09 September 2010

The Guy Obama SHOULD HAVE Been Emulating All This Time . . .

Who decided we wanted 'a new FDR', anyway... Newsweek?  

Give-em-Hell Harry's pragmatic and patriotic Democratic leadership was actually of the type that could have banished today's GOP to the political boonies for a decade or more. Alas, somehow it seemed more stylish and romantic to repeat the expensive Keynesian failures of the Roosevelt Administration instead... this coupled to a weird defeatist foreign policy of Team Obama's own creation.

Harry S Truman (the "S" doesn't stand for anything... just "S") was a brave, humble, and grateful-to-be-free American who ran to serve his country... and in a most competent and principled manner. He not just preached but lived by patriotic-heartland Christian values, leading a highly-successful yet modest and well-reflected-upon life.

Eager to join the Missouri National Guard in 1905, his 20/50 eyesight would have prevented most men from passing the physical... but a determined young Truman had secretly memorized the eyechart. A decade later, the soft-spoken artillery officer developed invaluable leadership skills on the front lines in France. Harry Truman was a true war hero, the only WWI battlefield veteran to serve as president.

On July 5, 1917, Captain Harry S. Truman took command of Battery D... where the rowdy Kansas City Irishmen of the unit -infamous for discipline problems- specialized in wearing out commanding officers. Many predicted the quiet, bespectacled captain would crumble quickly. 

But Harry -son of a Missouri mule trader- knew how to handle troublemakers. Scared -as he told his wife in private letters from the front- but resolute, Truman demanded respect, forcing them by sheer force of will to buckle under to his unwavering command. Within weeks, he had transformed Battery D into a disciplined, loyal outfit. However, the true test of combat lay ahead...

On August 29, 1918, Truman's Battery D fired 500 rounds of artillery at a
 German position in the Vosges Mountains. When the Germans counter-attacked, the men began to disperse in panic. A furious Truman sprang into action -while still under fire- ordering them back into position using profanities he had "learned while working on the Santa Fe railroad."  Shocked by the outburst, the men reassembled and re-joined the battle. 

For the remainder of the war, Truman led Battery D across the French countryside, mercilessly hammering German positions and never once losing a man. On the battlefields of Europe, Harry S Truman experienced the success that had eluded him to that point in his life. His battery also provided support for George S. Patton's tank brigade during the historic Meuse-Argonne Offensive. 

On Armistice Day -November 11, 1918- his heavy guns fired some of the last shots of World War I, still pounding the Kaiser's troops after the armistice was signed at 5am... but before the cease fire took effect at 11am. Clearly, Truman didn't have any problem with the idea of American exceptionalism.

And Harry S Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made more vital, impactful decisions than any of the 42 Presidents that preceded him. While some of the decisions remain controversial -and his own popularity in office swang wildly- history has treated him very well indeed.  But an even better measure of his character and greatness may rest on what he did -and didn't do- after he left the White House:

The only asset Truman had when he passed-away in 1972 was the house he lived in, which was inherited from his wife's parents.  Other than their time in DC, the Trumans lived their entire adult lives there. When Harry retired from office in 1952, his sole income was an Army pension of $13,500/yr. Congress -noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them- granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated in January 1953, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves in Harry's own Dodge sedan... there was no motorcade, no Secret Service trailing.

Offered corporate positions at large salaries, Truman declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people, and it's not for sale.."

Even later -in 1971- when Congress was preparing to award him the esteemed Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, Harry Truman refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president, Truman actually paid for all of his own travel expenses... including food. Sadly, modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth for, say, er- the Clintons... right along with all the Blagos and Rangels of the world.

Harry S Truman's genuine, good faith service and competent management of this country provides a stark contrast to the corrupt, communist-infiltrated bunglers of the Obama Administration... perhaps Amercians should demand just a little higher standard next time?  

They say Bess never did quite forgive him for pics with smoking-hot Lauren Bacall...

Pertinent quotes attributed to Harry S Truman:

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader. 

A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment. 

If you can't take the heat... get out of the kitchen

The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all. 

Washington is a very easy city for you to forget where you came from and why you got there in the first place. 

I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it - not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization. 

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. 

There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know. 

I don't give 'em hell.... I just tell them the truth, and they think it's hell

The atom bomb was no "great decision." It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness. 

My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician... and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!
We could sure use a leader like this today... 

BrainyQuote   Wikipedia   PBS.com   Mental Floss   h/t Paul Kirby


Amusing Bunni said...

Hi James. This is such a great portrait of a true HERO and A President who LOVED his country. I did not know he had such a great history as a heroic soldier. Obummer wouldn't be fit to carry his bathwater, used.

Thanks for highlighting such a hero, and I love all his quotes.
I wish he was here today. He must be spinning in his grave seeing what has happened to Gov't, esp. since oblahblah usurped the once great office.
When he's sent to the dustbin, I hope the honor of the office can be restored.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thanks Bunni, and agreed on all points

Interestingly, Truman was the last Democrat that Rondaldus Maximus campaigned for... just a few years prior to Reagan's famously claiming "I didn't leave the Democratic Party... it left me."

robert said...

Mr. Truman was a great president and a great man indeed, if only I could say the same about Reagan.

Reaganite Republican said...

Polls indicate Americans moving with haste towards candidates with true Reaganite conservative principles... and a revolution is coming to Washington in November, imho.

Get used to hearing about the principles, philosophy, and towering success of President Ronald Reagan, sir- it's what America's talking about

Matt said...

Great post RR. Truman had integrity. Something we don't see very much anymore.

Left Coast Rebel said...

Truly great article, James - you should fish this to NRO or Daily Caller. I'll headline this at LCR at 11 PST into the morning....

Reaganite Republican said...

Thanks Matt and Tim, much obliged!

Maggie Thornton said...

What a wonderful article, James. Truman was such a humble man, but a very strong humble man. I didn't know any of this about his WWI service.

Both his wife and daughter received terrible press. They were too plain for Washingtonians.

The quote about dropping the bomb is a magnificent statement. An "arsenal of righteousness," indeed.

Terrific post! Loved it.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thank you so much Maggie- I hoped you might like this one...

LibertyAtStake said...

Yep, my favorite Dem ever. I can still recall the befuddled look on my Liberal friend's face when I said that. Priceless.

"Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

Lonely Conservative said...

Excellent post, RR. They don't make Democrats like that anymore. Too bad.

John Carey said...

Excellent post RR. Very informative. He was a man of integrity that truly loved his country with all his being. I was always amazed just how humble he was. He was grounded in principle and God. Well done!

Government Mess said...

What an awesome piece James! I never knew about most of what you wrote so very well here. It is amazing how you can't find a single Democrat that has sound morals and values today. Honestly if anyone called themselves a Democrat in my presence I would have to challenge them because to be a Democrat today is rather stupid. Just my opinion of course.

There is only one way to correct the problem and that is only through the Conservative System.

Outstanding job as always my friend, Peace

Conservative Pup said...

Awesome piece, James! Loved it; I too wasn't aware of his heroic and brave battlefield service. I have always admired Truman, thinking of him as the last moral Democrat president. Great job, loved your writing. I've got a post prepared that links to this to go up Monday morning early.

Reaganite Republican said...

Thanks Pup, I look forward to it- I always appreciate your support~

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