Taking issue with the reverence for Truman
Re: the Pruden on Politics column in the May 16 edition titled “A come-toMoses moment at hand” (page 4), may I respectfully frown at Wesley Pruden’s summoning of the memory of President Harry S. Truman to discuss today’s problems in the Middle East.
No one questions HST’s patriotism or modesty. When he returned home after seven years in the White House he personally drove a fiveyear-old car. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, with the exception of lunatic neo-Nazis and the like, the Holocaust was a reality which shamed humanity.
When people on the conservative side summon HST’s good qualities they plaster over the fact that he invented no-win wars using drafted American troops and won election in 1948 through such means as pandering to his union base by calling Taft-Hartley, the much needed antidote to the 1935 Wagner Labor Act, a “slave labor law.” Oddly, 63 years later the “slave labor law” remains the law of the land.
In 1952 Mr. Truman was eligible to seek reelection but faced reality by choosing not to run. His national image was refurbished during the 1970s Watergate affair by the copious use by liberals of the many derogatory remarks he had made about Representative Richard M. Nixon in the 1940s when the soon-to-be vice president was busy exposing Alger Hiss’ perjury about treason.
Conservatives ill serve their cause lauding the liberal icons of yesteryear, so many of whom were well intentioned but architects of our current massive problems. Philip D. Clarke Cortland, New York