Harry S Truman – now here was a REAL politician…

Considering all the recent frolics on the part of politicians both in the UK and the USA, this story about the late Harry S Truman is not only sobering, but heart-warming. Why? Makes you realise that after all there can be such a thing as truly principled politico. But you need to have a long memory: Truman retired in 1952.

Now here was a REAL politician...Harry S Truman

Former US President Harry S Truman

Original author unknown – story shared with me by an old friend who lives in Idaho

Harry Truman was a different kind of President

He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves

There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating,

“You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president, Harry S Truman paid for all of his own travel expenses and food

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale.

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”

Funny you should have said that, Mr Truman…

As someone once said, that’s the trouble with political jokes: some of them get elected

Want more laughs in writing here on HTWB? Check out our humour category … more than 350 humorous articles and jokes to have you chuckling for hours…

Let’s talk – drop Suze a note for a chat on suze@suzanstmaur.com

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