Never Expect to Be Loved In High Office: Approval ratings don’t matter to historians. Truman had a 32% approval rating. 43% of Americans believed the Korean War was a mistake. Economic growth was massive but Truman was losing support. The standard of living had gained to an unparalleled level in human history. 62 million American’s had jobs. Farm income and corporate income were at an all time high. The post-war economic collapse didn’t happen. The minimum wage had been increased. Truman was charged with being soft on communism, a man accused of an enemy of private enterprise, a man accused of being the enemy of the new deal ultimately, the man was did more than anyone else to in the opposite of what was believed. Truman gave a flat speech that was characteristic of his style.
Leave The Stage Gracefully: Truman’s final address famously said “I hope and believe we have contributed to the wealth of this nation. When FDR died I thought there were a million man better qualified to take up the presidential task but I had to do it and I have given it everything that was in me. And I did not work alone, that you were with me. The people had supported me.” Truman’s departure was praised on all sides. Eisenhower was elected in 1952. Truman was just plain Mr. Truman: a private citizen again.
Expect Resistance When In the Shadows Of Greatness: Truman had a nightmare during the campaign in 1944 that he would be president. It came true…but it wasn’t a nightmare per say. On April 12th, 1945, Truman ran to the White House after hearing that Roosevelt had died. Truman was in big trouble. With the news of Roosevelt’s death, veteran ‘new dealers’ and millions of Americans overseas where shocked that Harry Truman would be president. People feared that the war would drag on longer because of FDR’s death and Truman’s succession. BUT once you’re president, the country will back you. Truman’s acceptance speech made it clear that he was going to work hard. Truman asked to be only a great servant for his people. Truman had a Midwest Accent. People appreciated Truman’s accent. Others wanted to see him succeed. Republican’s did not want to rock the boat because it would be considered unpatriotic during a time of war. Stalin believed that America was now soft. Stalin wanted to invade Europe. Potsdam Conference created the result that Stalin would attack Japan. However, Stalin refused to relinquish territory gained in the USSR’s march across Europe. Churchill was defeated and Atlee was the new PM in Britain during the Potsdam Conference. Potsdam Conference was not a success. Stalin later told Khrushchev that Truman was “worthless”.