|January 6, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Truman Never Gave the Republicans Hell, Harry Truman Claimed. "I Just Told the Truth and They Thought it Was Hell."
Note: This January 6, 2005 BuzzFlash Editorial marks the sixth in 20 consecutive editorials BuzzFlash will be publishing through January 20th.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
BuzzFlash thought that in its sixth editorial in our series of 20, we might take a break from the current bleak political landscape and provide a hopeful historical perspective: Harry Truman's astonishing victory in 1948.
In September of that election year, Harry Truman was so far behind in the polls that the Roper Organization stopped polling. Truman was not only running against New York Governor Thomas Dewey, he was also being flanked by third party challenges. On the left Henry Wallace was in the race; and the Grand Old Party "Dirty Old Man Racist," Strom Thurmond, was running as a "Dixiecrat."
According to author David McCullough, in the book "Fighting Chance," Newsweek took a poll of 50 of the top political writers and not one of them thought Truman would win.
Stories circulated that Truman had even tried to get other candidates to run in his place, but eventually opted to fight it out.
And how did Truman win?
He barnstormed the nation on a train and gave 'em Hell, as in this Iowa speech:
We guess that in 2004, the Republicans and mainstream press would call Harry a "radical," just as they have marginalized the transformed and energized Al Gore. For the Busheviks, if you repeat a lie five times, it becomes the truth. For the Democrats if you repeat the truth five times, you become an over-the-top extremist.
We have a Bush regime composed of rogue, radical, ideological zealots, and if you speak the truth about the foundation of our nation in 1776, you are considered out of touch.
Here is what Truman said in San Antonio Texas, before a crowd of 200,00, in that historic fall of '48:
Truman ended his quixotic campaign in his hometown of St. Louis, speaking to a standing room only crowd: "Discarding the speech efforts of this staff, he went on the attack, lashing out one last time at the Republican Congress, the Republican press, the Republican 'old dealers,' and the Republican candidate. The stomping, cheering crowd urged him on." (as quoted in "Pols, Great Writers on American Politicians")
Before the votes were fully counted, papers and magazines across the country announced Dewey's victory. The next day, Truman delightfully held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune wishfully announcing Harry's defeat.
But Truman had given them what they weren't expecting: the truth. And in return, they got Hell from the voters as Truman won 303 electoral votes and beat Dewey by more than 2 million popular votes.
In 2004, the Democratic Party national leadership appears as if it is walking on eggshells when talking about the ideological extremists of the Republican Party who have made failure their hallmark legacy during their one-party reign of government.
The people might give the Republicans Hell if a lot of middle class and working class Americans knew the truth about the GOP.
John Kerry waited too long -- and relied too heavily on failed Democratic consultants who appear to make more money the more that they give losing advice.
Whatever you think of Harry Truman, he fulfilled the BuzzFlash model of form meeting content. He exposed the Republican lies, fought like a junkyard dog, and appealed to the working people of America and the core values of the Democratic Party.
He proved that he was a leader and a fighter, because he wasn't timid about putting up his dukes and keeping the Republicans on the defensive.
That was 1948. It was a long time ago.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL