|289. Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in New York|
October 10, 1952 |
[1.] BATAVIA, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 10:42 a.m.)
I enjoyed my stop here very much in 1948, and I am glad to be back. I am here, if you don't know it--I am here campaigning for the Democratic ticket.
I have enjoyed meeting your local candidates. I hope you will support them. And vote for them: for Senator, John Cashmore, he will make a fine colleague for Governor Lehman, who is one of the best Senators in the Senate; and for Congress, Richard Judson.
For President we have a very able man-Adlai Stevenson. He is the best new leader to come along since franklin Roosevelt. Like Roosevelt, Stevenson has been a fine, progressive Governor of one of our great States. And, like Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson is a real friend of the plain everyday
John Sparkman is his running mate, and he is the same kind of man. He is a true progressive, a real friend of the farmer, and of labor--always fighting for the people.
These are men you can trust to understand your problems and work for your interests.
I have here a copy of the Batavia Daily News for September 12. It was sent to me the other day, and on the front page is a news story that interests me very much. The headline says: "Production Workers in Demand . . . Area Manufacturing Plants Report . . . Jobs . . . Unfilled." Then the article says: "Batavia area industries are in urgent need of manpower . . . production and factory workers are in top demand in Batavia."
Now that's fine. That is what I like to see. That shows that our full employment policy is working. And, my friends, it is working not only here, it is working all over the country.
The Republicans have been going around saying that all this is artificial, this prosperity we have. They say it's all because of the defense effort. Otherwise, to hear them talk, we would be having a depression right now.
Well, that just isn't so. We were enjoying prosperity--the greatest ever--in the first half of 1950, before we had this big defense effort.
Our prosperity is a lot more solid than the Republicans would have you think. It is solid because for 20 years the people have had a government that believes in prosperity and full employment.
Take our social security program and our minimum wage laws, and our policy of encouraging workers to organize and bargain collectively with their employers. These things help greatly to boost the incomes of the working people.
By our policies toward the workingman, we have helped build up the markets of the farmer and the businessman.
And by our progressive farm programs, we have helped the farmer to increase his income, so that he can be a consumer of the products that the city workers make.
These are the ways we keep our prosperity strong and healthy and growing all the time.
Now the Republicans have never understood this. All they can think of is profits. And it never occurs to them that the way to make more profits is by building up the buying power of our people.
The Republicans in Congress have fought and hampered almost every measure we have devised to help the working people. They fought social security. They fought minimum wages. They fought the Wagner Act. They even fought and voted against the full employment bill we passed in 1946. In 1946 we still had a Democratic Congress. That was before that terrible 80th Congress came in.
Now, you working people here, I give you fair warning. The Republicans in Congress, the Old Guard who run the party, have always stood and voted against your interests. And they are taking the same stand today.
Read their party platform. Read the speeches of their five-star candidate. Or better still, read what Senator Taft says the candidate believes in. Then you will know the Republicans are still the same as always-and no friends of the ordinary man.
And you farmers around here, don't you think you can stand by while the Republicans put the squeeze on the working people. I am told that four-fifths of the farmers around here participate in our agricultural conservation program. Well, did you know that just this last year a big majority of the Republicans in Congress voted to cut out three-fourths of the funds for that very program? Of course you didn't know it. The kept press won't tell you about it, and if you don't read the Congressional Record you never will find out what goes on in the Congress.
The Democrats saved the money this time, but what do you think will happen next year, if the Republicans grab off the Congress and the White House, too?
You had better find out about the people who represent you down in Washington. You had better think about who is for you, and who is against you. You had better realize that the farmers and workers are on the same side of the fence, no matter what the Republican orators may tell you.
And you had better go and vote for the party that has always looked after the farmer, and the worker, and all the plain people. And that is the Democratic Party.
Think of your own interests when you go to the polls. Now you are the Government-you are the Government, and when you don't vote in your own interests and you don't vote for progress in this country you are just injuring yourselves.
Now I want to say to you young people, you had better do a little studying for the future, because it is going to be your turn to run this Government pretty soon. You had better find out what it means to go forward, instead of trying to turn the clock back to William McKinley. If you look out for your own interests, you will go home and tell your mama and papa to vote the Democratic ticket and keep the country safe another 4 years.
[2.] ROCHESTER, NEW YORK (Station platform, 11:30 a.m.)
I am delighted to see so many people here today. I had a most wonderful reception when I was here the last time.
I understand that the newspapers of New York State are supporting the Republicans about 12 to 1 in the Republican campaign of misrepresentation now going on. So I am glad to have this opportunity to get some of the real facts and issues out into the open.
First of all, I want to urge you to go to the polls on November the 4th and elect Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman as President and Vice President.
They're a first-class team, a team that will carry on the splendid traditions of the Democratic Party.
These traditions have a lot of roots here in New York. This is the State of Al Smith, of franklin Roosevelt, and of Herbert Lehman. Adlai Stevenson is of the same mold as those three great Democratic Governors. His administration in Illinois has been one of the most able and progressive the State has ever had. He will go down in the history of this Nation as one of its ablest Presidents.
Adlai Stevenson is a man of whom the Democratic Party can be, and is, extremely proud.
I also want to urge you to send to the Congress two men who will uphold the great traditions of New York Democracy: John Cashmore for the United States Senate; and Victor Kruppenbacher for the House of Representatives. Adlai Stevenson will need the support of men like these in this critical period.
Now, I have been on a trip all across the country, talking to the people, trying to put a lot of facts into the record. The Republicans in this campaign are telling more half truths--more deliberate, unvarnished lies-than in any other campaign in my recollection. And I can remember them for 40 years.
Now the Republican candidate for President hasn't even tried to talk about the issues. Instead, he's gone around the country putting out a smoke screen to hide the issues. He's shouting--just give me a chance, and I'll pour it on them--about corruption in the Government, when he knows that only a tiny fraction of the Government's 2½ million employees have even the slightest taint of corruption on them. And he knows that the corrupt employees have been fired, have been tried and convicted where the laws have been violated. He knows that we have reorganized the Government and reduced the number of patronage jobs.
He's gone around the country making these loose charges about communism in the Government. He knows better than that. He knows that for years the Government has had an effective program to keep the Communists out of Government service.
In the end, the people are not going to be fooled by a campaign of lies. They are not going to be taken in by a smoke screen campaign. In the end, they're going to vote on the issues, as they always have. They're going to demand that the Republican candidate take a stand on the issues.
And that will be fatal for the Republican candidate. He doesn't know anything about most of the issues. He's been a military man all his life. And his speeches show that since he left the Army he hasn't even attempted to master the complex problems of civil government that he would have to face as President.
The Republican candidate did take a stand on one issue, and that's what I want to tell you about today. Along with being in favor of honesty and against sin, he's in favor of the expansion of American industry. He has taken a firm and unequivocal stand in favor of building our economy. And that, he says, requires "a wholly new climate in Washington."
That sounds as if the idea of a growing and expanding economy was a new one to him. It sounds as if someone had just told him about it. What kind of economy, I wonder, does the man think we have? An expanding economy has been the central objective of the Democratic Party throughout these postwar years. Our achievements in the expansion of the economy are some of our proudest achievements. There has never been anything to equal them in the history of the world.
The Republican candidate has shown that he has no understanding at all of what's been going on in our economy.
Our total national production is now $336 billion a year--almost three times what it was in 1932 and twice what it was in the peak year of the Republicans in 1929. And that's after making adjustments for price changes. In other words, the production of our economy has grown as much in the last 20 years, under the Democratic administrations, as it had grown in the whole history of the Republic up to that time. And yet the Republican candidate says we need Republicans "to revive in the American economy its inherent power to grow." That's just poppycock!
Right now, the American economy is adding to its productive plant at the fastest rate in all its history. Private capital is investing in new plant and equipment at the rate of about $30 billion a year. Think of it--$30 billion a year. That indicates the response of private enterprise to a climate in Washington that has never been more favorable to it.
All this growth makes this country much stronger in case we ever had to defend ourselves against Communist aggression. But these new plants will also be a tremendous resource when the defense program tapers off. They can be used for making all the things we need that we haven't been able to make in the last 2 years because of the defense program.
Now just why do the Republicans want to change the climate in Washington that's bringing about the greatest industrial expansion in the history of the world?
I'll tell you why they want to change the climate. The Republicans don't like the way the benefits of our prosperity are distributed. They want to see more of the profits of the American enterprise go into the dividends of the big corporations and less of it into the pockets of workingmen, the small businessmen, and the farmers.
Now, my friends, that is the issue, pure and simple. They want to rewrite the tax laws to give the breaks to big business. They want to rewrite the price control law to let the speculators make a killing. They want to rewrite the labor laws to make them even more biased against labor than the Taft-Hartley Act already is.
That's what the Republicans mean when they talk about a change in Washington.
But they're completely shortsighted about the whole issue. They're still as shortsighted as they were in the Republican 1920's when the whole object of the Government policy was to help the rich and the privileged.
The thing the Republicans have never understood is that when only big business is helped, the country as a whole is hurt. Eventually, big business and everybody else is dragged down in a general depression-which happened in 1929.
You don't have a prosperous country unless the little man--the farmer, the worker, the small businessman--is well off, too. And when the little man prospers, big business gets along just fine.
We have proved that point over and over again since World War II. At the end of the war, the Republicans hooted at the whole idea of having 60 million jobs. We now have more than 62 million people employed, at good wages. Farm prices and farm income are high. This is good for the farmers and for the workers. It's good for the shopkeepers and the salesmen and everybody else who has things to sell.
And what about corporations? Believe me, they're doing all right.
Corporate profits before taxes in 1950 were almost $40 billion, and last year they were $43 billion. That is more than four times the profits earned in 1929--the peak year before the Republican depression. And it compares with a net loss of $3 billion in 1932--the bottom year of the Republican depression.
Even after taxes, corporations made $21 billion in profits in 1950 and $19 billion last year--more than double the 1929 earnings.
The Republican candidate can't deny we're having prosperity with a Democratic climate in Washington. So he resorts to the false charge that we have what he calls a "war prosperity" created by the defense program. The answer to that is very clear. All he has to do is to look at the figures for 1948 and 1949 and 1950, before the defense program got underway. We were breaking all kinds of records in 1950.
And I just want to remind you that the period after World War II--when this present so-called "bungling" administration was in office--was the first time in our history that a major war has not been followed by a depression.
It's just plain dishonest for the Republican candidate to overlook these facts.
Now, I know that many of you are concerned about what is going to happen when the defense program tapers off. Will there be jobs to take up the slack?
Nobody knows, of course, exactly what lies. ahead of us. But this much I will say to you--there can be jobs to take up the slack when the defense program drops away. It may not happen, if your Government follows the wrong policies. But if you have a government that follows the right policies, our post-defense economy can boom to even greater levels than those we now enjoy.
I say that with confidence because I am aware of all the peacetime work that has been piling up while we've been building our defenses. This work will still need doing as fast as money and materials become available again. And in the aggregate, this work should more than counterbalance any cutbacks in defense that we can now foresee.
Ultimately, of course, the reason we can look forward to future economic growth rests in our solid and expanding consumer markets, based on a full employment policy. These markets will grow as population grows--and it is rising fast. With proper programs to help assure good incomes for our workers and our farmers--with more and better social security, minimum wages, farm price supports, and other measures-we can be confident that our consumers will have funds to buy what we produce.
For all these reasons I am confident we can keep full employment, keep our country growing and need suffer no depression, if and when the defense effort slacks off. But I am just as sure that these things will not come about, unless our National Government is dedicated heart and soul, to a national policy of continuing expansion and full employment.
You cannot count on that kind of government from the Republican Party.
The Republican Party is controlled and dominated by big businessmen. To them, full employment is something that's perfectly all right if it just happens, but not something to get terribly concerned about. They don't believe in using, or do they know how to use, the powers of government to keep this economy on an even keel. They let you down in the 1930's, before you sent your great Governor, franklin Roosevelt, down to Washington. They'll do it again, if you give them a chance.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is committed to a policy of full employment. It is made up of ordinary people to whom full employment is a matter of bread and butter, or life and death. The Democratic Party has achieved full employment in the difficult postwar years. It understands a basic economic fact--that to have full employment the Government has got to concern itself with the little man--with the farmer, the worker, and the small businessman.
The Democratic Party is not going to let you down.
Now you people--you people are the Government. The Constitution says that the power of government is in the people. They exercise that power when they go to the polls to vote. It is your duty to familiarize yourselves with the record of the Democratic Party in the Congress and the record of the Republican Party in the Congress; and then decide which, in your judgment, is the best party to have in control of your Government for the next 4 years. I will leave that to the record. If you will read the record, you can't do but one thing, and that is to send Adlai Stevenson to the White House.
[3.] SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (Near station, 1:25 p.m.)
I am happy to be here today again. You gave me a wonderful reception 4 years ago, even if it was raining cats and dogs all the time I was here.
This year, I am not campaigning for myself. I am out working for a new man on the Democratic ticket, my good friend Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. Adlai Stevenson has an outstanding record of public service. He is a man the people can trust.
I understand that you people here are really to be congratulated. I am told that Thomas Corcoran is the first Democratic mayor your city has had in 24 years, and I congratulate you on it.
Now this year you have a chance to follow that excellent example by sending Arthur McGuire to the House, and John Cashmore to the Senate to really represent you in the Congress as you should be.
I have been traveling for 2 weeks now, through about 20 States. I have seen a lot of this country, and I can tell you this great Nation of ours is in good shape. Never has there been as much growth or so much activity as there is today. That is true up and down this land of ours, just as it is here in this great State of New York.
Private enterprise is confident of the future. Large and small businesses are enjoying good profits. Their customers have money, because we have good farm prices and good wages, and steady jobs for all who want them.
We have almost forgotten that there can be such things as mass unemployment, bank failures, dollar-a-day wages, and 30-cent wheat. Those things have long been banished, along with the Republicans who brought them upon us.
Now, what is the reason for this confidence and this prosperity? It is very, very simple. The programs of the Federal Government in the past 20 years have made America a land of individual security, and at the same time a land of tremendous opportunity.
In these 20 years the Democratic Party has shown that individual security and opportunity go together. They must be worked for together, and the Democrats know how to do it.
The Republican Party in Congress has opposed almost all our programs to help the economic life of the country. The Republican Party has blindly turned its back on the tradition of public action for the public good.
I wonder why they have done that? Well, it is because the Republican Party has become a collection of special interest groups. A special interest group, by definition, can never see beyond the limits of its own greed for the almighty dollar.
The insurance companies, back in 1935 and 1936, couldn't see anything in social security beyond the fact they would not be writing the insurance policies. So they were against it--and they got the Republican Party against it.
The utility companies couldn't see anything in our great public power projects beyond the fact that private companies would not make a profit on the power. So they were against these projects, and automatically the Republican Party came out against them, too. Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt taught you people all about that, many years ago.
The real estate lobby couldn't see anything in low-cost public housing beyond the fact that houses were going to be built and their members would not make any money out of them. So they were against public housing, and automatically the Republican Party came out against public housing.
And so it goes, down through the whole list. The policies of the Republican Party are the total of all the negative attitudes of all the special groups that put money into and pull the strings for the Republican Party.
Now, this year, the special interest groups that are in the Republican Party have as their candidate a man who has been in the Army and out of civilian life for over 40 years. Until last June, he had lived the specialized life of the soldier, under orders all the time.
The great issues that mean bread and butter to a lot of us, have passed him by completely. He has had the cares of an Army officer, but not those of a civilian trying to make a living. He has never met a payroll in his life, nor carried a precinct--and he doesn't know a special interest lobby when he sees one.
Now this is just the kind of man the special interests can move in on, and take over. And that is exactly what they have been doing. The General told the Republican Convention in July that he would lead them on a "great crusade." But he did not tell them what the crusade was going to be about.
Like all good generals, he was waiting for his objective to be set by higher authority. He was ready to lead the troops, but he didn't know what the campaign was for. That was a problem that he as a military man had never had to decide for himself before, so the Republican Old Guard moved in and wrote his orders for him.
The directive was drafted by Senator Taft at that famous breakfast in New York City a few weeks ago. Senator Taft left that meeting and told the press what the General stands for. Taft explained that the great issue in this campaign is "creeping socialism." Now that is the patented trademark of the special interest lobbies. Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.
Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security.
Socialism is what they called farm price supports.
Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.
Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.
Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.
When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan "Down With Socialism" on the banner of his "great crusade," that is really not what he means at all.
What he really means is, "Down with Progress--down with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," and "down with Harry Truman's fair Deal." That is what he means.
Now, it is a sad thing to see this man led around by those of little faith and no vision. It is a sad thing to see this man betraying his principles, deserting his friends, all for the sake of the votes he hopes to gain from Taft and Jennet and McCarthy.
This campaign has already demonstrated that a military man should stick to his profession. We do not need any additional proof.
I can think of no worse combination in the White House than a military man, ignorant of all our problems, surrounded and controlled by the most backward-looking politicians in our national life.
My friends, don't turn the country over to that Republican combination. Look out for your own interests. You are the Government. The Constitution of the United States says the power of the Government in this great Nation of ours shall rest in the people. And when you exercise that power, you can only do it by votes.
When you go to the polls on the 4th of November and exercise the power of government-which is in you--you must look out for your own interests, you must look out for the interests of this great Nation, you must look out for the interests of the world as a whole--the free countries as a whole, for which we are now responsible.
I urge you--study the issues. Read the record. Read the record of both parties-the Republicans in the Congress and the Democrats in the Congress--because they are the ones that make the policy. It is not made on the stump.
The record I am pointing to is a record that has been in your interest. The record these gentlemen are talking about doesn't exist--for they haven't any record, except what is bad for the people.
Go to the polls now and exercise your authority as the power in the Government. Send Adlai Stevenson to the White House, and we will have 4 more years of good government.
Thank you very much.
[4.] ONEIDA, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 2:10 p.m.)
I am certainly happy to be back in your good city again this afternoon. I want to thank that band for coming out again, like they did when I was here in 1948. You remember I held the train for the band before. You were very nice to me when I stopped here 4 years ago. Now I realize that this area has a reputation for being pretty strongly Republican, but I think we ought to be able to make a lot of converts to the Democratic way this year.
If you vote Democratic, you can count on continuing to have a government that is in your interests and for your welfare. I hope you will vote to send good Democrats down to Washington to represent you there. The candidate for Senator--who was just introduced to you by Senator Lehman--John Cashmore, is a wonderful man. I have known him a long time. And I know that Dr. Wilson will give you the right sort of representation in the Congress.
Nationally, the Democratic ticket is headed by two of the best men who ever ran for President and Vice President: Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. Adlai Stevenson has made a wonderful record as Governor of Illinois, and I know he will make a great President. He will fight for the plain people of the country, and he will see to it that this is the kind of country you want to live in, and want your children to grow up in.
The most important thing of all is that Governor Stevenson is a man of peace. You know, the President of the United States has the most important job in the world. He has more to do with whether or not we shall have peace in the world than any other individual in the world. These are critical times we are going through, because the danger of Communist aggression threatens us with another world war. It will take all our wisdom and courage and patience, and a lot of hard work, to avoid an all-out war.
Governor Stevenson understands these things. If you have been listening to his speeches, you know that he has met the foreign policy issues frankly and honestly. He has not been hiding behind vague generalities.
Nobody wants war, and the Republican candidate is no exception; he doesn't want war either. But in this struggle for peace, we have to have more than good intentions. A military life is good training, but good training for only one thing, and that is training for war, and the preparation for war. It is not training in the ways of preventing war. That has always been the job of the civilian head of the Government of the United States.
The President of the United States, in his capacity as Chief Executive, and in his capacity as Commander in Chief, makes the policies of the United States that can lead to either peace or war. He is the man, for example, who has to decide whether or not to use the atomic bomb.
You want to be careful to get a man on that job who can stand up under pressure.
Since the Republican candidate started running for President, he has been yielding to some strange advice on foreign policy. He has said some things about liberating foreign peoples that could get us into serious, very serious, trouble if they were followed through to their logical conclusions. He also said some rash and foolish things about big cuts in defense spending, which would cripple our Armed forces and our allies. He seems to have swallowed Senator Taft's whole foreign policy in the guise of a budget cut.
I am not altogether sure that he knows the significance of what he has been saying, and that makes it worse. We cannot afford to have a President who is careless about things like this.
I have worked for peace for 7 long years. I want world peace above everything else in the world; and I am sure that you feel the same way about it. No man can promise you peace with absolute certainty; but I believe with all my heart our best chance for world peace lies with the election of Adlai Stevenson.
So I say to you, for your own welfare here at home, for the good of your great State, and for the welfare of this great country of ours, you should go to the polls on election day and vote the Democratic ticket. You must be sure and register before tomorrow's deadline. Register tomorrow so that next November the 4th you can go out and vote for Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for President.
Thank you very much.
[5.] ROME, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 2:40 p.m.)
I remember stopping here in 1948, and I enjoyed it. I have Senator Lehman with me on the train today, and it is always a privilege to have his company.
I have also been talking to your Democratic candidates: John Cashmore for the Senate, and Ray Wilson for Congress. They are good Democrats, and they will represent your interests well if you send them to Washington, as I hope you will.
Now I want to tell you something about our candidate for President--Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. You know that he has been the Governor of Illinois for 4 years now, and he has done a great job. His record shows him to be a real friend of all the everyday plain people--a man who works for them, and protects their interests without fear or favoritism.
He is the best new leader to come up in this country since franklin Roosevelt--and like Roosevelt he has had the best experience a man can have for the Presidency by being Governor of a great State.
He has had some other experiences, too, which are very valuable and very important to anybody who takes over the Presidential Office in these times. And these things are not so widely known, so today I would like to tell you something about them. I think it is in your interest to know just who Adlai Stevenson is.
You may recall that after the fall of France, in 1940, President Roosevelt brought Colonel Stimson into his Cabinet as Secretary of War, and Colonel Knox as Secretary of the Navy. Secretary Knox had known Adlai Stevenson in Chicago, and thought very highly of him. So Stevenson came down to Washington, too, as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. He stayed on that assignment through most of the war, working right beside the Secretary on a great number of top-level policy problems. He learned a great deal about our Government in that period of time, and about the relationships between the civilian authorities and the military. This experience was a good deal like franklin Roosevelt's in World War I. Roosevelt profited enormously by his years in the Navy--and so, I know, did Adlai Stevenson.
In the fall of 1943 the Italian Government surrendered to the Allies. We did not hold all of Italy, but the southern part was in our hands. The Germans had left the country in terrible shape, the port of Naples was a total wreck. President Roosevelt got worried about what was to become of the country and the people. So he borrowed Adlai Stevenson from the Navy Department, and sent him to Italy to survey conditions and decide what we ought to do to rehabilitate that great country.
Stevenson went all over Sicily and southern Italy, and got a firsthand picture of the poverty and misery and economic wretchedness in that country. Then he came home and made his report. It was an excellent report--history-making in many ways. For he had grasped clearly in this experience the basic ideas which later came to be known as the Marshall plan.
Stevenson advised us back in early 1944 that temporary relief for the Italian people was essential, but not enough. He pointed out that we would have to move in and help restore essential industry and commerce and lines of trade. Unless we did that, he told us, the Communists might move in and take over. And he advised us to act first, and act fast--in order that Italy might stay free.
The American Government did take action, first in Italy and later throughout Western Europe. The Marshall plan itself was a great expansion of the philosophy of action which Stevenson brought back with him from Italy.
There is one more aspect of Governor Stevenson's career I want to mention. That is his part in launching the United Nations. As a representative of this country, he took a leading part in working out the organization and procedures of the United Nations, and making it a going concern.
Twice after that, I appointed him to serve in our delegations to the General Assembly. He did a brilliant job there, too. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt can testify to that. We would have liked to keep Stevenson in Washington to work full time on foreign problems, but he preferred to go back to Illinois to practice law and get into politics.
That was the best decision he ever made-best for himself, best for our country, for that set him on the road to the governorship of Illinois, and to the Presidency of the United States.
Now, my friends, remember that it's up to you to send Stevenson and Sparkman to Washington as President and Vice President. And you can't do that--you can't vote for him unless you register. So register today or tomorrow if you have not done it before.
And when you go down to the polls to vote on the 4th of November, remember that it is your interests that are at stake. If you vote as you should, you will vote in your interest, you will vote for the welfare of this great Nation of ours, and you will vote for the welfare of the free peoples of the world, because we are the leader of the free peoples of the world--and the President of the United States is the most important figure in that position. You must therefore remember that if you want good government at home, if you want every effort possible made for peace in the world, vote the Democratic ticket on November the 4th.
Thank you very much.
[6.] UTICA, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 3:20 p.m.)
It is grand to be back here in Utica this afternoon. I still remember the reception you gave me up here in the Mohawk Valley 4 years ago, even though it was raining cats and dogs when I was here. You turned out to listen to me, and I appreciated it very much.
This year I am out again, campaigning for a Democratic victory in November. I want you to distinctly understand that I am not running for anything.
You have some fine men running on the Democratic ticket here in New York State: for the House, Ray Wilson; for Senator, John Cashmore. Those two gentlemen will represent you well, if you will send them down to Washington.
This year the Democratic Party has two of its best candidates who have ever run for President and Vice President in Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. Stevenson is being fought by the same special interest groups and the same lobbyists who have always fought me. That is a compliment to him, too. Governor Stevenson has made it clear that he will not yield to pressure. If you elect him President, you will have a man in the White House who will work for all the people, just as I have tried to do for the last 7 years.
It is tremendously important to have a man in the White House who will stand firm for his principles. The President has to make decisions that affect the whole country and the whole world. If he does not have the courage and the intellectual honesty to do what he knows is right, the results can be disastrous for us all.
That is why I have been so disturbed, and so deeply distressed at the course the Republican candidate has followed in this campaign. He has betrayed his principles, and he has deserted his friends. Let me tell you a little story to show you what I mean.
Just a few miles outside of Utica is Hamilton College. It is a fine liberal arts college. One of Hamilton College's most illustrious graduates is Philip C. Jessup. Philip Jessup married a Utica girl, and worked in one of your Utica banks. He later became a distinguished professor of international law at Columbia University.
I have appointed Ambassador Jessup to some of the most difficult jobs in the public service. He has an honorable record, and has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of world peace. He is a patriot--a fine American; and he has helped his Government immeasurably in fighting world communism.
While Ambassador Jessup was on an overseas assignment aimed at curbing Soviet expansion, he was viciously attacked by Senator McCarthy. That was in 1950--which was not a presidential election year. In that year, the president of Columbia University, who is now the Republican candidate for President of the United States, sprang to Jessup's defense. This is what he wrote in 1950 to Philip Jessup, a member of his own faculty who was being unjustly attacked-and I quote from the General's letter:
"No one . . ."--this is a quotation from General Eisenhower's letter--"No one who has known you can for a moment question the depth or sincerity of your devotion to the principles of Americanism." That is the end of the quote.
Now the president of Columbia University knew in 1950 that McCarthy's attack was false and without foundation, just as McCarthy's attacks on other loyal public servants have been. If he needed any further proof of the kind of man McCarthy is, he certainly found it in the vile attack McCarthy made on Gen. George C. Marshall.
General Marshall had been the great friend and benefactor of the Republican candidate. He knew--and he knows today--that General Marshall's patriotism is above question. And he knows the same thing about Phil Jessup.
The Republican candidate knows, or he ought to know, how completely dishonest Joe McCarthy is. He ought to despise McCarthy, just as I expected him to--and just as I do.
Now, in his bid for votes, he has endorsed Joe McCarthy for reelection--and humbly thanked him for riding on his train.
I can't understand it. I had never thought the man who is now the Republican candidate would stoop so low. I have thought about this a great deal. I don't think I shall ever understand it.
But this much is clear to me. A man who betrays his friends in such a fashion is not to be trusted with the great Office of President of the United States.
Now, my friends, very fortunately we do not have to trust him with the office. Fortunately we have Adlai Stevenson, a man who is worthy of our faith and our trust.
And I urge you--I want to make you a request--I urge you to get the record--the Congressional Record--where the votes of the Republicans in Congress, and the votes of the Democrats in Congress are kept. It is the driest, dullest document in the world, but for your own patriotic welfare and your own patriotic duty you ought to study the records of the men in Congress who are running the Government either one way or the other.
And you will find that the Republicans in Congress have voted against every single one of those forward-looking things which the Democratic administration has put into effect during the last 20 years. You will find that no matter what the Republican presidential candidate may say, he will be a prisoner of the isolationist Republicans--and he can't help himself.
Now, for your own sake, for your own welfare, for the welfare of the greatest Nation in the history of the world, and for the welfare of the free world, go down to the polls on November the 4th and vote the Democratic ticket--and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[7.] AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 4:30 p.m.)
I am happy to be able to stop here this year, just as I did 4 years ago. Only this time I am campaigning not for myself but for the Democratic ticket. You know, I have to explain to these meetings we have been having on this tour around the country, that I am not running for office because they turned out better this time than they ever did before. Maybe that's the reason.
There are some very good men on the Democratic ticket here in this great State of New York. I have been riding with most of them all day. I have been informed that David C. Prince is your candidate for Congress, that he is a very able and competent man. I know John Cashmore. I know he will make you a great Senator. And I hope that you will follow Governor Lehman's advice and give him a colleague that will go along with him.
The Democratic Party is fortunate to have at the head of its ticket Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. These two men have proved by their records of public service that they can be trusted with the great responsibilities of leadership in the tough years ahead.
Now I want to talk to you today about a basic American principle that concerns every one of you--the basic American principle that all men regardless of their race, religion, or national origin have equal rights before the law, and also have equal rights in our economic life. That principle has made us the greatest Nation in the history of the world.
And Amsterdam offers daily proof of the soundness of that principle. Here in this city, people of different national origins live side by side, work together, bring up their children to be fine American citizens.
But this principle of equal rights is always under attack. Some people are always trying to cut down the liberties of others or block the progress of racial or national groups different from their own--or more recently settled in this country. They do this because they are selfish and shortsighted. They do not understand that all the different groups in this country have made great contributions to our national progress.
One of the worst examples of this situation is the new immigration law--the McCarran Act--that passed the Congress over my veto earlier this year. Our immigration laws are now based on an un-American theory of racial superiority. This theory was written into our immigration laws under a Republican President and a Republican Congress in the 1920's. That theory holds that the socalled Nordics from England and northern Europe are superior to persons born in countries like Italy, Greece, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. And as a result, the law allows many more immigrants from England and north Europe to enter this country, than from southern or eastern Europe.
That's the National Origin Quota System. It is a Republican invention, and they are proud of it.
After World War II, we got around this quota system for a while by passing the Displaced Persons Act. And this year the Congress had a chance to get rid of this whole unfair arrangement once and for all. But what happened? The Congress passed a new law which is even more unfair in its discriminations against naturalized citizens and immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. This new law was passed only because the Republicans in the Congress ganged up to support it. I vetoed the bill, but the Republicans in the Senate voted 4 to 1 in favor of it. The bill passed over my veto.
It is true the new law bears the name of a Democratic Senator, but I am here to say to you very frankly he's not my kind of a Democrat. My kind of Democrat was fighting against the law, and one of the leaders of that fight was your own Senator Lehman, supported by our vice-presidential candidate, John Sparkman.
I want you to keep in mind that the President in this case and many others, is the last line of defense against attacks like these. That is why you need a man in the White House for the next 4 years who understands our basic rights and is determined to preserve them.
The Republican candidates and the Republican Party cannot be trusted to protect these principles. The Republican candidate for president has said that he has no views on the subject of immigration. The Republican candidate for vice president was one of the Senators who first voted for the new immigration bill, and then voted to override my veto. And the Republican platform does not say one word about the immigration policy of the country.
The Democratic platform pledges a fight to rid our law of these unfair restrictions. And Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman stand squarely in support of its promise to revise our immigration laws.
That is one of the reasons the people of this country are going to keep the Democratic Party in control of the White House, and send more Democrats to Congress. That is the only way the people can get action on this issue--and all the other issues that affect the daily welfare of all the people of this country.
Now, you should study the situation. You ought to read the record. You ought to read the record of the great issues that are before the country. The Republicans don't want to discuss issues. They try to sidetrack you, or say foolish things that have not happened. They want to take your mind' off the fact that they have been wrong on every issue where the welfare of the country and the welfare of the people who make the country great are at stake.
If you study the record, read the fine print in the Congressional Record--read the votes of the Republicans in the Congress, study the votes of the Democrats in the Congress; and see which party has been coming to the front for the welfare of all the people and not just a few.
And if you do that, I won't have to ask you to make up your mind to vote the Democratic ticket, because you can't help but do it.
Now, remember on November the 4th that unless you register you can't make up your mind one way or the other. And when you don't do that, you are a slacker--and you don't get a chance to vote. And when you don't vote, you get the kind of government you deserve.
Now go down there and register. Then on November the 4th go to the polls and vote the Democratic ticket, and you will have 4 more years of good government.
[8.] SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK (Platform near the station, 5:05 p.m.)
I thank you very much for that welcome. I have been in Schenectady many times, and I made a farm speech here once in 1935, and you know I found out something while I was here that I didn't know before. They were celebrating the 200th anniversary of the opening of the West, and the opening of the West was the Mohawk Valley. I have told that in California, and they just don't understand how that could happen.
I inspected your industries here during the war, when I was Chairman of the Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. I feel quite at home here.
As you may have heard, I am out campaigning for victory for the Democrats in November. I am doing that in my capacity as the leader of the Democratic Party. That is one of my jobs as President of the United States.
You have some very good Democratic candidates here in New York--your candidate for Congress, David Prince; for Senator, John Cashmore. They are ably qualified to represent you in the Congress.
In particular, I urge you to vote the national Democratic ticket--Adlai Stevenson for President and John Sparkman for Vice President. Both of them are men you can trust to work for you and look out for your interests. Their records prove that they are real friends of the workingman, the farmer, and of all the people.
I have been out to San Francisco and back on this trip, and I have seen a very, very prosperous country. This prosperity we have seems to be driving the Republicans crazy. They can't bear to see the country so well off under the Democrats, so they are doing their best to try to explain it away. They have no issues, so all they can do is just yell about Democratic prosperity.
The first thing they say is that the country is not prosperous at all. Then they tell you that even if it is, there is something wrong about it. Then they say it can't last, and of course, they have been saying that ever since 1936. When I read their speeches today, I think of Alf Landon and Wendell Willkie and Dewey and it sounds as if they had written the speeches that are being used by the Republicans today, because they haven't changed a dime's worth.
Now they are trying to tell you that our prosperity can't last, because they say that the defense effort is the only thing holding up the economy. They are trying to get across the notion that the Democrats don't know how to keep this country prosperous except by spending money on national defense.
Now this is not true. It is just one more Republican falsehood to scare you and confuse you in this campaign. The truth is that our prosperity is very sound and healthy. Right now we have a total national production of about $340 billion. Defense accounts for less than one-sixth of that output.
Now get this straight. If it were not for the defense effort, we would be even more prosperous than we are now. The defense effort is making us postpone and put off a lot of things we need, things that would make our country greater and stronger.
Our population is growing fast. Our cities are growing fast. lust look at your own city here. That means a lot of things to do. We need more houses, better and cheaper houses, more roads, more schools, more hospitals. We need more food and more consumers goods of every kind. Thousands of businessmen are all ready now to expand their plants or build new ones. They see bigger markets ahead. That is a sure sign of good times in the future. In all these ways our peacetime work is piling up on us, and as soon as we can ease off on defense all this work will be waiting for us.
That means there need be no depression in this country. And there won't be a depression if you keep the kind of government in Washington that understands these things, and will help get new production going in the right places and at the right time. That is one thing the Democratic Party knows how to do. And we have proved it.
For the first time in history, we have kept you out of a depression after a big war. In 1949, when things started to slide back, we took quick action, and by the spring of 1950 we were back in boom times again. That was before Korea started. The defense buildup had nothing whatever to do with it.
But the Republicans are right about one thing. There could be a depression. They ought to know. They are experts at bringing them about. The last time they held office, we had two depressions in 12 years--7 million men out of work in 1921, and 14 million men out of work in 1932. And if they would get in again, it would probably be 24 million out of work.
And there isn't a sign in the world that they wouldn't let it happen again. They don't seem to have any notion of how to get prosperity and growth. For 20 years the Republicans have been voting against the Democratic programs for social security and good wages for workers, and against our program for fair prices for farmers--against just about everything else we have been doing to help build the country up.
Unfortunately their candidate for President is in no position to make them behave any better, even if he wanted to. He has lived the specialized life of a soldier. The Republican candidate has been a fine general, but the Army is all he has ever known in his whole life. You don't learn much in the Army about what workers and farmers need, or what it's like to be out of a job. Now he is surrounded by the Republican Old Guard, and they have taken him into camp completely. He is just a babe in the woods of Senator Taft.
What a combination!--what a combination! That is, a military man who doesn't know anything about civilian problems, in the hands of the reactionaries who speak and work for the banker, the power lobby, the real estate lobby, and all the other special privilege boys.
I don't think you can take a chance on turning your country over to an outfit like that. You have got to vote in your own interests. Be sure to register before tomorrow's deadline so you can vote.
You are the Government. Don't vote for the big business government, or the military government, either. The people in this country are the power in the Government. They control the Government of this country when they exercise their right to vote. And when they do not exercise that right, then if they get bad government, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Now I am urging you just to study the record. Study the record of the Republicans in the Congress for the past 10 years. Study the record of the Republicans in the Congress over the past 10 years--or 20, if you want to.
And you will find that the Democratic Party has been on the side of the people every time, and the Republicans have been on the side of the special interests.
So, on the 4th of November, go to the polls and vote the Democratic ticket, and keep the country in safe hands for another 4 years.
[9.] ALBANY, NEW YORK (Trainside, 6 p.m.)
It is always good to visit Albany--which is real Democratic country.
You have voted Democratic in the presidential elections ever since 1928, and just this past April in a special election you had the good sense to send Leo O'Brien to Congress. He ran on the Democratic record-and he won by a handsome margin. So send him back again.
I also urge you to send John Cashmore to the Senate. With Leo O'Brien in the House, and John Cashmore in the Senate you will be represented in Washington as you ought to be.
The Democratic Party is going to win this November because the people know the record--the dark Republican record of reaction and the bright Democratic record of progress.
I am making this trip to help in the election of two fine candidates for President and Vice President. These are men who have proved they understand the Democratic Party's role in making this country the great place it is--Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman.
And I am also trying to convince the people that it would be a great mistake to elect the Republican candidate for President.
There was a time when I thought the present Republican candidate was qualified to be President. I realized, of course, that he would have trouble in political life, as all military men do. But I thought I could rely on his integrity. I believed he would always stand up for the things he had worked so hard to achieve.
Whatever else happened, I thought he would defend the international policies that he had done so much in his military career to help create and put into effect. I thought he would stand firmly behind the great defense effort we are making to hold off Communist aggression and prevent world war three. I thought he could be relied on to give firm support to our allies and to the brave men who are struggling against aggression in Korea.
My friends, that is not the case, I am sorry to say.
At one time he advocated budget cuts in our national defense program more extreme than those advocated by Senator Taft. The size of his proposed cut varies from speech to speech, and I don't know what the quotation is today, but it doesn't make any difference. Everything he has proposed would be a crippling blow to our defense program, and would undo much of the work that is now going forward.
By attacking our efforts in Korea and calling them a blunder, he has raised questions that strike a blow at the morale of the free nations fighting there. I never thought I would see a general, least of all this one, doing anything that could weaken the morale and faith of our country in the cause for which we are fighting--at the very time when our troops are locked in battle with the enemy.
These and other developments have led me to the firm conclusion that the Republican candidate is not qualified to be President. If he can't withstand the political pressures of a campaign any better than this, he will not be able to withstand the far greater pressures that beat upon a President in office. I have had some experiences with these pressures, and I think I know what I am talking about.
My disillusionment with this general has led me to go back and study the role of other generals in our politics, and I have come to the firm conclusion that we should always keep civilians at the head of our Government. I think this was intended by the Constitution. I think history proves that professional generals should not be President.
We have had many fine generals in our history. They have been great and able men who have lived a life of real public service. But they can render that service best in the military life for which they were trained.
Military training and military life do not qualify a man to be President.
A President has to learn about politics and civil government from experience. Only a man who understands politics thoroughly can keep from being imposed on and pushed around, and used as a tool by politicians.
A man who spends all his life in the Army can't possibly learn the business of political life. He has too much else to do.
Furthermore, the military life is almost the opposite of political life. A good many of you have been in the Armed forces and know how different army life is. In the Army a general gets things done by giving orders--but that is not the way the Government works. A President can't order the people of the United States around.
Most good military leaders recognize that their training does not qualify them for the Presidency. Most of them follow the tradition of keeping out of politics.
One of our great generals once put this idea very well, in words I shall read to you. He said: "Politics is a profession--a serious, complicated, and in its true sense, a noble one.
"In the American scene I see no dearth of men fitted by training, talent, and integrity for national leadership. On the other hand, nothing in the international or domestic situation especially qualifies for the most important office in the world a man whose adult years have been spent in the country's military forces. At least, this is true in my case."
That statement, my friends, was made 4 years ago, by the man who is now the Republican candidate for President. It was true then. And it is true today.
There is another good reason why professional generals should not become President. One of the basic principles of our Government is that it should be under civilian control. The military arm of government exists to serve the people. It should never rule them. A professional soldier in the White House might give the military undue power in our Government.
Another famous general put this danger very wall. He said, and I quote, "It would be a tragic development indeed, if this generation was forced to look to the rigidity of military dominance and discipline . . . nothing is more conducive to arbitrary rule than the military junta. It might well destroy our historic and wise concept which holds to the supremacy of the civil power .... The gravity of this danger cannot be over estimated."
Now those words were spoken by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. And I certainly agree with him that a civilian President is needed to hold the generals in their proper place in our form of government. And I think I have amply demonstrated that myself.
Our political history proves that it is a great mistake to send a professional military man to the White House.
In all our history, we have elected a purely professional military man to the Presidency only on two occasions.
We have elected other men who had fine military records and who had been generals, like Washington and Jackson and Garfield. But they were not Regular Army men; they were civilians first--lawyers or legislators-and soldiers second.
We have had only two lifelong Army men in the White House.
The first was Zachary Taylor, who had been in the Army for 40 years. He was a hero of the Mexican War. He was inaugurated in 1849, and died a year and a half later, at the age of 65. In his campaign, he made a lot of promises about cleaning up the Government, and doing away with political patronage. After he was elected, he doled out more political jobs than his predecessors, and restored the "spoils system." Instead of cleaning up corruption, he increased it. He was succeeded by a Vice President, Millard Fillmore, who made a very unpopular President, I am sorry to say, because he came from New York.
The second and last professional military man elected to the Presidency was General Grant. He had two terms from 1869 to 1877. He gave the country the most corrupt administration it ever had in all its history. He was a fine general, he was personally honest, but a complete failure as President. The politicians led him around by the nose, and got him to give them anything they wanted.
In fact, both those generals were babes in the woods when it came to politics. They were set up by the political leaders of the Whig Party and the Republican Party to bamboozle the people. And they used them.
It is very interesting to study why and how generals have been chosen as candidates for President. In addition to the two regular generals who were successful, three Regular Army generals have run and been defeated. In almost every case, the general was nominated by a political party that was hopelessly divided into factions, or on the wrong side of the issues.
Political leaders are never willing to let a general have the nomination, if they think their party has a good chance of winning the election on its merits. They want the Presidency for themselves.
The politicians nominate generals in the hope that military glamor will fool the people, and keep them from thinking about the issues.
There are a lot of examples of this, but I have time only to mention a few.
The Whig Party was probably the worst offender in this matter of nominating generals. The Whig Party was the successor of the old Federalist Party, and the ancestor of the Republican Party today. The Whigs were always disunited and divided. They started in the 1820's and about the only thing they could agree on was that they hated Andrew Jackson who was, of course, a Democrat.
They were the party that put up Gen. William Henry Harrison in 1840. He was a Regular Army general, but he had also served a good part of his life in civil government. However, he was picked for his reputation as a hero of the wars against the Indians.
That was one of the wildest campaigns in our history. That was the "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" campaign. The Whigs never talked about a single issue--they didn't even have a platform, and nobody knew where this general stood on anything, except that he was against the Democrats. They bamboozled the people with the general's glamor and a lot of ballyhoo, and he was elected, but he died almost as soon as he was inaugurated.
It worked so well in 1840 that the Whigs tried it again in 1848 with Gen. Zachary Taylor. It was the same story then. The Whig Party was hopelessly divided into two factions. They couldn't agree on the issues. And again they had no platform. So they nominated a general who had never cast a vote in his life, and whose views, if he had any, were completely unknown.
The Whig Party tried the same stunt in 1852--just a hundred years ago-but by this time the people were beginning to catch on. In that year the Whigs eliminated all the candidates who had ever taken a position on any issue, and nominated another Mexican War hero, Gen. Winfield Scott. He was known as "Old fuss and feathers."
And the Democrats beat the tar out of him.
And that, by the way, was the end of the Whig Party. It fell apart after the election, and soon expired.
In 1864 the Democratic Party in the North was in a weak position. They wanted to capitalize on the people's weariness with the Civil War without appearing unpatriotic. So they picked an Army general who hated Lincoln--General McClellan. But he was defeated, and that certainly was a good thing for the country.
The Democratic Party in 1864 was a lot like the Republican Party today. The isolationist Republicans now want to make an issue out of Korea and our whole policy of checking Communist aggression, without appearing to be unpatriotic. So they are using a general to front for them.
That is the way it goes, all through our history. Whenever you see a Regular general as a party's candidate, you know the politicians in that party are desperate--that the party is so unpopular or so divided they think they can't win without military glamor.
That's exactly the situation in the Republican Party today. The Republicans haven't won a national election in 20 years. And I hope they don't win for another 20. Their policies are reactionary and out of step with the people. They can't possibly win on domestic issues. And they are hopelessly divided over foreign policy and very bitter at each other. At their convention they were calling each other thieves and robbers.
They are a desperate and divided minority party, who can't go before the people and tell them what they really stand for. So they have used the old trick of desperate politicians and picked a Regular Army general to hide their own miserable record and take the people's minds off the issues.
It's an old trick and it isn't going to work this time.
Don't let them fool you.
It's a good thing to study American history. It helps you to understand what is happening, and to avoid getting fooled.
So don't fall this year for one of the oldest political tricks in American history.
It is your interests that are at stake. You are the Government. The power of government, under our Constitution, lies with the people, and the way to exercise that power is by voting in election time. All of you ought to be registered so you can vote and show what you believe in politics, what you want for your own interests, for the interests of this country, and for the welfare of the whole free world.
It is necessary for you to inform yourself on the issues. I have gone across this country from one end of it to the other, and I have told the people where the Democratic Party stands, and what the Democratic Party has done for the country.
Now the Republicans have not yet stated what they are for. They have only stated that they are against the Democrats. Now, use your judgment. Vote the Democratic ticket on November 4th and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[10.] HUDSON, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 6:55 p.m.)
I appreciate your welcome very much. And you know, another thing I appreciate most highly--I am told that your Republican chairman sent all these people down here so that they could hear a lesson on politics.
Now the other day I received a letter from the president of your Student Council at your high school here. He tells me that you are going to have a football game here tonight. I am going to read you his letter, and I am going to answer it. He says,
"Dear President Truman: It will indeed be a great honor for us when you stop at Hudson on October 10. It is not often that"
I shouldn't say this--
"--a great man such as you stops at our small city. Writing as a representative of Hudson High I know it would be greatly appreciated by the students if in some way you could mention the football game which will be played on the Athletic field of Hudson High. Our opponent will be Columbia High School, and the game will start at 8:00 p.m."
Wait--wait--the plug hasn't come yet. "Since the turnout at our game has been small, this certainly would stir up the spirit for our team. I realize that you have many worthwhile things to say, and a short time in which to say them, and probably it would be difficult for you to mention the football game. Once again I would like to thank you for your plans to stop at Hudson."
Now here is what I am going to tell him. I wish I could stay and see that game, but I am in a very embarrassing position, because it would be impossible for me to take sides. You see, I am out on a political campaign.
This is an election year, and I don't want to make anybody mad, unless there is some good reason for it. There is one thing I would like to make a lot of people mad about, and I have good reason for that. I would like to make people mad about the way the Republicans are insulting your intelligence in this election campaign.
Now Governor Stevenson has been telling you about the kind of campaign the Republicans are putting on--and so have I. There are a lot of people who won't believe what we tell them about this. They think we are a little prejudiced. So today I want to read you something from another source. If this one is prejudiced at all, it is certainly not in our favor.
This is the Wall Street Journal for Friday, September 12. I have it right here. The headline says: "A GOP Gamble. Ike's Tacticians Plan To Keep His Talk Vague. They Rely on His Popularity. It's the Old Dewey Pattern With the Big Difference, a Hero Candidate. Appeals to the Ladies and the Kids."
Then the story says, "The vagueness of Candidate Eisenhower's campaign pronouncements thus far is no accident--nor is it merely a preliminary phase of the General's plan for winning. It's part of a campaign strategy which his aides aim to continue until election day . . ."
Then a little further down the story goes on: "Mr. Eisenhower's campaign planners are well aware of the risk in failing to get down to brass tacks with the voters. They remember"--now this is the Wall Street Journal--"and indeed some of them helped mastermind, the ill-fated campaign of New York's Governor Dewey in 1948. Critics agree that Mr. Dewey's generalities were a big factor in his defeat. But those who are counseling a similar course for Ike take pains to contend that 'Dewey didn't have what the General has--a tremendous reservoir of good will.'"
"Furthermore," says the Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Eisenhower's strategy is dictated as much by necessity as by choice, his advisers agree. Even Ike's most ardent admirers say he simply doesn't know enough about the home front to joust with Mr. Stevenson"--
--or Mr. Truman--
--"on many specific issues. 'The General couldn't even pretend to know the answers,' one of his brain trusters asserts . . . They are. . . relying heavily on nothing more than the General's impact on the people. Especially the Ike men are pitching their campaign at two big segments of the voting population, the youth and the ladies. The General rarely fails to mention both in his campaign talks."
Now that's the end of the quotation from the Wall Street Journal. This is not prejudiced in my favor, I can tell you. And that is not the worst part of the story about the Republican campaign. Even the Wall Street Journal wouldn't tell you the whole story about how the special interest lobbies control the Republican Party. But I think I read enough to show why you ought to be insulted.
You know, the General said he was going to win this election by appealing to the emotions of the voters, and not to their reason. He is not going to talk to you about the issues. Why? This article quotes one of the brain trusters as saying, "The General couldn't even pretend to know the answers." I agree with that. And I don't think that is the kind of man we ought to have for President.
These are critical times, my friends, and the Office of the President of the United States is the most important job in the world. This is one place where we need a man who does know the answers.
I am proud to say that the Democratic Party offers you a candidate who is that kind of man--Mr. Stevenson. If you have been listening to his speeches, you know that he has a broad grasp of the problems we face today, and a deep understanding of our political institutions.
I am urging you--particularly you people here who have the right to vote--to study the issues in this campaign. I want you to study the record. And you have got to get that record out of the Congressional Record, where the Congressmen--Republicans and Democrats--in the Congress fix the policies of the party that is in power. It doesn't do any good to listen to a lot of oratorical hooey unless you know what is being said--unless you know what they are talking about. In order to find that out, you have got to read the record, to see just exactly who has been on the side of the people, and who has not.
Now you young people who are here tonight ought to inform yourselves on government. You ought to do the best you can to find out just exactly what this great Republic means to you. You are the future men and women who will run this country, you young people. I am urging you to get the information that will do you the most good, and make good citizens out of you.
And when you do that, you will find that there is one party in this country that is for progress, for looking ahead.
There is one party in this country that wants to turn the clock back to 1896. Now you young people can't go back to 1896. Some of you don't even know who was President in 1896.
So I advise you to get your information that will do you the most good. Look to your own interests, and look to the future of this great Nation--the greatest free nation in the history of the world. There never was a nation equal to this one.
This Nation, my friends, is the leader of the free world. We must have people who are looking forward, and not people who are looking back.
Now, if that really is what you want, you ought to register and be sure you are on the books--all of you who can vote. And then go to the polls and vote for the man that is taking us forward, not one who doesn't know what the issues are--who is turning the clock back. I urge you in your own interests, go to the polls on the 4th of November, and vote the Democratic ticket.
Thank you very much.
[11.] YONKERS, NEW YORK (Near the train, 9:12 p.m.)
I am very glad to be here tonight. I guess you know why I am here. I am out campaigning for the Democratic ticket, and I have had a good visit with your great Senator Lehman. He gives you the right kind of representation in the Congress. I hope you will send John Cashmore to help him out and to work with Senator Lehman.
And I hope you will send the two able Congressmen to the Congress who will be for the people, and not for the special interests.
I hope every one of you will vote for our next President--Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. Adlai Stevenson is the finest young leader to come along since franklin Roosevelt saved the country back in 1933. Like Roosevelt, you can count on him to understand your problems and to work for you. He is a man you can trust.
I have been traveling for nearly 2 weeks now, and I have made more speeches than I can count. And every place I have gone, I have tried to explain to the people what we will all be up against if the Republicans win this election--and God save us from that.
I have told them, and I will tell you, if the Republicans succeed in grabbing off the Congress and the White House, you will be saddled with a government you can't trust. The Republicans cannot be trusted with the prosperity of this country. They cannot be trusted with the peace of the world, and that is much more important to you young people.
Now, those are strong statements, and I know it. I wouldn't make them if I couldn't back them up. But it happens that they are true. And I will tell you exactly why they are true.
In the first place, you can't trust the Republicans because they don't represent you, and they won't work for you. The Republican Party is not a party of the plain, everyday people in this country. Instead, it is the roosting place of the big powerful lobbies and the special interest groups. The big banks, the power companies, the oil companies, the real estate lobby--and worst of all the China lobby, and the rest of that crew--they are the people who foot the bills for the Republican Party.
They pay their money--and they give their orders. They want service in return-and they get it. And they are the only ones who do. The people do not get it.
In our country it has become the function of the Democratic Party to represent the people. With us, the people come first.
With the Republicans, property and profits come first--way ahead of the people.
Now what I say is proved by the Republican record in the Congress. It is an Old Guard record, for the Old Guard controls the party with an iron fist. It is a most reactionary record. It is even further right than Bob Taft--and that is saying a lot.
The record shows that a great majority of the Republicans in Congress have voted time after time against social security, against minimum wages, against the Wagner Act, the housing laws--they have voted to hamstring almost all our programs of foreign aid to help build up the strength of this free world.
And what have they voted for? Well, they have voted for tax loopholes for the rich. They have voted to curb unions through the Taft-Hartley law. They have voted to riddle and ruin our price controls and rent controls. They have voted to give away our offshore oil, in which you have a very deep interest, to raise the price of natural gas, and every other kind of special favor for their lobby friends.
If you would like a good example of how they vote the way the lobbies want, I urge you to look at the record of their vice-presidential candidate. You have heard something about--my friends, you have heard something about his personal finances, but his voting record is even worse than that-and there aren't very many things that could be worse.
As for their presidential candidate, he has shown in recent weeks that while he was a good general, as a politician he is just another Old Guard Republican.
Now, ever since that famous breakfast with Senator Taft, the Old Guard has had him surrounded and tied down. In fact, they have had him hog-tied. What is more, he doesn't seem to mind it at all. He actually seems to be more comfortable than when he had the company of Tom Dewey and the other so-called liberal Republicans.
Now, my friends, there was a time when I thought the General might make a good President, but his activities in this campaign have shown me that I was entirely wrong. I made a mistake, but I don't want you to make that same mistake. I don't want you to saddle yourselves with big business government, or military government, either. I don't want to see our country in the hands of a military man who is surrounded and controlled by the worst clements in the Old Guard Republican Party.
Don't fall for this. Don't vote for him. Vote your own interests. You, the people, control this country when you exercise the right of franchise. You are the Government, and the power in this Government is placed in your hands by the greatest document of government that was ever written--the Constitution of the United States. It gives you the right to say the kind of government you may have. And if you don't exercise that privilege, if you let election day go by without doing your duty as a patriotic citizen by going to vote, and you get bad government, and you get imposed upon by those who are in the Government, you have got nobody to blame but yourselves.
I have been from one end of the country to the other and I have explained to the people just exactly what their rights are, just exactly what they have to do to maintain those rights. And I think they understand exactly what the situation is with which we are faced.
I can't get the Republicans to come out and say what they are for. I can't get them to say what sort of government they would like to see in this country. All I can hear from them are smears and boos and attacks when I tell the truth on them. And that hurts a lot worse than if I give them hell-as a lot of people want me to do.
They just simply can't stand the facts and the truth. All you have to do is to read the record--some of which I have pointed out to you this evening.
Go now--inform yourselves. I am not trying to influence you one way or the other. I want you to vote in your own best interests. And if you inform yourselves, you can't do anything else but vote for the welfare of this great Nation.
Vote for the welfare of the free nations of this world. Vote for your own private interests. And if you do that, you will vote the Democratic ticket on election day--and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[12.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (Grand Central Station, 10:30 p.m.)
I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this meeting. I appreciate more than I can tell you what you have done tonight. No man--no man in the world could deserve what you have done here this evening.
I have been from one end of the United States to the other, trying to outline what I think is for the welfare of this great Nation of ours. I have been in public office--elective office--for more than 30 years, and I have had that happen to me through the offices of the Democratic Party.
On January 20th I shall come to the end of my term as President of the United States--the highest office in the history of the world.
And I am trying to show to you what I feel--how grateful I am. The Democratic Party has been exceedingly kind to me. I appreciate what they have done for me.
No man in the history of the country has had the experience that I have had. I have gone from precinct to President. No other man in the history of the country has done that. And I am not like these people who accept everything in the world from the party, and then when they arrive at the top want to turn around and become so-called independents and not work for the welfare of the people that have elevated them. I am not that sort.
I believe, my friends, that we are faced with the most important election in the history of the country. I am hoping that every single one of you will inform himself on exactly what the issues are. I have stated the issues from the Democratic standpoint, and I am trying to force the Republicans to state their issues--and I don't believe they have any.
Whenever the people know what the facts are, when they know what is best for the country, when they know what is best for their own welfare, I am not worried at all about what they will do.
All I am trying to do is to get you to inform yourselves on the facts. You will have a hard time getting any facts from the Republicans-but you can get all you want from me.
Now, my friends, if you will inform yourselves on the situation as it is, you can't do but one thing on the 4th day of November. If you want to do what is best for yourselves, what is best for the Nation, and what is best for the free world, you will go to the polls on November the 4th, and you will vote the Democratic ticket, and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
NOTE: In the course of his remarks on October 10 the President referred to John Cashmore, Democratic candidate for Senator, Senator Herbert It. Lehman, O. Richard Judson, Victor Kruppenbacher, Arthur B. McGuire, Dr. Charles R. Wilson, and David C. Prince, Democratic candidates for Representative, Mayor Thomas J. Corcoran of Syracuse, and Representative Leo W. O'Brien, all of New York. The President also referred to Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, Democratic candidate for President, Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, Democratic candidate for Vice President, Senators Robert A. Taft of Ohio, William E. Jennet of Indiana, and Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, Henry L. Stimson, former Secretary of War, frank Knox, former Secretary of the Navy, Philip C. Jessup, United States Ambassador at Large, and General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army, 1939-1945.
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.