1952 President Dwight David Eisenhower appointed Benson to the cabinet
post of Secretary of Agriculture. Partly because of his vigorous espousal
of free enterprise, he was never the most popular person in the cabinet.
Still he was known for being fair, just, and a man of principle. He
was featured on the covers of Time magazine and The Saturday Evening
Post, he and his family were guests on Edward R. Murrow's television
show, "Person to Person." Believing that "no real American wants to
be subsidized," he urged flexible price supports for agricultural products
and called on America's farmers to stand on their own feet. Surprising
critics, he survived a full eight years in the cabinet before retiring
once more to home and church duties.
opposed to communism, Benson denounced all forms of tyranny and compulsion.
He spoke out frequently advocating conservative positions and themes,
and was mentioned as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate.
On one occasion he outlined his own political creed in the following
words: "I am for freedom and against slavery. I am for social progress
and against socialism. I am for a dynamic economy and against waste.
I am for the private competitive market and against unnecessary governmental
intervention. I am for national security and against appeasement and
capitulation to an obvious enemy."