Harry Truman will go down in history as having been a very good President. In fact, based upon what I have read about him over the years, he is one of my favorites. The man never lost the common touch and never forgot where he came from. That – in my opinion – says a lot about a person. I am setting out below an article written about President Truman that tells us a great deal about this man.
PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN
AND THEN THERE WAS TRUMAN…
Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more, important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Mo. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.
When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them. When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”
Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.” As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (e.g. Illinois).
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!” I say dig him up and clone him!! This is not sent for discussion. Enjoy life now – it has an expiration date!
I have to wonder what President Truman would have to say about our present-day political climate. My guess is he would take on the bad guys and not back down one bit when confronted with their tactics. I believe we need more folks like Harry Truman in today’s political world. If he were around today, I believe he would stand up for the middle-class – not back down when attacked by the extreme right – and not be afraid to take on the Karl Roves of this era. Maybe some of our political leaders will read this and become inspired to follow President Truman’s example!
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