of genuine morality in unbelievers is related to the holiness of believers.

1 Peter 2:12 (KJV 1900) 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Romans 2:24 (KJV 1900) 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

The church is guilty of a similar error in selecting leaders for spiritual service. Calling a pastor has become a beauty contest where genuine spiritual gifts, genuine bible knowledge and genuine spiritual piety are rejected for a pretty face, political skills and pulpit showmanship. We now have actors and entertainers both in the chief positions of government and in the pulpits of America.

The qualifications of primary importance in selecting a president:

  • The willingness to follow the Constitution and to implement the laws of the land under equal justice.
  • The intelligence to understand what policies will strengthen America and protect it from its enemies from within and from without
  • The moral courage to make the decisions consistent with this knowledge and follow through on these decisions.

The People

In the United States of America the people are entrusted with the election of qualified candidates for office at every geographic level of governmental authority. The quality of our leaders, therefore, are a direct reflection of our own industry and integrity as citizens. It has been said that people do not get the government that they want, but the government they deserve.

The Way We Vote

The United States is a complex nation in the midst of a complex world. The task of citizenship is a difficult one that many simply do not have the time or the interest to pursue with the diligence required of good citizens.

An easy way out is to choose a single issue that qualifies or disqualifies any given candidate. The candidates stand on gun ownership or abortion, his or her race or gender, or perhaps their position upon taxation. Single issue voting simplifies the process of citizenship by eliminating the need to understand the issues or candidates. By separating thought from citizenship, single issue voting enables the unqualified to achieve important offices on the basis of their ability to convince enough people that they agree with their position on the single issue.

Single issue politics have become a sophisticated means of appealing to large demographic segments of society through an issue that is identified with a host of sub issues. A single issue such as abortion is labeled Pro-Life or Pro-Choice and marketed as a brand which encompasses a constellation of views on issues as diverse as taxation to race relations. Virtually no thought is required for many people to cast votes which determine the course of the nation’s future and that of the world.

Therefore, in order to get elected, people are tempted to become liars and obfuscators. The positions communicated by politicians are based upon polls which isolate the hot button issues that will bring their demographic segments to the polls. What wisdom and ethics demand, or what the Constitution demands are secondary or not at issue at all.

Most believers seem to know little about our nations’ history or its current activities around the world. Therefore they are powerfully attracted to a political policy which requires no thought whatsoever: where does the candidate stand on the issue of abortion? Abortion is an evil, and a great one, but it is by no means the only evil in which our nation is currently engaged.  There are Christians who oppose abortion but fight to preserve white racial privilege. There are Christians who oppose abortion but look the other way as hundreds of thousands are slaughtered for the control of the natural resources beneath their soil.  There are Christians who have no comment regarding the loss of our overall constitutional rights and the introduction of torture in America. The unbeliever might perceive from all this that is that Jesus is only concerned about certain deaths and the suffering of certain people.

The Church is Guilty

Ironically, the reason that Americans are so selfish and shortsighted is primarily because the visible church is too busy trying to control the state to do its God given duty of proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. As in Jesus day, the pursuit of the gospel and of good citizenship are not mutually exclusive. The Christians that tell those seeking social justice to “just preach the gospel” are the same people that have totally betrayed the gospel in failing to teach their congregations that racial discrimination is a sin.[4] The spread of the heresies of the charismatic movement have inoculated millions against obedience in the whole counsel of the scriptures. The charismatic churches have taught believers to disregard enough of the scriptures that it has become easy to disregard whatever is convenient from now on. It is selective obedience to the Bible that has been the fundamental dynamic that has led to the collapse of nations in the church age. Since the day of Pentecost and the beginning of the Church, no nation has ever survived the nullification of their pulpits. An Old Testament passage illustrates the principle:[5]

Isaiah 14:12 (KJV 1900) 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

The rescue of the nation begins with the re-establishment of the properly functioning local church. Repentance regarding the sins of the church leadership and a commitment to the proclamation of the whole counsel of the Word of God are the first steps.[6] A spiritually vital church will transform the national life in a generation.


For the voters with some degree of integrity: you are not seeking a religious leader for the government, but you are to seek someone with sound moral values, high intelligence and great courage for government office. If these persons are not available in the current pool of candidates, then as citizens you are obligated to find them.

The Issues

Abortion

Abortion is, in my understanding of the bible, a great sin. There are approximately one million abortions[7] every year in America, regardless of whether the administration is Democratic or Republican, regardless of the composition of the Supreme Court. The Republican majority of the Supreme Court voted to legalize abortion in 1973.[8] Conservatives have pushed every variety of conservative decision through the top court, even managed to have a very controversial election decided by the court in favor of the conservative candidate, but they have been allegedly impotent to impact the terrific evil of abortion.

The problem that I have with the view of so many Christians regarding this issue of abortion can be stated in this way:

  1. For some reason, conservative Christians in America believe that abortion, as bad as it is, is the greatest sin that we are in the process of committing as a nation.
  2. For a related reason, they choose not to examine or evaluate their political leaders on these “other” issues, such a unjustified and unilateral wars that kill hundreds of thousands including hundreds of thousands of civilians; maintaining scores of non-white nations in perpetual pre-historic conditions for the purpose of our economic and strategic benefit; the periodic assassination of foreign leaders; the support of known dictators (such as Saddam Hussein for many years), the rigging of elections, torture, circumventing or nullifying the constitution, ignoring genuine genocide in the world and supporting eugenics,[9] to name just a few.
  3. Lastly, and this is the most disturbing. For some reason, these Christians who consider abortion the single most important issue in selecting a president, apparently also believe that Jesus is oblivious to the deaths, oppression and suffering of people all over the world and is focused mainly on the single atrocity of abortion. Therefore, they falsely believe the candidate who appears to oppose this single significant sin is always God’s man.

As addressed earlier, it is likely that the “single issue” of abortion is in reality a code word for a panoply of issues which are better left unspoken because of their inconsistency with Christian practice; namely racial oppression and home and abroad.[10]

Ps 103:6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. KJV

Isaiah 10:1–2 (KJV 1900) 1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, And that write grievousness which they have prescribed; 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, And to take away the right from the poor of my people, That widows may be their prey, And that they may rob the fatherless!

Both the Republicans and the Democrats violate and disregard large portions of the bible on a consistent basis. This is not a good thing, but there is a reason for it. It is because government is a civil institution and is generally run by unbelievers who are serving a much larger group of non-born again citizens. We live in a secular society and we always have. Even in the days of our colonial forbears who are alleged to have been our spiritual superiors, they fit church attendance in between forcing slaves to work without wages and creating an entire nation of biracial African-American offspring without the benefit of marriage.

The answer is not to throw up our hands and withdraw from the political process altogether. Jesus and the early church did not attempt to make the government do through law what they were proclaiming that the gospel could do through grace. The early church was effective in making disciples, and those disciples became the salt and light that transformed culture. In the Old Testament, during the Babylonian Captivity, Daniel and his three friends were actually government employees, but their objective was not to turn the government of Babylon into a quasi religious organ of Israel. They were faithful to God in their behavior and the King was converted.

When we vote for governmental executives we must realize up front that we will not agree with some of their political views, but we are selecting the best available candidate for the position based upon their ability to do what government is supposed to do, and not based upon what the church is supposed to do. Therefore the bible believing Christian cannot be chained to a single issue. The minute you honestly confront the vast range of horrible offenses of which our nation is guilty you have begun to be qualified for your duty as a citizen. Worse yet, do not get duped into an anti-biblical position disguised as righteousness and Americanism. You can be against abortion and against global oppression at the same time. You can demand candidates who share your commitments. You do not have to be held captive by a false hierarchy of wrongdoing that is designed not to serve God but to perpetuate a social order.

In the way we believers apply our Christianity to politics, we have astigmatism. We cannot see the rampant and horrible impact we often force upon others through our president if that president merely says that he opposes abortion.[11] Not that he acts decisively to eliminate abortion, but to merely say that he is against it. We do not require that he ever deliver on his promises regarding abortion, and we do not perceive or hold him accountable for his performance in other important areas of political leadership.

This aspect of our faith is not biblical Christianity; this is a religious doctrine that has been contrived to enable our current political system[i]. Just as the slaves were taught a version of Christian doctrine that would not interfere with slavery (which doctrine is still around), we today have somehow absorbed a doctrine which enables an American Empire at the expense of the well being of others all over the world with our tacit consent. Snap Quiz: which US war in the last 100 years has the conservative evangelical church not supported?

What Are We to Do?

  1. We are to study our government and its actions in order to be properly informed. There is no excuse in this age of computer technology and free libraries not to have an understanding of important issues regarding our government’s activities. This is an individual responsibility and not the responsibility of the church.
  2. We are to examine the candidates and issues that we are to vote upon. We need to leave off with the lazy, one issue evaluation that dominates Christian decision making today.
  3. We are to recognize that more often than not we are choosing between either unbelievers or between nominal Christians. We are not choosing a Pastor or a Sunday school teacher, but a person who is going to administer government, a secular institution which must govern unbelievers and believers alike.
  4. We should realize that when single issues become more important than the character and qualifications of the candidate, the unqualified and those lacking character will ride into power by the manipulation of these very issues, creating even greater evil in so doing.
  5. We should also realize that a person does not have to be a believer to have moral character and courage. Millions of unbelievers have died upon our battlefields for principles of patriotism, freedom and honor. Millions more unbelievers have ministered to the sick, protected the weak and defended the Constitution. It is a religious delusion to believe that only Christians are fit to lead, or that every Christian is more fit to lead in government than unbelievers with morality and integrity.
  6. We must realize that the solution to the sin problem is in the church, through its dual witness of its lips and its life and that though the government can and should regulate certain behaviors in order to protect all our citizens, we cannot jeopardize the healthy function of government in order to force a Christian agenda upon the nation. We cannot thrust the undeserving into office in order to advance Christian platforms when the solution to the very issues we want addressed are in our own hands and not those of the politicians. By doing this we actually damage the government, rendering it unable to perform the limited functions that it is actually authorized by God to perform.
  7. We need to remember that God is the one who ultimately appoints the governing authorities and it is He who determines the extent of their reach and the duration of their influence (Rom 13.1). Although God will judge us all on the quality of our decision making in this area, His political will has prevailed and will prevail.

[1] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

[2] What is a crime is determined by laws, which are created by people. All crimes are not sins. Laws are not all just.

[3] Article II, Section One, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution.

[4] This does not mean telling the people twice a year that “racism if bad” and leaving it at that. The attitudes and behaviors which communicate racial bigotry across generations as well as the systems which fortify and perpetuate it within our institutions are all within the domain of the pastor and the Word of God.

[5] The thralldom of the nations by Lucifer is assisted by the malfunction of the people of God. In the age of the Body of Christ, the compromise of the local church leads inevitably to the collapse of the nation. [The worship of false gods in the O.T. becomes the adoption of false doctrines in the N.T. Alliances with pagan governments [O.T.] become alliances with false teachers today. Evangelization is replaced by Church Growth theory. Pastors understand this concept, but take no personal responsibility for the trend, instead blaming their ideological adversaries.

[6] This is a big step, and I am not optimistic that it will happen now, as it did not happen in Israel when Jesus was physically present.

[7] This is an estimate. Abortion counts are based upon voluntary information form the states and invariably data from some states are not available.

[8] “The vote on Roe vs. Wade was 7-2. Those justices supporting the case’s pro-choice outcome were as follows, including the president nominating each and the president’s party affiliation:
Harry Blackmun (Nixon, R); Warren Burger (Nixon, R); William Douglas (FDR, D); William Brennan (Eisenhower, R); Potter Stewart (Eisenhower, R); Thurgood Marshall (LBJ, D); Lewis Powell (Nixon, R) Those dissenting on Roe vs. Wade — only two – and both were not Republican-president-nominated to the Court: Byron White (Kennedy, D); William Rehnquist (Nixon, R; chief justice under Reagan, R) Nixon nominated four justices. Three concurred on Roe vs. Wade— arguably a decisive factor in the outcome of the case.”

[Roe v. Wade Was Decided By A Republican-Nominated Supreme Court 11/06/2016 07:05 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2016  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-supporters-roe-vs-wade-was-decided-by-a-republican_b_581fbd44e4b044f827a78f87  Accessed June 25, 2020.] Emphasis added.

[9] https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/17/eugenics-is-trending-thats-problem/ Accessed June 25, 2020

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/11/27/margaret-sanger-was-eugenicist-why-are-we-still-celebrating-her?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI04zItr-e6gIVu-y1Ch0VJw8yEAMYASAAEgLQRvD_BwE  Accessed June 25, 2020

[10] “In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.[1][2][3] As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. It also helped to push the Republican Party much more to the right.[4]”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy  Accessed June 25, 2020

[11] This article was first written several years before the 2016 election.

[i] President Dwight D. Eisenhower, three days before leaving office 1961:

“…Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

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 citizenry 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.”

Emphasis added.


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