Low N’ Lazy
December 15, 1950 — The Lewiston Daily Sun

The Mossadegh Project | April 2, 2020                    

U.S. President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

An editorial in The Lewiston Daily Sun, a newspaper serving Lewiston and Auburn, Maine.

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Another Truman Letter

It may as well be admitted that so long as Pres. Harry Truman occupies the White House, we shall have to endure or enjoy as the case may be, the personal letters he frequently writes when a mood of bad temper seizes him.

Perhaps the most charitable thing to do would be to ignore them all, on the excuse that he is under a great strain, 24 hours a day, in guiding the destinies of the nation in a time of grave crisis. But strain or no, the Chief Executive is especially vulnerable in his latest publicized outburst, directed against a member of the House of Representatives from Louisiana—a States-Righter who more often votes against than with the Administration.

Early this month Rep. Hebert [Congressman F. Edward Hébert (D-LA)] wrote the President suggesting that he appoint a day of prayer that Providence would endow officials with wisdom and courage to make the right decisions in these difficult times. One might have expected that plea would have been well received by a President who frequently calls on the Creator for divine guidance. But in his reply Mr. Truman passed lightly over the suggestion of Mr. Hebert and launched into a tirade emphasizing the low state of politics played in the recent election. He said “. . .the campaign in your State, Utah, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana was carried on in a manner that was as low as I’ve over seen, and I’ve been in this game since 1906.”

*      *      *

There is significance in the list of States chosen by the President to illustrate his point. Leaving aside Louisiana, it was in Utah that his friend, Sen. Elbert Thomas, was defeated for the Senate; it was in North Carolina that his friend Sen. Graham [Frank Porter Graham] was defeated in the primaries by a Southern conservative; it was in Illinois that the majority leader in the Senate, Lucas, [Scott Wike Lucas] was beaten by the Republican, Everett Dirksen.

So it would appear that these losses for the Administration have irked the President exceedingly. He lays it to “low politics”, which in his mind is synonymous with Republican or Southern conservative politics. And yet this is the President who addressed the nation on the eve of the election, with crass appeals to prejudice and class interests, saying that if farmers did not vote the Democratic ticket “they ought to have their heads examined.” Perhaps what angers Mr. Truman most is that, for almost the first time, this hitherto successful formula failed. It’s all a question of which kind of low politics pays the highest dividends.

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Related links:

The State of Mr. Truman | Chicago Sun, Jan. 7, 1947 editorial

Time Has Come for Truman To Clean His House — Or Else (Dec. 10, 1951)

Path to Dictatorship | The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania), May 8, 1952

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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