[Marxism] American love: story of Harry Truman and other asshole cock-and-cunt historical leadership analogies from the American ruling class

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sat Feb 14 00:51:32 MST 2004

More than 1,300 letters President Harry  "Give 'Em Hell Harry" Truman wrote
over 50 years, along with a handful the first lady wrote to her husband,
play out on stage this Valentine's Day in "The Love Story of Harry and Bess
Truman," at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library. In love letters to
Bess Truman, Harry Truman (1884-1972)  the nation's 33rd president reveals
his "softer, loving and emotional side".

Elizabeth Virginia Wallace was born in Missouri and the daughter of David
Willock and Margaret Gates Wallace. Her father committed suicide when she
was young. Harry Truman, being close in age to Bess, always admired her from
their first meeting at age 6. He would ride his horse from his farm to visit
her quite often, but Bess's mother thought he was a peasant.

Things changed when Harry became First Lieutenant in the world war, then her
Mum thought something of him; a man who could really kill the Krauts. Bess
and Harry engaged before he went  to France to fight the war. Harry turned
into a major with a medal, and he married Bess when he got back on June 28,
1919. His daughter (b. 1924) was the victim of an attempted kidnapping.

They lived through a time when mail was delivered twice a day, and couples
courted through writing letters. In 1911 Truman even proposed marriage to
Bess in a letter. She refused though, until he asked her in person. Truman's
letters to Bess originally joined the museum's permanent collection in 1983
and were published that same year in "Dear Bess: The Letters from Harry to
Bess Truman."

Roosevelt replaced Truman for Henry Wallace as his Vice Presidential
candidate, but Truman did not do much in his new function. On April 12,
1945, Truman was having a drink in the office of Senate Speaker Sam Rayburn,
when he was summoned to the White House. Eleanor Roosevelt greeted him with
the words, "Harry, the President is dead." Truman replied, "Is there
anything I can do for you?" Mrs. Roosevelt shook her head and replied in her
schmalzy, fascist, patronising sitcom way, "Is there anything we can do for
you? For you are the one in trouble now."

The day after assuming the Presidency, Truman was disoriented and he quipped
to a reporter, "I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had
fallen on me." Truman became President less than a month before the end of
the war in Europe, so the big job of imperialist murder had already been
achieved.  When he was elected, his wife Bess handled the reporters through
a press secretary, the Eleanor style went out of fashion. During the second
term, the Trumans lived for three years across the street in Blair House, a
bit like Bush trading money for political insight with Tony.

Truman went along to the final war summit at Potsdam where he met Stalin. At
Potsdam, the Allies issued an ultimatum demanding immediate Japanese
surrender. Truman decided to butcher the Japanese with the Atomic Bomb on
Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki, mindful of American costs for invading Japan
and knowing little about the reality of it. Two bombs were dropped, one on
Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki, and then the Japanese surrendered. By 6
August 2002 only 226,870 had been killed in Hiroshima from the bommbing, so
what's wrong with that ?

The scientists and statisticians were happy, they had killed and had things
to figure out. So then Truman launched the "The Fair Deal". He tried to keep
inflation in check by continuing wartime price controls. This created a
large black market for goods, and a resentment of Truman's policies.

The 1946 midterm elections of the House and Senate were seen as a referendum
on Truman. Because Eisenhower refused to be candidate, the Democrats stuck
with Truman, and the Republicans chose Thomas Dewey, Governor of New York.
Truman's sinking popularity made Dewey look a winner, a ringer for the
presidency. The Republicans figured that all they had to do was stop Dewey
from talking too much crap and everything would go right.

An editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal about Dewey summed it up
best: "No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of
his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences:
Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have
freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead."

Truman, on the other hand, went for it aggresively like a Rottweiler,
targeting the Republican-controlled 80th Congress lead by Robert Taft
(Ohio). Taft was more really conservative than Dewey, being fixated on
rolling back FDR's "communist" New Deal arrangement. He was the Taft in the
Taft Hartley Act.  Lefty Dewey promoted a platform at the 1948 convention
which called for expanding social security, more funding for public housing,
civil rights legislation, and promotion of health and education by the
federal government.

Seeing what was going on, Truman split the Republicans on "Turnip Day" by
enacting legislation which stole the Republican party's platform, thereby
taking the wind out of their sails.  The minimum wage was raised and social
security coverage was expanded. Truman  failed as regards a National Health
Insurance program, nor could he repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. But
desegregation in the Armed Forces was achieved.

"I'm going to fight hard," Truman subsequently told Alben Barkley, "I'm
going to give them hell." It was a lot of rhetoric. He called the 80th
Congress "the worst in history," assailed the "gluttons of privilege"
dominating the G.O.P., called Republicans "a bunch of old mossbacks" and
"bloodsuckers with offices in Wall Street," dismissed the Republican party
as "the party of ... the Hoover boom and Hoover depression," and charged
that "the notorious 'do-nothing' Republican Eightieth Congress" had "stuck a
pitchfork in the farmer's back."

Truman defence consisted in showing some balls and pithy rhetoric, and he
blistered Dewey and the Republicans as a bunch of wallies and fuckwits,
whereas the Republican Dewey tried to be "above mere politics", and thus
Truman won the elections. After Churchill's 1947 "Iron Curtain" speech,
Truman thought he would announced the Truman Doctrine, which stated, "I
believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free
peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by
outside pressures." which sounded like something anybody could agree with.

Truman won Congressional approval for large-scale aid to Turkey and Greece
to butcher communists, supported the Secretary of State's Marshall Plan,
approved the Berlin airlift that eventually carried 2 million tons of
emergency supplies to West Berlin, helped establish NATO in 1949 and passed
the Federal Housing Act of 1949 providing money for slum clearance, and in
1950 approved an attack on North Korea, beated back however by the Chinese.

Asked at a press conference on November 30, 1950 whether MacArthur had
exceeded his authority, Truman snapped that the General had done nothing of
the kind. US News and World Report asked MacArthur whether he kept
Washington advised of what he was doing. MacArthur replied, "Major
operations are all reported and approved prior to being launched."

In his office, Harry Truman had a sign which said: "the buck stops here", a
sort of reminder of his responsibilities. But in reality the "buck" was the
"mighty greenback". Truman, that charmingly decent man, was the voice of
Capital itself speaking, and the sign in his office was merely an ultimate
admission that money signified a social relation, a relationship between
people, and that people were necessary to operate the domination of Capital
which money-making made possible, so that they might understand love as
murderous greed, and that you had to hate in order to love, and that people
just had to know they place lest they be killed if they stepped out of it.

In his 6th "Sieg Heil" State of the Union address to Congress on January 8,
1951, well into the Korean war, Truman blamed imperialism all on the
Russians and denied ever instigating any aggression: "The free nations do
not have any aggressive purpose. We want only peace in the world--peace for
all countries. (...) The imperialism of the czars has been replaced by the
even more ambitious, more crafty, and more menacing imperialism of the
rulers of the Soviet Union. This new imperialism has powerful military
forces. (...) The Soviet imperialists have two ways of going about their
destructive work. They use the method of subversion and internal revolution,
and they use the method of external aggression. In preparation for either of
these methods of attack, they stir up class strife and disorder. They
encourage sabotage. They put out poisonous propaganda. They deliberately try
to prevent economic improvement. If their efforts are successful, they
foment a revolution, as they did in Czechoslovakia and China, and as they
tried, unsuccessfully, to do in Greece." Blah Blah Blah.

When Truman had run out, he retired with Bess to Independence, and Bess was
hopeful that he might live in private.  Truman could not live in obscurity,
so the home was locked and barricaded from a curious public. Then Bess
finally achieved the private life she wanted, until her death on October 18,
1982. Bess had survived her husband by almost ten years then, as Harry had
already died in 1972 anyhow.

Best to leave the lies and crap of the American elites behind, you know. All
they want is lots of money, so they can tell the world what the good life
should be - the good life that your children might have if you hand over the
cash today.


More information about the Marxism mailing list