by Brad Nelson 9/30/16
No (thank God), this is not a post about that Barbra Streisand song. You know me better than that.
I got my hands on an old book the other day titled Strictly Personal and Confidential: The Letters Harry Truman Never Mailed. (I posted this particular link because that is the exact cover of the hardback edition that I have.)
I haven’t read more than a couple paragraphs. I opened the book to page 109 and read something somewhat astonishing, and certainly declarative:
Desk Note (December 28, 1962)
I’ve just been informed that the Democratic Party of which I have been an active member since I was seventeen years old has gone high hat and is charging one thousand dollars for the privilege of sitting with the President of the United States (John Kennedy) at a dinner!
The President of the United States represents 180,000,000 people who have no other person to look after their interests. The President and the Vice President are the only elected public officials by the 180 million.
If is my opinion that ten thousand Democrats at five dollars apiece for the privilege of sitting with and seeing the President as his guest would be worth ten thousand times ten or one hundred times that to the Democratic Party.
When the Party of the People goes high hat on a cost basis, it no longer represents the common every day man — who is the basis of the Democratic Party.
Those who have some sense of American history (and are over 25 years of age and don’t have adding to their current tattoos highest on their mind) might have Harry Truman in mind as their ideal Democrat. Certainly he was way more government-oriented despite all the “common man” rhetoric. Remember, these guys are all politicians who regard themselves too highly. It is their “savior” status that justifies (in their own minds) their power and activism.
Still, Truman, when compared to Democrats of today, is a saint — and could be seen as right of most Republicans of our day and age (and probably was, in fact). He would certainly be a foreign body in today’s Democrat Party.
The lesson for me when I read this is how powerful incrementalism can be. One of the challenges for us here at StubbornThings is to be smarter and more aware than anyone else, to have some sense of the overall and not get blindly caught in the maelstrom of the daily (and often stupid) drama.
Both parties left the little guy long, long ago. Both parties are corrupt. Both parties have not one ounce of integrity — the kind that could write (and believe, which I think he did) what Harry Truman wrote above.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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