The Illusion of Choice
July 29, 1952 — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (letter)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | March 25, 2020                    

Gov. Adlai Stevenson, the Democrat's nominee for President in 1952 This letter to the editor on the 1952 U.S. Presidential election ran in the Post-Gazette’s section “The People Speak — A Department of Letters in Which Readers Express Their Views”.

The writer argued that Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson lacked popular support and had been anointed by party bosses regardless as a “sure-win”. Spoiler alert: Stevenson lost.

Quick magazine in 1952: “Stevenson was Pres. Truman’s choice for the nomination, and must run on the Truman-built platform. But his selection—despite his reluctance—was engineered by an independent group of party wheelhorses: ex-Sens. Scott Lucas of Illinois and Francis Myers of Pennsylvania, and James A. Farley of New York.

In winning the nomination, and in picking Sen. John Sparkman (Ala.) as his running mate, Stevenson did not have overwhelming support by either organized labor or minority groups.”

United States media archive
Harry Truman editorial archive

Not People’s Choice

Editor, the Post-Gazette:
Too bad for the people that the Democratic delegates had to interrupt their balloting for dinner. In spite of Chairman Rayburn’s assurance that the recess was called with no political implications, it seems more than coincidental that Harry S. Truman was in Chicago to help promote “sure-win” Adlai Stevenson as a topic of dinner conversation. [Congressman, DNC Chair Sam Rayburn] The resultant dirty deals turned out to be more than creamy spots on neckties. As in the steel strike, never mind what the people wanted or when — Mr. Truman was now ready to tell the people what they should have.

I personally don’t recall any national polls — an indication of the voice of the people — that Stevenson was preferred. As a matter of fact, one of the most important reasons for the Democratic dismissal of Eisenhower’s chances was that he kept silent on vital issues, but he evidently overlooked Stevenson’s silence and even his repeated assertions that he wanted only to be governor of Illinois. [Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican nominee]

I hope that the November election will show that the people still have a voice in choosing their leaders and are not parasites to the whims of a few political leaders.

This latest convention fiasco may even convince the people it is time for them to resume their right to choose their candidates in state primaries and not just sit back to see what will be offered to them every election year.




Related links:

Pres. Harry Truman’s Suppression of Dissent Chastised (May 17, 1951 letter)

No Time For Comedy | anti Adlai Stevenson editorial (Sept. 10, 1952)

Bossism | The Wilmington Morning Star, August 1, 1952

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

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