Ezra Taft Benson served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1985 until his death in 1994. Long before holding that esteemed position within the church, he served for eight years as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture.
During Benson’s tenure as Secretary of Agriculture, the press predicted that he wouldn’t last a full term, and many republicans in congress believed that he was ‘too radical’ for the party’s own good. Yet, despite vehement opposition from the media and his own party, Benson remained in his post for the full duration of Eisenhower’s two terms, consistently delivering anti-communist speeches that warned of a socialist/communist conspiracy to eventually bring America to her knees.
Later, in the 1960s, he addressed the students of Brigham Young University, warning, in part:
I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Kruschev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor.
But, according to President Eisenhower, Kruschev had expressed a desire to learn something of American Agriculture — and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why.
As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom he arrogantly declared in substance:
- You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands!