Fwd: Harry Gives 'em Hell
> Date: 23 Jun 2005 08:58:18 -0000________________________________________________________________________
> From: HSTSociety@yahoogroups.com
> To: HSTSociety@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [HSTSociety] Digest Number 2
> There is 1 message in this issue.
> Topics in this digest:
> 1. Harry Gives 'em Hell
> From: "Hank" <hankpiano@...>
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 23:40:32 -0000
> From: "Hank" <hankpiano@...>
> Subject: Harry Gives 'em Hell
> Address in Philadelphia Upon Accepting the
> Nomination of the
> Democratic National Convention
> July 15, 1948
> I AM SORRY that the microphones are in the way, but
> I must leave them
> the way they are because I have got to be able to
> see what I am doing--as I am always able to see what
> I am doing.
> I can't tell you how very much I appreciate the
> honor which you have
> just conferred upon me. I shall continue to try to
> I accept the nomination.
> And I want to thank this convention for its
> unanimous nomination of
> my good friend and colleague, Senator Barkley of
> Kentucky. He is a great man, and a great public
> servant. Senator
> Barkley and I will win this election and make these
> Republicans like it--don't you forget that!
> We will do that because they are wrong and we are
> right, and I will
> prove it to you in just a few minutes.
> This convention met to express the will and reaffirm
> the beliefs of
> the Democratic Party. There have been differences of
> opinion, and that is the democratic way. Those
> differences have been
> settled by a majority vote, as they should be.
> Now it is time for us to get together and beat the
> common enemy. And
> that is up to you.
> We have been working together for victory in a great
> cause. Victory
> has become a habit of our party. It has been elected
> times in succession, and I am convinced it will be
> elected a fifth
> time next November.
> The reason is that the people know that the
> Democratic Party is the
> people's party, and the Republican Party is the
> party of
> special interest, and it always has been and always
> will be.
> The record of the Democratic Party is written in the
> of the last 16 years. I don't need to repeat them.
> have been very ably placed before this convention by
> the keynote
> speaker, the candidate for Vice President, and by
> permanent chairman.
> Confidence and security have been brought to the
> people by the
> Democratic Party. Farm income has increased from
> less than
> $2 ¼ billion in 1932 to more than $18 billion in
> 1947. Never in the
> world were the farmers of any republic or any
> kingdom or
> any other country as prosperous as the farmers of
> the United States;
> and if they don't do their duty by the Democratic
> they are the most ungrateful people in the world!
> Wages and salaries in this country have increased
> from 29 billion in
> 1933 to more than $128 billion in 1947. That's
> labor, and
> labor never had but one friend in politics, and that
> is the
> Democratic Party and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
> And I say to labor what I have said to the farmers:
> they are the most
> ungrateful people in the world if they pass the
> Party by this year.
> The total national income has increased from less
> than $40 billion in
> 1933 to $203 billion in 1947, the greatest in all
> the history
> of the world. These benefits have been spread to all
> the people,
> because it is the business of the Democratic Party
> to see that
> the people get a fair share of these things.
> This last, worst 80th Congress proved just the
> opposite for the
> The record on foreign policy of the Democratic Party
> is that the
> United States has been turned away permanently from
> isolationism, and we have converted the greatest and
> best of the
> Republicans to our viewpoint on that subject.
> The United States has to accept its full
> responsibility for
> leadership in international affairs. We have been
> the backers and the
> people who organized and started the United Nations,
> first started
> under that great Democratic President, Woodrow
> as the League of Nations. The League was sabotaged
> by the Republicans
> in 1920. And we must see that the United Nations
> continues a strong and growing body, so we can have
> everlasting peace
> in the world.
> We removed trade barriers in the world, which is the
> best asset we
> can have for peace. Those trade barriers must not be
> back into operation again.
> We have started the foreign aid program, which means
> the recovery of
> Europe and China, and the Far East. We instituted
> program for Greece and Turkey, and I will say to you
> that all these
> things were done in a cooperative and bipartisan
> The Foreign Relations Committees of the Senate and
> House were taken
> into the full confidence of the President in every
> one of
> these moves, and don't let anybody tell you anything
> As I have said time and time again, foreign policy
> should be the
> policy of the whole Nation and not the policy of one
> party or
> the other. Partisanship should stop at the water's
> edge; and I shall
> continue to preach that through this whole campaign.
> I would like to say a word or two now on what I
> think the Republican
> philosophy is; and I will speak from actions and
> history and from experience.
> The situation in 1932 was due to the policies of the
> Republican Party
> control of the Government of the United States. The
> Republican Party, as I said a while ago, favors the
> privileged few
> and not the common everyday man. Ever since its
> that party has been under the control of special
> privilege; and they
> have completely proved it in the 80th Congress. They
> proved it by the things they did to the people, and
> not for them.
> They proved it by the things they failed to do.
> Now, let's look at some of them--just a few.
> Time and time again I recommended extension of price
> control before
> it expired June 30, 1946. I asked for that extension
> September 1945, in November 1945, in a Message on
> the State of the
> Union in 1946; and that price control legislation
> did not
> come to my desk until June 30, 1946, on the day on
> which it was
> supposed to expire. And it was such a rotten bill
> that I
> couldn't sign it. And 30 days after that, they sent
> me one just as
> bad. I had to sign it, because they quit and went
> They said, when OPA died, that prices would adjust
> themselves for the
> benefit of the country. They have been adjusting
> themselves all right! They have gone all the way off
> the chart in
> adjusting themselves, at the expense of the consumer
> and for the
> benefit of the people that hold the goods.
> I called a special session of the Congress in
> November 1947--November
> 17, 1947--and I set out a 10-point program for the
> welfare and benefit of this country, among other
> things standby
> controls. I got nothing. Congress has still done
> Way back 4 1/2 years ago, while I was in the Senate,
> we passed a
> housing bill in the Senate known as the
> Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill. It was a bill to clear
> the slums in the
> big cities and to help to erect low-rent housing.
> That bill, as I
> said, passed the Senate 4 years ago. It died in the
> House. That bill
> was reintroduced in the 80th Congress as the
> Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. The name was slightly
> changed, but it is
> practically the same bill. And it passed the Senate,
> but it
> was allowed to die in the House of Representatives;
> and they sat on
> that bill, and finally forced it out of the Banking
> Currency Committee, and the Rules Committee took
> charge, and it still
> is in the Rules Committee.
> But desperate pleas from Philadelphia in that
> convention that met
> here 3 weeks ago couldn't get that housing bill
> passed. They
> passed a bill they called a housing bill, which
> isn't worth the paper
> it's written on.
> In the field of labor we needed moderate legislation
> to promote labor-
> management harmony, but Congress passed instead that
> so-called Taft-Hartley Act, which has disrupted
> relations and will cause strife and bitterness for
> years to
> come if it is not repealed, as the Democratic
> platform says it ought
> to be repealed.
> On the Labor Department, the Republican platform of
> 1944 said, if
> they were in power, that they would build up a
> Labor Department. They have simply torn it up. Only
> one bureau is
> left that is functioning, and they cut the
> appropriation of that
> so it can hardly function.
> I recommended an increase in the minimum wage. What
> did I get?
> Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
> I suggested that the schools in this country are
> crowded, teachers
> underpaid, and that there is a shortage of teachers.
> One of
> our greatest national needs is more and better
> schools. I urged the
> Congress to provide $300 million to aid the States
> in the
> present educational crisis. Congress did nothing
> about it. Time and
> again I have recommended improvements in the social
> security law, including extending protection to
> those not now
> covered, and increasing the amount of benefits, to
> reduce the
> eligibility age of women from 65 to 60 years.
> Congress studied the
> matter for 2 years, but couldn't find the time to
> extend or
> increase the benefits. But they did find time to
> take social security
> benefits away from 750,000 people, and they passed
> over my veto.
> I have repeatedly asked the Congress to pass a
> health program. The
> Nation suffers from lack of medical care. That
> can be remedied any time the Congress wants to act
> upon it.
> Everybody knows that I recommended to the Congress
> the civil rights
> program. I did that because I believed it to be my
> under the Constitution. Some of the members of my
> own party disagree
> with me violently on this matter. But they stand up
> do it openly! People can tell where they stand. But
> the Republicans
> all professed to be for these measures. But Congress
> to act. They had enough men to do it, they could
> have had cloture,
> they didn't have to have a filibuster. They had
> people in that Congress that would vote for cloture.
> Now everybody likes to have low taxes, but we must
> reduce the
> national debt in times of prosperity. And when tax
> relief can
> be given, it ought to go to those who need it most,
> and not those who
> need it least, as this Republican rich man's tax
> bill did
> when they passed it over my veto on the third try.
> The first one of these was so rotten that they
> couldn't even stomach
> it themselves. They finally did send one that was
> improved, but it still helps the rich and sticks a
> knife into the
> back of the poor.
> Now the Republicans came here a few weeks ago, and
> they wrote a
> platform. I hope you have all read that platform.
> adopted the platform, and that platform had a lot of
> promises and
> statements of what the Republican Party is for, and
> what they
> would do if they were in power. They promised to do
> in that platform
> a lot of things I have been asking them to do that
> have refused to do when they had the power.
> The Republican platform cries about cruelly high
> prices. I have been
> trying to get them to do something about high prices
> since they met the first time.
> Now listen! This is equally as bad, and as cynical.
> The Republican
> platform comes out for slum clearance and low-rental
> housing. I have been trying to get them to pass that
> housing bill
> ever since they met the first time, and it is still
> resting in the
> Committee, that bill.
> The Republican platform favors educational
> opportunity and promotion
> of education. I have been trying to get Congress to
> something about that ever since they came there, and
> that bill is at
> rest in the House of Representatives.
> The Republican platform is for extending and
> increasing social
> security benefits. Think of that! Increasing social
> benefits! Yet when they had the opportunity, they
> took 750,000 off
> the social security rolls !
> I wonder if they think they can fool the people of
> the United States
> with such poppycock as that!
> There is a long list of these promises in that
> Republican platform.
> If it weren't so late, I would tell you all about
> them. I have
> discussed a number of these failures of the
> Republican 80th Congress.
> Every one of them is important. Two of them are of
> major concern to nearly every American family. They
> failed to do
> anything about high prices, they failed to do
> anything about
> My duty as President requires that I use every means
> within my power
> to get the laws the people need on matters of such
> importance and urgency.
> I am therefore calling this Congress back into
> session July 26th.
> On the 26th day of July, which out in Missouri we
> call "Turnip Day,"
> I am going to call Congress back and ask them to
> laws to halt rising prices, to meet the housing
> crisis--which they
> are saying they are for in their platform.
> At the same time I shall ask them to act upon other
> vitally needed
> measures such as aid to education, which they say
> they are
> for; a national health program; civil rights
> legislation, which they
> say they are for; an increase in the minimum wage,
> which I
> doubt very much they are for; extension of the
> social security
> coverage and increased benefits, which they say they
> are for;
> funds for projects needed in our program to provide
> public power and
> cheap electricity. By indirection, this 80th
> Congress has
> tried to sabotage the power policies the United
> States has pursued
> for 14 years. That power lobby is as bad as the real
> lobby, which is sitting on the housing bill.
> I shall ask for adequate and decent laws for
> displaced persons in
> place of this anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic law which
> this 80th
> Congress passed.
> Now, my friends, if there is any reality behind that
> platform, we ought to get some action from a short
> session of the
> 80th Congress. They can do this job in 15 days, if
> they want to do
> it. They will still have time to go out and run for
> They are going to try to dodge their responsibility.
> They are going
> to drag all the red herrings they can across this
> campaign, but
> I am here to say that Senator Barkley and I are not
> going to let them
> get away with it.
> Now, what that worst 80th Congress does in this
> special session will
> be the test. The American people will not decide by
> listening to mere words, or by reading a mere
> platform. They will
> decide on the record, the record as it has been
> written. And
> in the record is the stark truth, that the battle
> lines of 1948 are
> the same as they were in 1932, when the Nation lay
> and helpless as a result of Republican misrule and
> In 1932 we were attacking the citadel of special
> privilege and greed.
> We were fighting to drive the money changers from
> temple. Today, in 1948, we are now the defenders of
> the stronghold of
> democracy and of equal opportunity, the haven of the
> ordinary people of this land and not of the favored
> classes or the
> powerful few. The battle cry is just the same now as
> it was in
> 1932, and I paraphrase the words of Franklin D.
> Roosevelt as he
> issued the challenge, in accepting nomination in
> "This is more than a political call to arms. Give me
> your help, not
> to win votes alone, but to win in this new crusade
> to keep
> America secure and safe for its own people."
> Now my friends, with the help of God and the
> wholehearted push which
> you can put behind this campaign, we can save this
> country from a continuation of the 80th Congress,
> and from misrule
> from now on.
> I must have your help. You must get in and push, and
> win this
> election. The country can't afford another
> Republican Congress.
> NOTE: The President spoke at 2 a.m. in Convention
> Hall in
> Philadelphia. The address was carried on a
> nationwide radio
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