Truman v McCarthy, McCarran, and Ike

Posted On: Tuesday - August 30th 2022 7:00PM MST
In Topics: 
  Commies  Music  History  Books  Dead/Ex- Presidents

Though the focus is on the details of all aspects of immigration, VDare has quite a few other interesting articles about semi-related subjects or immigration politics in history. Yesterday I came upon James Fulford's article titled Democratic Smears Go Way Back: Truman Accused Eisenhower Accepting "Nazi Racial Views" Over 1952 McCarran Immigration Act. This one is about 70 y/o history.

I look back on these times as a time of much more civil politics in America. At the local level it surely was. The pure nutcases that one sees at high levels of politics today were nowhere to be found. Though the Korean War had been going on for a couple of years already at the time in question (Mr. Fulford's article), I think of the post-WWII years as peaceful boom times.

Also, I had always thought of Harry Truman, President from the time of Franklin Roosevelt's death in just before the end of WWII in April of '45 until Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration in January of '53 was a proto-Jimmy Carter. I guess I've never read of too much controversy of his presidency, and he was known as the humble fellow who had run a hat store before office, and went home to Missouri with not any more pots to pee in than he'd had beforehand.

Nope, Harry does not sound anymore to me like the honest guy that I still think of Jimmy Carter as. (Who knows about the latter?) Two things have changed my mind. Going backwards, this James Fulford article notes:
As Kevin Michael Grace pointed out on Twitter, Harry Truman accused President Eisenhower of ”accepting Nazi racial views” for supporting the GOP backers of the McCarran Act of 1952, which was an attempt to update the Immigration Act of 1924 without creating the floodgate bursting disaster that was to be precipitated by the 1965 Immigration Act:
[A tweet follows]
The article includes a nicely-transcribed (by Mr. Fulford) Washington Star article from a couple of months less than 70 years ago about Harry Truman's attack on Ike, the GOP, and his party member Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada*. The quotes of Truman sound as woke as and Globalist as if it were Zhou Bai Dien making public statements.

The reason I bothered to write this post is that, before I'd read this VDare article, I had still been reading the Stanton Evans book, Blacklisted by History, about Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy and the battle over** the Communists in the US Government .*** As I read though Mr. Fulford's writing and his transcription from the "Star", I kept going "hey, I know this guy!", a number of times. Many of the characters in the US political scene of 1952 are familiar to me from the book. The ones that were avoiding and obstructing the efforts of Senator McCarthy were just as devious and duplicitous as people in the modern presidential administrations.

Harry Truman is one of them. I would not think that he had any Communist tendencies, but Mr. Evans included a whole chapter called The Trouble with Harry. This President did everything he could to cover up for the known Communists at the State Department and other Feral Gov't agencies, stonewalling on sharing files, badmouthing McCarthy to deflect from the problem, and so on. Why?

Maybe it was this old song that had given me too good an impression of Harry Truman for many years:

We haven't featured The Chicago Transit Authority (oops, someone's gonna get sued!) the band Chicago enough on the site. One of the real rockers, my favorite song by this band, with still plenty of brass in it, is Feelin' Stronger Every Day. We featured it on the eve of President Trump's inauguration in '17.

Harry Truman was sung by Robert Lamm (the guy in the video), while the rocker Feelin' Stronger Every Day was sung by Peter Cetera. He played bass guitar while singing, which I think is a good combination - see Paul McCartney and Sting.

* The big Las Vegas airport was named after him, but I hear another name being used now. Bullshit. I like this guy. Just as New York's JFK will always be Idlewild to me, the airport where I won $1 off a quarter and quit while ahead, in the city of Lost Wages, will always be McCarran to me. OK, I kid about Idlewild Field.

** I first wrote "the hunt for", but no, there's no doubt they were there. It was a battle over whether they'd just be ignored and let to keep working in the State Department (the home of most of them, from what I gather from the book).

*** Peak Stupidity already wrote 2 posts about the book, Young Commies in LUV and Did American Commies cause the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Friday - September 2nd 2022 3:04AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, I did read your copy of Conrad Black's review of the Jeffrey Frank book on Harry Truman. (I have heard of Conrad Black mostly from years-ago Mark Steyn columns in which Mr. Steyn kept up with the persecution of Mr. Black by the Canadian government for some "hate speech" in his newspaper or something.)

From the beginning, I see Mr. Black is pretty slanted toward FD Roosevelt. It sounds like the same goes for the book author, Mr. Frank, but it's hard to tell who's opinion is whose all the time.

"He was obviously a man of outstanding ability and human qualities who cleverly made a virtue of the necessity of portraying himself as one of nature’s and political life’s heroic underdogs, when he was really the meritorious if improbable heir who continued the mighty political and strategic legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Yeah, well, I'd not put it exactly that way.

Yes, Truman was a common man, poorer I'm sure, for his time, than peanut farmer Jimmy Carter. Both writers like that about him. He may have been humble, but that doesn't necessarily make him the honest man Jimmy Carter was (in my humble (get it?) opinion).

The difference of opinion between Mr. Black and Mr. Frank on the reason for Truman's decision to not run for re-election in 1952 is interesting. The former says that the firing of General MacArthur, and I guess the handling of the Korean War in general was a big factor.

Anyway, on the domestic side, Mr. Black wrote:

"(This is despite a relatively uneventful domestic record, as the country recovered quickly from 15 years of Depression and war but Republicans and Southern Democrats blocked enactment of most of Truman’s social agenda.)"

So, that's part of why he's remembered well? His social agenda was blocked. Sounds a bit like Bill Clinton, but I guess Clinton had too many skeletons in the closet and too many ambitious conniving shrew wives to be looked back at as Harry Truman was.

I wonder if the Frank book had much about the Joe McCarthy investigations, and what he had to say.
Friday - September 2nd 2022 2:47AM MST
PS: As usual, thanks for the on-line versions, Mr. Smith. In this case, I have been carrying around the library book for quite a while - they have no fines, but I do want to get it back. I will say that the on-line versions make it SO MUCH easier, when you say "wait, who's Mr. ABC again? I know I read something about him already." Ctrl-f sucks with library books.
Adam Smith
Thursday - September 1st 2022 8:55AM MST
PS: Good morning, everyone,

Truman was a Shabbos goy...

Blacklisted by History

From Major Jordan's Diaries

Thursday - September 1st 2022 5:17AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, the lowering of my opinion of President Truman is probably more from what I've been reading in "Blackmailed by History" than this one VDare column. I should have state it that way.

In that book, Harry Truman does not come across as the guy that Jeffrey Frank, via Conrad Black, extol in the review you put on your site. Personality is another thing, but as a politician, he came across as a liar, and for what end, the protection of employees who were members of Communist organizations - many of them directly spying for the USSR. The thing there too is that President Truman went along with the Senate head of the investigation hearings* Millard Tydings in disparaging Joe McCarthy as an out-of-control nutcase.

In fact, McCarthy had lots of inside information on the well over a hundred people in question that he'd brought up at these hearings. The Senate had official State Dept info. on their people in question, but it was often outdated, and the outdated info was used to discredit McCarthy as being misinformed!

Truman kept files at the White House that had information the committees could have used, but stuff got redacted by the many pages at a time, and getting these files was like pulling teeth, if they got them at all.

I really want to know why. Maybe this was nothing but party politics, but the Communist infiltration and spy network were serious. For an anti-Communist, which he sure acted as foreign-policy-wise, Truman didn't seem to care about all this. I think it was that he didn't want his administration to be tainted. (The book, BTW, starts in the early/mid-1930s, as far as the time these people were active in the State Dept. and various other agencies.)

* It was the House that had the HUAC - House Un-American Activities Committee
Thursday - September 1st 2022 5:01AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, your description of the party politics at the time is a good one. I didn't mean "woke" as in promoting anti-White hatred or any of the other stuff that you rightly say would not even have been thought of in the early 1950s. I mean the attitude of disparaging people in this way:

"Mr. Truman noted that Gen. Eisenhower, as the Republican presidential candidate, has indorsed these men, and added: “The Republican candidate for the presidency cannot escape responsibility for his indorsements [sic]. He has had an attack of moral blindness, for today, he is willing to accept the very practices that identified the so-called ‘master race’ although he took a leading part in liberating Europe from their domination.”

I guess you can't be truthful and say "we want more of these people because they vote for us", hey, pretty much like now or until a year or two ago, when they quit caring if you know anymore - except we need to still shut up about it.

No, Mr. Hail, this was not the wokeness people normally mean - I should perhaps have used another word. As for James Fulford, VDare, as you well know, has immigration as its primary issue, so that's his main point here, that this name-calling was part of the battle, well before the 1965 act.

Anyway, at the time in question the numbers were much smaller, even relatively. Even the 300,000 in 3 years, after the millions of European/Jewish refugees already taken in is 100 thousand yearly into a country of 135 million, so, .075 %. Nowadays it's 2 million or so yearly into a country of 350 million, 1/5 of those who are STILL foreigners themselves! That's 0.57%, almost 8 times the rate they were having a political battle about back then.

I guess that last part has nothing much to do with our discussion, but I'll write another point in another comment in a couple of minutes.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 11:08PM MST

See here for an interesting review of a new book on Truman (book title: "The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man"; reviewed by Conrad Black):

I give you here the first six words of the review:

"It’s hard not to like Harry Truman...."
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 10:56PM MST

"The quotes of Truman sound...woke"

I read the article just now and would say the characterization of Truman as a "proto-Woke anti-Nazi" are wrong, another case (I believe) of one historical era totally misunderstanding another, in this case by failing to understand the politics of the day and the political signaling of the day.

If you read Truman's remarks carefully, which the article even specifies were "prepared" by a Jewish organization, he was bashing the Republicans for continuing to make it harder for Jews and Catholics of Southern and Eastern Europe to immigrate to the USA.

There is nothing here about Muslims, Malians, Malagasys, Myanmarese, Mongolians, or even Mexicans. It's all about Jews and Catholics.

The message is clear: "We, the Democratic Party, are friends of the Jews and Catholics. The Republicans are the enemies of the Jews and Catholics."

This was a pretty direct continuation of the kind of politics that began with the latter 1800s. The Democratic coalition had come to rely on urban Jews and Catholics plus the Solid South, an important coalition that needed to hold, and did hold for a long time. If we understand this political factor, it's a lot easier to understand these remarks for what they were.

No one was even considering yet that the USA could have nonwhite immigrants in any appreciable number. The audience wouldn't have understood it if he did make such remarks, started talking a bout MENA Muslims or Myanmarese or whoever else from outside Europe as potential immigrants. It would've been as if he'd started talking about UFOs and alien abductions, something just too "out there" to parse.

Note that the same bill proposed to solve the ongoing controversy over whether an East Asian could in general terms legally become a U.S. citizen or not, or had to apply through special exception. The courts had ruled up to then that East Asians could be legally barred from U.S. citizenship. That was into the 1950s. Amazing, but true.

I think James Fulford was also at least a little guilty of misinterpretation of what's going on with this "period piece," this news article from 1952, by looking at it through a Wokeness lens rather than trying to look at it in its own terms, of its own time.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 4:34PM MST
PS According to journalist Gus Russo, Truman was a bagman for the Pendergast Machine, whose job was to collect the weekly take from the local, um, houses of ill repute.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 2:56PM MST

I’m too lazy to trace the law, but I can at least give you Mr. Nixon’s proclamation upon the death of Mr. Truman, which ordered flags lowered for thirty days ....
The Alarmist
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 2:38PM MST

Yes, they do seem to keep flags at half staff/mast a lot longer and a lot more often nowadays, but somewhere in time (‘76?) the discretion of the sitting President to prescribe the period was codified to allow for 30 Days for a dead President and 10 for a dead Veep. It may have already been custom by then.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 9:40AM MST
PS: "Carter still represented the old Democrats in a way, but begins to be in a transitionary era towards the Democrats as a full-on hostile elite, anti-White party, which they had become fully and without apology by or before 2010.". Really, I think the 8 to 12 year Reagan/Bush era, with the Congress steadily going GOP finally, was an intermission there. Again, that's just high-level politics. All the Institutions of society were slowly being infiltrated from the 1960s on though. The Long March has been bearing its fruit the last 5-10 years.

"The biggest similarity I see between Truman and Carter is a degree of foreign policy naïvete.". Very good point. Both of them didn't get the whole Communist threat thing, at least for Truman the internal threat, while Carter didn't seem to understand the external threat either. "Can't we all just get along?!" NO, it doesn't work that way, with them, Jimmy.

People did speak of Carter as being too much for the black people (I heard this myself), but I guess that was the continuation of AA. There was no way anyone would give a speech or statement with blatantly anti-White rhetoric like now. If Jimmy had said he'd be fine with a minority White country, he'd have lost by a landslide. I don't think he did want that either.

Things changed a lot from '80 to '00.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 9:30AM MST
PS: You're right about the nutcase remark Mr. Hail. I had meant that in reference to high-level politics, but I see it doesn't read that way. I will fix this in a minute.

"Weaponizing an 'systematizing' sociopathy and dysfunction in women and directing it towards the public arena is something that had not yet happened in the 1950s." Yes, I agree. I'd even extend that right on through the 1980's or '90s even. Even with all those women involved in the protests of all sorts in the 1960's the stupid emotional twitter-like stuff was not part of it. The young ladies may have their ultra-compassionate (in the short run, terrible in the long run) pleas for Welfare State and other policies, but they seemed somehow a lot more sane - the ones not on drugs. (Wait, were their any?)

Sometimes, I wonder if a majority of the men involved in the 1960's protests, other than against the Vietnam War, weren't in it just for the easy chicks.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 8:28AM MST

"I had always thought of Harry a proto-Jimmy Carter"

Harry Truman's signature slogan was "the buck stops here" which he put in the Oval Office central desk for all to see.

In later times, the "administrative state" had more full control and the "buck" began to "stop" in a diffuse way with five dozen unelected federal agencies and a dozen or two or more that don't advertise or mark their own buildings.

All political parties evolve with time and the Democrats of ca.1925, ca.1950, ca.1975, ca.2000, ca.2025 are all majorly different from one another, as coalitions shift. The most important old through-line outside regional politics was that the D-team positioned themselves as for the White Working Man, and Truman (the man too poor to afford a proper middle name) represented that.

I find more in common between Grover Cleveland (1880s-90s) and Truman than Truman and Carter, despite being a lot closer chronologically to Carter. (By the way, a lot of people said the same kinds of things about Grover Cleveland as they said about Truman and Carter, that they were unserious bumblers.)

Carter still represented the old Democrats in a way, but begins to be in a transitionary era towards the Democrats as a full-on hostile elite, anti-White party, which they had become fully and without apology by or before 2010. Really they were already nearly there by the 1990s but you still had them hedging their speech and calling for immigration cut-backs, which is all gone. James Howard Kunstler usually refers to them as "the Party of Chaos."

The biggest similarity I see between Truman and Carter is a degree of foreign policy naivete.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 8:17AM MST

"The pure nutcases that one sees today were nowhere to be found"

This needs qualification to "nowhere to be found in politics or public life," or at least rarely found there. They were present plenty in society to be found in private lives, just not spotlighted, celebrated, or empowered.

Weaponizing an 'systematizing' sociopathy and dysfunction in women and directing it towards the public arena is something that had not yet happened in the 1950s.
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 4:25AM MST
PS: I can barely remember as a little kid seeing a man with a hat like those that, heck, Harry Truman could have sold at his store, reading a newspaper with a big headline "Truman Dies". I wonder how long flags were lowered back then. Do you remember, Alarmist, for that case or Johnson's? It's gotten ridiculous - it goes on for weeks now. Then it's some other thing, all of it blending together. As I've written, they may as well just get shorter flag poles.

Wheewww, Johnson on a coin - bad enough one Socialist.

Nixon was a part of Fulford's story (his excerpt from the old newspaper at least), and a staunch ally of the anti-Communists like McCarthy in the day that they HAD been in high positions influencing decisions of the US Government in those days. I'm sure he'll be mentioned more in the book I've been reading.

BTW, In Pat Buchanan's book "The Greatest Comeback", there's the story of how Ike did not like Nixon by some point during his first term and possibly had tried to ditch him as VP. (It's been a few years since I've read it.)

Yeah, there's not too much talk about Jimmy - he'd be a hard-core reactionary in today's Blue-Squad. I noticed when Ronald Reagan died, the D's were all lovey-dovey. All their insults of back in the day were forgotten, at least by the Lyin Press.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - August 31st 2022 12:39AM MST

Yes, I remember watching the funeral of St. Harry of Truman and that old Chicago love song to him. I wasn’t old enough to remember the funeral of Iron Cross ike, but I don’t recall any pop culture paeans or pans. I do recall the spectacle of St. John’s funeral.

Ialso remember thinking, “Why is St. Lyndon, still living, pictured on the dimes,” but was later schooled that that was St. Franklin. Then there was that devil incarnate, Richard Nixon.

Funny how of all their ex Prezes, the Demonrats have little nice to say about Jimmy Carter.

America is a strange place sometimes.
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