General of the Army Douglas MacArthur: “the symbol of the conscience of the American people”

January 31, 2013

General Douglas Macarthur

General Douglas MacArthur

[President Roosevelt] sent for me frequently and often asked my comments on his social programs, but almost never again on military affairs. One evening, during dinner, curiosity and perhaps some measure of pique prompted me to ask him, “Why is it, Mr. President, that you frequently inquire my opinion regarding social reforms under consideration, matters about which I am certainly no authority, but pay little attention to my views on the military?”

His reply took all the wind out of my sails. He said: “Douglas, I don’t bring these questions up for your advice but for your reactions. To me, you are the symbol of the conscience of the American people.”


General Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964), p. 101.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 252




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