Which Democrat today is someone we can admire and fully respect? Corey Booker? Chuck Schumer? Nancy Pelosi? Obama? Elizabeth Warren? Clearly not. Has there been one in the last 30 years, that was active on the national stage?
The truth is that the Democrat Party of the past decade is very distant from the working-class and “fairly reasonable” one of yesteryear. President Kennedy of the early 1960’s might very well be a Republican in 2018. Maybe Jack Kennedy, for some, is the last Democrat to admire.
For others, you need to go back to FDR’s successor- Harry S. Truman. This leader was interesting and provocative enough to make a feature length movie out of, some years back. Most people know a little about him, but when you delve deeper- there is a lot to like and respect.
Though he did continue many of FDR’s “progressive” agenda, and did expand federal social security, Truman showed strength and courage. This is lacking in nearly all of the “leaders” of the Democrat Party.
Truman started off fighting in Western Europe in World War 1. (Side note: it has now been 25 years since we have had a President that served in battle in the military.) Later he became a U.S. Senator, and then in early 1945 (after Germany was defeated in WW2), he became Vice President under FDR’s 4th term. In 3 short months, FDR unexpectedly died- and Truman was quickly cast into the role of the most powerful man in the world.
President Truman quickly authorized the use and dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan- twice. He noted that this was not an easy decision, but it was needed to spare the lives of possibly a half a million US soldiers. Japanese deaths (overwhelmingly civilians) totaled over 200,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – but this was a reasonable price to pay to save the lives of perhaps 250,000 to 500,000 Americans. After all, Truman was the President of the United States- not the President of the World.
But one cannot appreciate Truman without looking at some of his famous quotes and sayings, with some being a part of the American lexicon to this day:
“The buck stops here.” (Note: Truman did not actually coin this phrase.)
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…of Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.”
Since Truman’s Presidency, the Republican Party’s beliefs have not changed that much- while I believe its fairly clear that the Democrat Party has strayed and become more on the fringe. Maybe they are mimicking American society at-large, but it is safe to say that Truman, or JFK, would barely recognize the 2018 Democrats.
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