An uncharacteristically sarcastic blast from VDH.
Here’s why I did not vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan—despite their records.
1944: Sorry, I am not voting for a fourth term for Franklin D. Roosevelt. He’s a vindictive character and has brought disrepute into the White House. When he didn’t get his way, he pouted and tried to pack the Supreme Court. When critics went after him, he threatened them with targeted regulations and taxes to silence them. He signed the order putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps—another one of his “executive orders” that he so often has abused.
Then there are those rumors. Have we ever had a president who used his own daughter as a conduit to conduct an affair while in the White House? And who knows what Eleanor was doing at the time? Why hide the truth about his health? Anybody who sees or hears the president, knows his army of conspiratorial aides are lying about his ailments as they always do. We’ve known all along that he was paralyzed—and not simply partially disabled, when his braces and aides staged his standing up to make us believe he could almost walk.
The president is now wasting away. Rumors are that his blood pressure is dangerously high and won’t go down. It’s Woodrow Wilson all over again, when they lied that his stroke was never serious, even as the guy was near comatose as his wife ran the country. FDR’s advisors know that he won’t make it six months if elected a fourth time. (What president before has even run for a third term?) They are hiding that fact to make sure the Democrats keep control of the presidency once he dies in office. There should be a constitutional amendment or something to remove an incapacitated president.
I cannot vote for a candidate who flat out deceives the American people. Character is destiny, and without it policy means nothing. Storming Normandy was a brilliant success, but it should not come at cost of endorsing an adulterous president. Even if FDR is leading us to global victory, his record is stained by his mendacity.
1951: If Harry Truman runs again for a second full-term—that would make almost another 12 years of one-party governance—I would not vote for him.
Why? Try his character. Truman entered the Senate from the corrupt Kansas City political machine. For good reason, he was branded “the Senator from Pendergast.” Truman has never disavowed those mob machine ties—and never been investigated for his part in mainstreaming Missouri’s endemic corruption. The guy failed in almost every business endeavor he tried until Tom Pendergast found a job for him. As president, he’s been both petty and profane, using salty language and stooping so low as president to threaten bodily harm to a critic of his daughter’s singing career. He drank with cronies and wasted precious time playing poker. Truman couldn’t even make it through a semester in business college—and it showed.
The bull-headed, go-it-alone grifter Truman has never listened to his far better experienced and educated advisors. He knew nothing of the Manhattan Project but soon just dropped two atomic bombs on Japan without a scintilla of doubt. Sober and judicious pros in the State Department like Alger Hiss warned him of ginning up a Cold War and adopting a polarizing “containment” policy against our former wartime ally Joseph Stalin. Truman ignored him. And who exactly lost China?
Again, Truman never listened to expert diplomats and generals, who also advised against sending troops into the Korean quagmire, or recognizing Israel, or integrating the armed forces, or establishing the CIA, or firing hero General Douglas MacArthur, and on and on. Just a bully whose motto really wasn’t “the buck stops here” but “my way or the highway.” I suppose he did a few good things, but they’re canceled out by his uncouth and unpresidential comportment.
1956: I just cannot vote to reelect Dwight Eisenhower—even if that gives us left-wing Adlai Stevenson. We never really have addressed Ike’s character flaws. While he was supreme commander of our forces in Western Europe he seems to have conducted a veritable affair with his chauffeur Kay Summersby, whose fiancé was killed on the front lines. She even visited the country for months when Ike was thinking of running for president—to his embarrassment. For me, Ike’s dalliance cancels out D-Day and all that.
When Ike wrote his best-selling memoir, he concocted a ploy to declare his huge royalties as capital gains, not income—to avoid the sort of taxes we all pay. Even salty Truman didn’t do that.
When icon George Marshall was attacked by the McCarthy crazies, the trimmer Ike kept silent—with his finger in the air to measure the political winds. So, he let his former boss and patron be slandered.
Ike ran against Truman’s war, but when he got elected, he more or less did the same thing as Truman. Not a lot of character there. Which is more important, being right about the go-ahead order for the June 6 invasion or being wrong in cheating on your wife?
I think the better strategy for 1956 is “NeverEisenhower,” and just hope Stevenson wins. That way, the Democrats will go so hard left-wing that they will turn off the country. Their extremism will allow us time to rebuild the Republican Party and get ready for 1960 with known establishmentarians and good party men like Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.—or at least a guy who has held one office before thinking he could become president.
Heh. I see what you did there, Hanson, you wily old Nazi, you.