Trump and Truman: Straight-Talking Presidents
The American press has been shocked by the foul-mouthed antics of a president attacking journalists who insulted his daughter.
Typical Trump, right?
No, typical Truman — Harry S. Truman.
President Truman actually threatened to punch a journalist who criticized the way that his daughter sang at a concert.
The people who get upset about the language in President Trump’s tweets should read the letter that Truman sent to Washington Post music critic Paul Hume.
“I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert,” wrote President Truman, in 1950. “I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay. … Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”
What set off President Truman’s tirade?
“Miss Truman cannot sing very well,” Hume wrote in his review, although he acknowledged that she was quite attractive.
Harry Truman had a well-deserved reputation for being direct, and telling things like they were.
It’s been so long since we’ve heard a straight-talking president, and it is quite refreshing.
We are often attracted to smooth-talking chief executives who deliver a lot less than they promise — or worse, exactly the opposite of what they promise.
Barack Obama spoke about pushing back the tide of rising waters in a supposedly warming world, but he left office by pushing for trans-gender bathrooms.
President Franklin Roosevelt was supposedly a friend of minorities, and he talked beautifully about helping refugees, but he and his State Department refused to help European Jews during World War II. And at the end of the war, FDR also oversaw the virtual give-away of Eastern Europe to Stalin and the Soviet Union.
Truman was not a smooth talker, nor a friend of elites. He was a doer. He ended the war in Japan quickly, extended emergency aid to war-torn Europe and recognized the newly independent state of Israel.
Sure Truman made mistakes, and so will Trump, but maybe we could use more of this straight talk and real action, and a little less politically correct poppy-cock.
Dr. Michael Widlanski , author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, was a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California at Irvine, and was strategic affairs advisor in Israel ’s Ministry of Public Security.