Sunday, August 26, 2012

PRESIDENT TRUMAN CAMPAIGN SPEECH at WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS (Oct. 27, 1948)

WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS (2:28 p.m.) October 27, 1948
Mr. Mayor and ladies and gentlemen: It is a real pleasure to be here in the heart of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I wish I could stay longer. I had a fine reception, I remember, when I was here 4 years ago, and I have always had a warm spot in my heart for this great city. You know, your Fourth Massachusetts Congressional District was one of three districts in the United States which unseated mossback, standpat Republican Congressmen in 1946, and you did a great thing by replacing them with able, enlightened, liberal Democrats. I sincerely wish a lot more cities had done what you did in 1946. Your Congressman, Harold Donohue, has been a member of that group of Democrats in the 80th Congress which has fought for forward-looking measures in the people's interests. And I am assured that you are going to elect Paul Dever for Governor in this State and make a clean sweep of it. The country needs more men like these two gentlemen. I have the greatest privilege and pleasure today to have with me my new Secretary of Labor and former Governor of the great State of Massachusetts-Maurice Tobin. You are also lucky to have another distinguished Democrat here, your able Mayor, Charles Sullivan. He is going to be the next Lieutenant Governor of your great State. Mr. Sullivan tells me that for the first time in history you have a Democratic majority in both houses of the City Council. That shows that you are thinking right and you are acting right. I think that indicates that you people, like the vast majority of all the people in this great United States of ours, have lost faith in the Republican Party--and I am glad you have. You have lost faith in the Republican Party because that party has failed to represent your interests--the interests of all the people. I don't need to go into your reasons for rejecting the Republican Party. You know all about the record of the "donothing" 80th Congress. I would like to talk to you about something more important than that. I would like to talk to you about peace. I would like to tell you about the only way we can make our will for peace prevail in this troubled world. That way is to keep the United States strong and prosperous. The greatest single factor working for peace today is our American standard of living. It is our high standard of living, achieved during the past 16 years, that enables us to help the free nations of the world to resist Communist aggression. The Communists are all against me, and I am very happy that they are. It shows that I am right! The policies of the Republican Party as demonstrated by the record of the 80th Congress and endorsed by the Republican candidate for President, would result in a drastic reduction in the American standard of living. That would be a catastrophe and a blow at our efforts to achieve world peace. The policies of the Democratic administration in the last 16 years have resulted in the greatest prosperity this country has ever seen. No other country in the world has ever had such prosperity as we have had in the 3 years since the close of World War II. You know, I think that we are living in the greatest age in history. We are living in an age like no other age in the history of the world; and because we are living in the greatest age in history, eventually we are going to get a permanent peace that will enable that to continue for our children and our grandchildren. Now, our national income is nearly $220 billions this year. That income is fairly shared by workingmen and women, by farmers, by white-collar workers, and by small businessmen. The policies of the Republican Party as demonstrated by the record of the Republican 80th Congress, and as stated by the Republican candidate for President, would wreck that fair distribution. The Republicans believe in what they call the "trickle down" theory. They want the big, rich, and wealthy, the privileged special interests groups to get the lion's share of the income and let the scraps fall down for the rest of us. The first thing the Republicans tried to do in the Both Congress was to pass a rich man's tax bill which would have given tremendous benefits to the rich and left the heavy tax burden on low-income groups. I vetoed their tax bill three times, but it was finally passed over my veto. And you know what the Republicans are doing now? They are sending out duns to everybody who got a cut in income tax to contribute something to the Republican campaign fund because they want to do it some more. If that is not bribery, I don't know what is. You take a man making $60 a week, if he got a cut of a $1.50 a week in his income tax, that has been wiped out by high prices. But the fellow that got $100,000 a year got more than a $16,000 cut. Those are the guys they are trying to get money from--they want them to turn that $16,000 over to them; and I think they are doing it, because they have unlimited funds. The Democrats never did win an election with money. We win it with votes! The Republicans' next move was to pass harsh labor legislation. That shameful Taft-Hartley Act is a deliberate effort to crush the power of organized labor so that labor unions will not be able to bargain for better wages and better working conditions. That Taft-Hartley Act is only a first step. The Republicans have said that, if they get a chance, they will pass even more restrictive labor laws. You know, Mr. Hartley published a book. You ought to read that book, all you people who are interested in the welfare of labor. He tells you just exactly what they are going to do to you, if they get control of this Government. The Republican leaders have knocked the props out from under farm prosperity by refusing to pass permanent, long-range farm legislation, and by depriving many farmers of price supports to which they are entitled. Corn, right now, in the corn belt, is selling for 47 cents below the support price, for the simple reason that the Republicans refused to allow the Commodity Credit Corporation to set up bins in which to store that corn, as they have always done in years past. Farmers are beginning to wake up. They are beginning to find out who their friends are, just as labor and the regular ordinary citizen is finding out, that the Democrats are for them. The Republicans are for special interests, and if you don't believe that, just read the record of the 80th Congress. I have been putting it out all over the United States. I have faced more than 6 million people, just like I am facing this great audience today, and I have told them the facts. You can't get them from the newspapers, you can't get them from the radio commentators, but you can get them from me, all right, if you listen to what I have to say. Every housewife in the country knows how the living standard of the family has been hurt by the Republican Congress' refusal to do anything about soaring prices. The Republicans killed price control, and they refused ever since to do anything to give you relief from skyrocketing prices. The Republican leaders seem to be so eager to help the special interests make a killing that they are endangering our future prosperity and our national safety. We cannot remain a strong nation if the Republicans are allowed to continue their raid on the people's rights. The only kind of unity they are thinking about is unity in behalf of a privileged few. I believe we should have unity on behalf of the people of this country, not just a few. As next Tuesday approaches, give some thought to the Republican record on housing, their record on high prices, their record on labor legislation. Remember how weak we were in 1932, after 12 years of Republican rule. Twelve million people were unemployed-banks were failing by the dozen-farms were being foreclosed by the thousands And now consider how prosperous and strong we are after 16 years of Democratic administrations. Sixty-one million people have jobs--nobody who wants a job but what can have one. No bank failures in 3 years--farmers practically out of debt, with the largest income they have ever had in their history. Only a strong and prosperous United States will remain a free United States. Only a nation where the government works constantly for the benefit of the people and not for just a privileged few will be able to lead the world to peace. Now, the continuation of this situation is in your hands. You are the Government when you exercise your privileges. You did not exercise that privilege in 1946, and you got the 80th Congress. This district performed all right, but the majority of them in the United States did not vote. Twothirds of them stayed at home--look what we got! Now you are the Government when you want to exercise that privilege, and you are the Government only when you go to the polls on election day and exercise that privilege to vote. Then you decide who and what your Government will be. Now, on November the 2d, for your own interest, get up early and go to the polls and vote the straight Democratic ticket, and then you will have a Democratic administration in the great State of Massachusetts, you will have a Democratic administration in Washington, and I won't be troubled with the housing shortage.