Truman, Jefferson & Jackson: Progressive Liberal Trifecta
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:34

Yes, honey, Harry Truman, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson were all flaming liberals.  Easy....easy....don't work yourself up into a tizzy, now.  I'm not asking you to take my word for it, you can get it straight from someone you might call an authority on the subject.  President Harry S. Truman gave an address at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner on February 19, 1948, and he seemed to take it for gospel that not only were they all liberals, they were "progressive liberals."  Here is a little snippet from his opening remarks:

We meet tonight, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Democratic National Committee, to honor two great Americans. These men early in our history inspired the people of this country to assert their rights against privilege. They endowed the United States with a liberal philosophy and tradition. At the same time they were practical men, able to translate liberal philosophy into law and political fact.

I speak of the father of American liberalism-Thomas Jefferson.

I speak also of the man who later gave American liberalism new and even richer meaning--Andrew Jackson.

Truman described the Democratic Party as:

(t)he party of progressive liberalism in the United States, the party that carries on the traditions of Jefferson and Jackson...

Honey, you look whiter than a ghost.  Let me mop your neck with a cold rag.  If this is too much for you, I want you to stop reading right now.  You are going to fall over faint and knock your brains out.  Take some deep breaths, honey, because it's only going to get worse from here on out.

Here is an astounding excerpt from Truman's speech where he discusses not only Thomas Jefferson's liberalism but the origin of the two-party system in America:

The people will again decide whether they want the forces of positive, progressive liberalism to continue in office, or whether, in these challenging times, they want to entrust their government to those forces of conservatism which believe in the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

This is the choice that Americans have had to make since the earliest years of the Republic: a choice between a parcel labeled progressive liberalism and a parcel labeled reactionary conservatism. This being true, it is highly important to know what the American people have found in each of these parcels.

Our Constitution made no provision for government by political parties. But political parties were not long in developing in the early years of the Republic. Sharp differences of opinion arose in George Washington's Cabinet over the powers and purposes of the new Government. And I can say right here that George Washington wasn't the only President that had differences in his Cabinet !

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, frankly affirmed his belief that government should be controlled by the rich and the well born. He believed that government should be aristocratic and that it should operate primarily in the interest of wealth and privilege.

Fortunately for the people, there was also in Washington's administration a powerful man, Thomas Jefferson, who believed just as strongly that government should be by the whole people and for the whole people. He was convinced that true democratic progress could be attained only by extending political and economic liberty, religious freedom, and educational opportunity. Jefferson passionately believed that the genius of America rested in the ranks of the ordinary men, and that they must control the government.

There could hardly have been a sharper cleavage than that between Hamilton and Jefferson.

The supporters of Jefferson organized a political party of progressive liberalism that has continued in American political life down to the present day. That party is today known as the Democratic Party.

The followers of Alexander Hamilton also banded themselves together as a political party. This, the party of conservatism, the party of rule by the privileged few, has its counterpart in our national life today.

I have long been impressed by the continuity of these two political philosophies throughout American history.

I have been impressed because the policies of their disciples are such faithful images of the philosophies themselves. The parcel of reactionary conservatism may be wrapped in bright colors and gay tinsel, but when you open it, you always find party rule for the benefit of the privileged few. Inside the parcel of progressive liberalism, however, you always find government for the benefit of all the people--true democratic government.

I'm keeping an eye on you--I'll shut this off if you start to get wobbly again, so you better straighten up. Truman went on from there to talk about what a raging liberal Andrew Jackson was:

When I consider the problems that confronted Andrew Jackson in the 1830's, I am struck by how little our national problems change. Most of the issues tackled by Jackson were merely new phases of issues that had earlier confronted Jefferson...

One of these great national problems has been the undue influence of concentrated wealth.

Jackson abolished the United States Bank, which gave a few bankers an inside track in Washington and a powerful hold on the Federal Government. Jefferson before him, and Woodrow Wilson much later, fought the same evils. Franklin Roosevelt continued the same fight and succeeded in bringing the national capital from Wall Street back to Washington.

A second problem, important in Jackson's day and in ours, is the proper use of the Nation's resources for the benefit of all.

Jackson, in his fight to open up the western land for settlement, was opposed by selfish men who profited by cheap labor and who tried to obstruct new opportunities for the ordinary man.

Brace yourself, honey.  This next chunk is particularly damning if you are still in denial:

The forces that fought Jefferson--and the forces that Jackson fought--and that progressive liberals have had to fight throughout our history have been the forces of selfish wealth and special privilege.

The party of progressive liberalism--the Democratic Party--believes today, as it has always believed, that it is the duty of popular government to protect and promote the interests, not of just the privileged few, but of all the groups and individuals in our Nation.

The Democratic Party believes today, as it has always believed, that vigilance and action are needed not only to protect the people from concentrations of wealth and power, but to keep concentrated wealth and power from destroying itself, and the Nation with it.

I'm almost afraid to go on, honey.  Look at you--you are shaking and sweating like a hog.  I've told you and told you to stop listening to all those TV and radio talkers you are so fond of, so I almost don't feel sorry for you.  Those lying talkers have you convinced that today's "liberals" are unamerican radicals the likes of which this country has never known, and come to find out, we owe a debt of gratitude to our liberal forefathers for beating back the greedy elites who otherwise would have drained the life's blood out of us ordinary folks.  I hate to do this to you, honey, but it's for your own good.  You tell me if Harry Truman's closing remarks don't sound just a little bit like Obama's "Yes we can:"

..(T)here are some people in this country who look with fear and distrust upon planning for the future. I said that there are some who are afraid to look ahead despite the obvious fact that our great national achievements have been attained by men with vision--men who planned--men like Jefferson and Jackson, Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.

The cries from reactionary quarters...only prove the truth of my statement that some people are afraid to look ahead.

...(B)ackward looking men refuse to see where courageous leadership can take this Nation in the years that lie ahead. These men of small vision and faint hearts have set up their familiar cry, "Of course it's fine, but it can't be done."

...Let the farmers and the workers and the average businessmen of today--the kind of people in whom Jefferson and Jackson had such faith--ponder where they would be now if the timid men with little ideas had gained mastery during the more recent crises in our history.(...)

...But these accomplishments of a free people and their Government have not changed the defeatists one iota...(w)hen I say these things now, we hear from the customary quarters, "It can't be done."

I know that it can be done, and we of the forward-looking faith must dedicate ourselves to the proposition that it will be done.

Truman, Jefferson and Jackson.  Now, that's what I'd call the "Triple Liberal Lindy," honey.

Can you imagine how Harry Truman would make out if he went on one of today's TV talker shows?  Good Lord.  All this talk about the evils of "concentrated wealth" by Harry Truman and Thomas Jefferson would make these TV talkers apoplectic.  Truman and Jefferson would be branded socialists quicker than you can say "jack rabbit."  I can just envision the placards folks would be carrying around with pictures of Truman and Jefferson sporting Hitler moustaches.  Honey, I'll say it again: don't trust these TV and radio talkers farther than you can throw them.  They'll say anything, and I mean anything, to make you angry and upset, because then you'll give them "ratings." "Ratings" enable TV and radio talkers to buy bigger mansions and hire more security guards to keep people like you out of their sight.  These folks are a festering boil on the back of our democracy, and the sooner you stop buying their books and stroking their overinflated egos by paying so much attention to them, the better off we'll all be.

Don't you let NOBODY lie to you about NOTHING, honey, or I'm going to snatch you bald-headed.  Stop believing all this B.S. you are being fed about liberals by folks who clearly don't know jack squat about our history.  You read Truman's speech again, and you better think about whether or not you need an attitude adjustment.  You know I love you no matter what.

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