Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951; McCormick, Robert Rutherford, 1880-1955; Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953; Lenin, Vladimir Il\'ich, 1870-1924; Howard, Roy Wilson, 1883-1964; Knight, John Shively
Political parties; Political campaigns; Presidential campaign, 1948; International relations; Newspapers; Press

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, February 5, 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Revision of 4/16/50 & of 1/30/52 Jan 31 & Feb. 5, 1952

When January 1953 comes I will have been in elective public office for thirty years, less two from Jan. 1, 1925 to Jan. 1, 1927. But I had served two years in a combat division from April 22, 1917 to May 6, 1919. So--I have thirty years of public service when Jan 1, 1953 comes, looking at it any way you wish.

In all my political experience I have tried to give everything I could to the job in hand. The peculiar circumstance of the whole experience is that I've never had an office I wanted-- except in the first two years of service as Judge of the County Court for the Eastern District of Jackson County, Missouri, and the last four years as President of the United States, from Jan. 20, 1949 to Jan. 20, 1953.

In every instance in my experience in running for public office, there have been hard battles, which required everything I could put into the campaigns in order to win. But I always won except in 1924 campaign for reelection as Eastern Judge. The Democrats split up in the county and inadvertently kicked me upstairs in 1926. I became the Presiding Judge of the County Court Jan 1, 1927 as a result of the election of 1926.

The same thing happened to me in 1934 when I was elected to the Senate of the United States to represent Missouri as its Junior Senator. I wanted to be a member of the House of Representatives of the United States from the 4th Missouri District.

In 1940 I had a most bitter campaign in the primary-something like the Presidential campaign of 1948. You know the result in both instances.

I've given the country and the world everything I am capable of giving. I've never had any outside or personal interests. My whole career from Precinct to President has been spent in the public interest.

We've whipped the Communists at every turn, Tehran, Trieste, Greece and Turkey, Berlin, Korea. By these acts and the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan) we have saved the free world. We have succeeded in maintaining a balanced economy here at home. The business man, the farmer, the laboring man have all had a fair deal. We have started a world program that will give a fair deal to the people of every country on earth.

These policies must be carried on to success. Our free government is a continuing institution. It does not depend on one man or one group of men. It depends on the honor, the stamina and the will of a whole people, one hundred and fifty million of them, for success.

The Democratic Party is the best agency that the people have to carry things to a successful conclusion. It has brought us to the threshold of the greatest age in history during the past twenty years. By the campaign of 1948--the successful campaign, the Democratic Party became the greatest National Party that this United States of ours has ever had. Now the Democratic Party must continue to be the party of all the people.

The party of opposition, the minority party in this Great Republic, the so-called Republican Party, the party that was the outgrowth of the Free Soilers, the Know-Nothings, the remnants of the dead Whig and Federalist Parties of one hundred years ago, had learned not one thing from the history and experience of this great country with its political parties. This party of opposition has learned nothing even from the recent past.

When a great party has no issues on which it can appeal to the people, demogogery [sic], misrepresentation and low character assignation [sic] become the "issues" of the candidates who are itching for power. Those candidates no matter what their anticedents [sic] are desperate. A desperate man cares not for truth or honor.

Your President hates crime and corruption [sic] as no man who ever sat in the President's chair has hated them. Whenever a real wrongdoer has been proved to be one, he has been discharged and prosecuted. But--your President has never let a character assassin, a paid air liar, and there are many of them, or a sewer and sabotage press in any way influence his actions.

In this great day and age of ours we have prostitutes of the mind. This terrible disease originated in the Kremlin with Lenin. Stalin and the Polit Bureau are his pupils and successors. Hearst, Howard, McCormick and Knight are Lenin's imitators. Certain Committees of Congress I'm sorry to say try to follow the same line.

This gutter press of ours pays immense seems to prostitutes of the mind, as do certain believers in special privilege in industry pay character assassins and purveyors of untruth to speak over great radio chain hookups.

You'll notice, of course, that these fact twisters and character assassins never appear on television. One look at anyone of them would tell you what they are. From now on this is a fight to the finish, a fight for truth and decency in public life and public information. I shall do my best to put the crooks out of office, the liars off the air and the prostitutes of the mind out of the press.

Now the immediate job confronting the Democratic Party is to elect a Democratic President and Vice President a real Democratic Senate and House of Representatives. I'll do all I can to help the people of the country to do just that.

The Democratic Party has done for me all it can do for one man. I shall spend the rest of my life trying to show my gratitude by helping the Party, the country and the world to prosperity and to peace.

I pray Almighty God for guidance and help to attain success in the fight for peace and prosperity.

(I am not a candidate for reelection in 1952. The Party has done enough for me. I'll work just as hard for another man as for myself.)


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