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A Letter to Harry Truman

Hello Mr. Truman,

I don’t need to tell you this, but you were considered a very colorful person, both in your non-nonsense approach but also in your political views. So, I think it’s really important to discuss with you the direction of our country. I feel I have a bit of a kindred spirit with you as we have some similarities in our lives that seem to align, as they relate to our country. However, our country is being torn apart by aggressive political factions that don’t truly reflect the views of the majority of our people, which I am sure you understand all to clearly.

First off about you. I admire you for the way you handled many of the challenges you faced, which likely have a great deal to do with your upbringing and early professional career. Your grandparents started off poor and made themselves into successful farmers, much like my father. You were raised in the church as was I, and you had a love of music, playing cards, bowling, and history which I share. You went to college but left before completing your degree work to pursue a career, and but unlike me, you never returned to college (I did return and received my BA with honors). In your early career you worked several low paying jobs until you found your passion. Like you, at one time in my life, I held down five jobs, at the same time, before I landed into my professional career choice. Finally, like you, I was raised a strong Democrat as my father led the local Democratic party for many years.

Yes Mr. Truman … Harry, if I may call you by your first name… for those who know me, it must be a shock that I was raised with this political persuasion. But Harry, like you, I originally and strongly believed in all the “marketed” dreams of the Democratic party, fairness, equality, diversity, and what I believed was true democracy. These are beliefs that drove you very hard to accomplish several key objectives like the Marshall Plan which rebuilt Western Europe after World War II, the Berlin Airlift, and defending South Korea after North Korea invaded their country. I know the folks in Europe, if they gave it any thought, have to be so grateful for your efforts to rebuild and restructure all of their war-torn land into the great infrastructure they enjoyed for many years after the war. However, your mind was in the right place but the liberal leaders you had selected, let you down and the Marshall plan gave the Russians far too much, eventually allowed for the separation of East and West Berlin and ultimately Germany, and led us into a war in Korea, or should I say “Conflict,” where we truly made no real effort to defeat the enemy or barter any kind of meaningful solution.

I think you quickly learned, as I did as a youth, that your ideals, these liberal views, really went too far to be meaningful, and in reality, actually created more inequality than what was your original intention. Your leaders were far more liberal than you and carried out actions not truly in line with your beliefs and thus this would lead to charges of corruption among your administration and your eventual overwhelming defeat in the 1952 Presidential election. Like you, the more I learned of this party and its true strategies, the more I wanted to distance myself from it, which certainly led to some interesting family dynamics. Soon, as I became more mature and knowledgeable, I realized that this party had a marketing campaign to portray all that was wrong with the world as being driven by the opponent and that all the great ideals that all humans wanted, were solely on the side of the Democrats. In fact, Mr. President, I believe this was the beginning of a true and coordinated effort to launch the false advertising, or what we would say today, fake news, culture in our world.

You see, the power of office and control has taken over these people who support this party, and now their philosophy is to identify their own major weaknesses and then market these weaknesses as if they are sole attributes of the competing party, in this case the Republicans. For example, they portray the Republicans as the “Big-Oil” party, yet more Democrat politicians than Republicans have investments in the oil companies. They say the Republicans are the party of wealth and privilege, yet the average individual worth of these Democrats is usually equal to or greater than their Republican counterparts. They say they are the party of the people, but at a ratio of 2-to-1, the Republicans donate money to more charitable organizations that the Democrats. Finally, the Democrats say they are all about equality and democracy, the principles on which this country was built, but when it comes to our country’s constitution, the Republicans propose and pass three times as many constitutionally supported laws than the Democratic party.

More recently, I can point out that our current president has promised covid vaccine rates to meet certain goals he has proclaimed in his effort to show he is a better leader than his predecessor. Ironically, his proclaimed special efforts as the newly endorsed president, will meet exactly the same results we would have met had he never done one thing…in fact he has done nothing in relationship to covid than what his predecessor had already put into action, yet he certainly is taking the credit for the nothing he has done. And one other interesting tidbit, he is being celebrated by his party, for announcing he will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September, and the press is all over this story congratulating him for this plan. Yet his predecessor’s plan had the troops out of Afghanistan by June/July, three months earlier.

Mr. President, let me be honest. There are enough bad actors within both parties to give politics a black eye, and they often do. As far as which party is truly the best, as you found out, the one that stays true to its philosophy, which means neither one. Because neither party is what is says, they both prefer to be more moderate to pull in the votes, which really makes neither party true to itself. Harry, I can honestly say that I am a conservative and you were a moderate. There is no conservative party. The Republicans like to say they are but they are more moderate than true conservative. You were a moderate but your party was more liberal when you were President, than you were. This is why I have always suggested that we eliminate political parties and make every person run for office, on their own record, without any political affiliation. I know it may be a pipe dream but our country needs to sever the political party ties and get back to true statesmen and stateswomen.

Finally, the shock of realizing that I spent my youth supporting a party that was all window dressing with no substance behind the curtain, really shocked and disappointed me. I loved my parents and could not believe they were so off base…but they believed in the principles which I understand and still support. I had inherited a political party that I had to decide whether or not to support. But as we have all seen, or at least anyone has seen who is truly looking, this Democratic party isn’t about the principles but it is about control and manipulation for power, not principle. I point this out because this shock and disappointment I felt had to be very similar to what you felt when your leaders betrayed you and didn’t carry out your vision. Then the ultimate shock of finding out that you had inherited the atomic bomb decision from your predecessor. I can’t imagine what that must have been like, how trying and difficult that was for you, not knowing that this bomb was fully developed and ready to be dropped on Japan…and…you alone would have to make the decision whether or not to drop not one, but two bombs on our enemy. In fact, I could write a whole message on this decision alone, but I digress. I certainly cannot say that my decision was anywhere near that difficult nor important, for that matter, but learning as a young adult that I had been wrong by following my loved ones was certainly a punch in the gut, to me.

Harry, there is an old hit song from the group Chicago that is titled “Harry Turman” that has a repeating stanza which states: “America Loves You, Harry Truman.” This song was written by Chicago’s Robert Lamm as a tribute to say we could trust you versus the then shamed Richard Nixon who had just resigned from office. Ironically a similar fate could have happened to you had you won the 1952 election and your party continued their corrupt ways. Anyway, I have to think you loved this song, had you heard it, but it was released just 3 years after your death in 1972. I agree we would have loved you, but not your party, which I have to think is a feeling you also had later in your life. You once famously said; “the Buck Stops Here” in referencing to people always passing the buck and never taking accountability. Harry, I believe you…this was you, what you meant and what you believed. But your party betrayed you and didn’t let you command. You were far too good a man to have been dragged down by what those folks did under your leadership. Which just shows us that, unfortunately in your case, the President does not have as much power as we are all led to believe. I truly believe that the buck would have stopped at your desk, and you would have led and been accountable, but your party had too much control and ultimately you did not.

Mr. President, you are a man of my cloth … I would have loved to have known and had a conversation with, over a good meal. I truly believe you were a very good man, who unfortunately was thrown into office after the death of President Roosevelt, and with what must have been the whirlwind of unexpectantly taking over the presidency, then having to make the atomic bomb decision, your party took over and never let you truly lead. It just goes to show that good people are better than political parties, any day. As a strong and active conservative, you Mr. Truman, are a man I could have supported, and a true American. Because it is not the party but the person that I support. I am forever grateful for your service and I hope to see you again when my time comes to visit you in heaven.

Most Sincerely, Kent.

Appendix - taken from the website:


June 11, 2017 by Anirudh

Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972) served as the 33rd President of the United States from April, 1945 to January, 1953. Under the presidency of Truman, the United States engaged in an internationalist foreign policy, a departure from its policy of isolationism. His tenure as President was dominated by the Cold War in which he adopted a tactics of containment of Soviet expansion. His Truman Doctrine helped eliminate the Communist threat in Greece and Turkey; and he successfully handled the Berlin Blockade by responding to it with the Berlin Airlift which forced the Soviets to lift the blockade. His other major foreign policy achievements include the $13 billion Marshall Plan which stimulated spectacular economic recovery in war-torn Western Europe. On the domestic front, Truman is renowned for ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces and establishing the NSC, the CIA and the NSA. Here are the 10 major accomplishments of Harry S. Truman, who is ranked among the greatest American presidents. #1 THE TRUMAN COMMITTEE HEADED BY HIM SAVED AS MUCH AS $15 BILLION Harry Truman began his political career in 1922 when he was elected district judge in Jackson County, Missouri. This was an administrative rather than a judicial position. He then served as the Presiding Judge of Jackson County from January 1, 1927 to January 3, 1935. During his term, Truman helped coordinate the Ten Year Plan, which transformed Jackson County and the Kansas City skyline with new public works projects. In 1934, Truman defeated incumbent Republican Roscoe C. Patterson to become the US Senator from Missouri. He served in this position from January 3, 1935 to January 17, 1945. From its formation in March 1941 to August 1944, Harry Truman headed the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, which became known as the Truman Committee. It was formed to find and correct problems in US war production like waste, inefficiency and war profiteering. The committee proved to be highly successful and reportedly saved $10–15 billion and thousands of lives of US servicemen. The Truman Committee made Harry Truman a national figure and he featured on the cover of TIME magazine. #2 HE SERVED AS THE 33RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES Harry Truman was running mate of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1944 presidential election. The Roosevelt–Truman ticket achieved a 432–99 electoral-vote victory in the election and Truman became the 34th Vice President of US on January 20, 1945. He had been vice president for only 82 days when President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. The same day, at 7:00 pm, Harry S. Truman was inaugurated as the 33rd President of the United States in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. In the presidential election of 1948, he defeated the Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey in one of the greatest election upsets in American history. Harry Truman served as President from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953. He is considered one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States with scholars usually ranking him in the top ten American presidents, most often at #7.

#3 THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE HELPED IN ELIMINATING COMMUNIST THREAT IN GREECE AND TURKEY The Truman Doctrine was the American foreign policy under Truman to counter the expansion of Communism. At the time, the Greek Government was involved in a civil war against the Greek Communist Party; and Turkey was also under pressure from Soviet expansion in the Mediterranean area. Great Britain, which had previously aided these nations, informed the United States that it could no longer provide military and economic assistance to them. On March 12, 1947, Harry S. Truman announced the Truman Doctrine to the US Congress and the Congress responded to it by granting $300 million in military and economic aid to Greece and $100 million to Turkey. American aid ultimately helped Greece and Turkey survive the Communist threat. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American Cold War policy around the world. It shifted US foreign policy towards the Soviet Union from détente (a relaxation of tension) to containment of Soviet expansion. #4 HIS MARSHALL PLAN STIMULATED SPECTACULAR ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN WAR-TORN WESTERN EUROPE On April 13, 1948, President Truman signed the Marshall Plan to aid 18 Western European nations affected by the Second World War. Officially the European Recovery Program, it gets its popular named from US Secretary of State George Marshall. During the four years the plan was in effect, the United States donated $13 billion (equivalent to $189.39 billion in 2016) to help rebuild post-war Western European economies. The Marshall Plan aid was divided among the participant states roughly on a per capita basis with United Kingdom (26%), France (18%) and West Germany (11%) being the largest recipients. Its aim was to remove trade barriers, modernize industry and prevent the spread of communism. The years 1948 to 1952 saw the fastest period of growth in European history. Industrial production increased by 35% and agricultural production substantially surpassed pre-war levels. The poverty and starvation of immediate post-war years disappeared and the following two decades saw unprecedented economic growth in Western Europe. Though Marshall Plan was not solely responsible for this, it did play a part in the recovery of Western Europe. #5 THE BERLIN AIRLIFT IS CONSIDERED ONE OF HIS MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY SUCCESSES On June 21, 1948, during the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Western Block, or the Capitalist Block of the Cold War, introduced a new currency called the Deutsche Mark in Germany. The Soviets interpreted this new currency as an unjustified, unilateral decision; and refused to permit its use as legal tender. They blocked the Western Block’s railway, road and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control initiating the Berlin Blockade, the first major international crises of the Cold War. At the time, West Berlin only had 36 days’ worth of food and 45 days’ worth of coal. In response to the Berlin Blockade, the Western Block led by US organized the Berlin Airlift to deliver food and other supplies to the city’s population by air. They flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing to the West Berliners up to 8,893 tons of necessities each day. The success of the airlift ultimately forced the Soviets to lift the blockade of West Berlin on May 12, 1949. The Berlin Airlift is considered one of Harry Truman’s great foreign policy achievements. #6 HARRY TRUMAN HELPED IN THE FORMATION OF UN AND NATO Harry Truman strongly supported the creation of the United Nations. In 1945, he helped establish the UN as had been planned by his predecessor Franklin Roosevelt. On 26th June 1945, he signed the United Nations Charter, the foundational treaty of UN. Truman was also a strong supporter of a formal peacetime military alliance among the Western Block. On 4th April 1949, the United States, Canada and several European countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Its aim was to contain Soviet expansion and to build new security structures in support of democratic ideals. Truman appointed General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first Supreme Commander of NATO. Initially consisting of 12 nations, NATO now has 28 countries as its members. It remains an influential international organization. Other major achievements of Harry Truman in foreign policy include his recognition of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, 11 minutes after it declared itself a nation. He did so against the advice of officials who feared going against the populous Arab states. #7 PRESIDENT TRUMAN ESTABLISHED THE NSC, THE CIA AND THE NSA On July 26, 1947, President Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947. The act merged the Department of War (renamed as the Department of the Army) and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (NME), headed by the Secretary of Defense. It also created the Department of the Air Force and the United States Air Force, seperating the Army Air Forces into its own service; and protected the Marine Corps as an independent service, under the Department of the Navy. Apart from military reorganization, the act established the National Security Council (NSC) to advise and assist the president on national security and foreign policies; and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the first American peacetime non-military intelligence agency tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world. In 1952, President Truman officially formed the National Security Agency (NSA), a military intelligence organization to gather foreign signal and communications intelligence to protect the national security systems of the nation. #8 HE PUT AN END TO RACIAL SEGREGATION IN THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES Harry S. Truman was committed to reduce racial discrimination against African Americans. In 1947, he presented a detailed ten-point agenda of civil rights reforms but due to the power of southern Congressmen, he was unable to implement any significant civil rights legislation. He thus resorted to executive actions. On July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which abolished racial discrimination in the US Armed Forces. It set up the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity which successfully oversaw racial integration of the US Armed Forces. Another 1948 Executive Order of Truman made it illegal to discriminate against persons applying for civil service positions based on race. On June 12, 1948, Truman also signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act which enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the armed forces. #9 THE HOUSING ACT OF 1949 WAS PASSED DURING HIS TENURE In January 1949, Harry Truman put forward an ambitious set of proposals which became known as the Fair Deal. However, his proposals were defeated by the Conservative Coalition in Congress. The only major Fair Deal bill that was enacted was the Housing Act of 1949. Among other things, it extended federal money to build more than 800,000 public housing units; provided federal financing for slum clearance programs; and increased authorization for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. As a result of the Act, federal government spent $13.5 billion on urban redevelopment and slum clearance projects between 1953 and 1986. It facilitated a rise in home-ownership and building of huge public housing projects. The Housing Act of 1949 was of great importance as it expanded federal role in mortgage insurance and construction of public housing; and ultimately shaped the growth of American cities in the post-war era. #10 HE PASSED LEGISLATION TO ALLOW IMMIGRATION OF 200,000 REFUGEES OF WORLD WAR II Other major legislation passed by the Truman administration include 1945 National School Lunch Act to provide low-cost or free school lunch meals to students through subsidies to schools; the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, which transferred control of atomic energy from military to civilian hands and set up the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) for peacetime development of atomic science and technology; the Employment Act of 1946, which created a clear legal obligation on the part of the federal government to use all practical means to promote maximum employment, production and purchasing power; and the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which allowed admission into the United Sates of around 200,000 Europeans and 17,000 orphans displaced by World War II. Also, the Twenty-second Amendment to the US Constitution was made which set a term limit for election and overall time of service to the office of President, making a president ineligible for election to a third term. HARRY TRUMAN AND THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS On May 8, 1945, 61st birthday of Truman and a few weeks after he had assumed presidency, Germany surrendered unconditionally marking the end of World War II in Europe. However, war with Japan raged on and was expected to last at least another year. In was only in April that Truman had come to know about the Manhattan Project and the details of the atomic bomb, which was almost ready. In August, Japan refused the Allied demand of surrender. In response, Truman approved the use of atomic bombs to end the war leading to the infamous bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed at least 129,000 people. Truman’s decision remains a subject of debate to this day. He believed that an invasion of Japan would have been worse and justified his decision stating that “it was done to save 125,000 youngsters on the American side and 125,000 on the Japanese side from getting killed and that is what it did. It probably also saved a half million youngsters on both sides from being maimed for life.” However, critics believe that conventional bombing campaign along with naval blockade would have led to surrender of Japan with less damage. They consider the bombings as state terrorism; dehumanization of the Japanese people; and a US Cold War tactic to intimidate the Soviet Union.

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