Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Cleveland, Grover, 1837-1908; Garner, John Nance, 1868-1967; Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951; McCormick, Robert Rutherford, 1880-1955; Howard, Roy Wilson, 1883-1964; Roberts, Roy; Gannett, Frank E.; Sullivan, Mark
Presidential campaign, 1948; Presidential elections; Political parties; Newspapers; Editorials

Unsent Letter from President Harry S. Truman to Frank Kent, March 5, 1950. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

March 5, 1950

My dear Mr. Kent:

I've been reading the Sunday Washington Star. Your revival of the Republican Party is most interesting. Nothing in the world would please me more than a real revival of the G.O.P. It won't happen though unless the people are concerned that the leadership of the Republican Party have a program.

You know, of course, that the G.O.P., to start with, was a sectional party. Until it ceases to be a sectional party it can't win.

What I was trying to prove and did prove in 1948 was that the Democratic Party is a national party. We won without New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the industrial east. We won without the "solid south." We won as the party of the people as a whole-farmers, laborers, small business men-and even some big business men. Now why?

You say 25% did not vote. Therefore we won on a minority. If the 25% had voted it would have been a landslide. You and your columnist friends, along with the pollsters, had convinced some six or seven million people that there was no reason to go to the polls! Remarkable! Isn't it? Or Wasn't it?

People no longer in this great country can be fooled by people who write for money. Nor can they be misled by such lousy editors and managers as Hearst, McCormick, Roy Howard, Roy Roberts and old man Gannett.

I fear very much that the band wagon has long ago passed you and Mark Sullivan by. In my youth both of you were flaming liberals. Now you are in the Grover Cleveland, John Garner class. You are living in 1888. Too bad. We need your brain power to meet 1950 situations. I wish Ponce de Leon had been successful-we'd still have you and Mark as liberal democrats.

Most sincerely Harry S. Truman

[Handwritten note on envelope] NOT MAILED!


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