Harry S.Truman Quote Page

President Harry S Truman

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself." Midnightflyer

"Democracy's the worst form of government except for all the others" Churchill

"Man is free, but not if he does not believe it." George B. Shaw


Without ...advertising, information...would take years to reach all of us 
who might benefit by it and progress would be delayed.
Harry S. Truman
Source:Advertising Mag, 1984

Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. 
Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apolgize for 
Harry S. Truman
Source:Advice to Hubert Humphrey, NY Times, Sep 20, 1964

"I have found the best way to give advice to your children 
is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."
Harry Truman

"Our allies are the millions who hunger and thirst 
after righteousness". 6-7-47

"America was not built on fear.  America was built 
on courage, on imagination and unbeatable 
determination to do the job at hand."  

"You know that being an American is more than a 
matter of where you or your parents came from.  
It is a belief that all men are created free and 
equal and that everyone deserves an even break.  
It is a respect for the dignity of men and women 
without reguard to race, creed, or color.  
That is our creed." 10-26-1948

"We must build a new world, a far better world -- 
one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected." 

"We have this America not because we are of a 
particular faith, not because our ancestors 
sailed from a particular foreign port.  We
have our America because of our common aspiration
to remain free and our determined purpose to
achieve for ourselves, and for our children, a
more abundant life in keeping with our
highest ideals." 12-15-50

It is not the martinets that make an army work; it's 
the morale that the leaders put into the men that 
makes an army work.
Harry S. Truman
Source:Speech Oct 24, 1950

Atomic Bomb
"There is at least one defense against the atomic 
bomb. That defence lies in our mastering this 
science of human relationships all over the world.  
It is the defense of tolerance and of understanding, 
of intelligence and thoughtfulness."  5-11-1946

"We have offered to surrender the most powerful 
thing we have under our control, if the world will 
come in and set up a control of that weapon which 
will prevent its use for the destruction of mankind."   

"Having found the bomb we have used it.  We have 
used it against those who attacked us without 
warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have 
starved and beaten and executed American prisoners
of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense 
of obeying international laws of warfare.  We have 
used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in 
order to save the lives of thousands and thousands 
of young Americans.  We will continue to use it 
until we completely destroy Japan's power to make 
war.  Only a Japanese surrender will stop us."

"When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as 
a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true." 
Harry S. Truman

"I wonder how far Moses would have gone if he'd 
taken a poll in Egypt? What would Jesus Christ 
have preached if he'd had taken a poll in Israel? 
Where would the Reformation have gone if Martin 
Luther had taken a poll? It isn't polls or public 
opinion of the moment that counts.  It is right 
and wrong and leadership--- men with fortitude 
and honesty, and a belief in the right that 
makes epochs in the history of the world".   

It's not the hand that signs the laws that holds 
the destiny of America. 
It's the hand that casts the ballot." 
Harry S. Truman

Bill Of Rights
"The basis for our Bill of Rights comes from the 
teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from 
Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we can emphasize 
that enough these days. If we don't have a proper 
founded moral background, we will finally end up 
with a government, which does not believe in rights 
for anybody except the state." 

"Now listen to this one.  This malicious propaganda 
has gone so far that on the Fourth of July, over 
in Madison, Wisconsin, people were afraid to say 
that they believed in the Declaration of Independence.  
A hundred and twelve people were asked to 
sign a petition that contained nothing except 
quotations from the Declaration of Independence 
and the Bill of Rights.  One humdred and eleven 
of those people refused to sign that paper--
many of them because they were afraid that it was 
some kind of subversive document and  that they 
would lose their jobs or be called Communist.  
Can you imagine finding 111 people in the 
capital of Wisconsin that didn't know what the 
Declartion of Independence and Bill of Rights 
provided?   I can't imagine it." 

"I don't like bipartisans. Whenever a fellow tells 
me he's bipartisan, I know that he's going to 
vote against me." 1-21-1962

"In most of my campaigns, I find it is best not 
to mention my opponent by name because, by doing so, 
it just gives him a chance to get into the headlines." 1948

"It isn't important who is ahead at one time or another 
in either an election or horse race. It's the horse
that comes in first at the finish line that counts".

"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the
Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven,
if I had known it would become the American Gestapo."
Harry S. Truman, 33rd US President

Cold War
"I Suppose that history will remember my term in 
office as the years when the Cold War began to 
overshadow our lives.  I have hardly a day in office 
that has not been dominated by this all-embracing 
struggle. And always in the background there has 
been the atomic bomb.  But when history says that 
my term of office saw the begining of the Cold War, 
it will also say that in those eight years we have 
set the course that can win it."

"The Soviet Union does not have to attack the 
United States to secure domination of the world.  
It can achieve its ends by isolating us and
swallowing up all our allies."

Confuse 'Em
If you can't beat 'em, confuse 'em
Harry S. Truman

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do 
not care who gets the credit."

Truman 1948 Campaign

"All my life, whenever it comes time to make a 
decision, I make it and forget about it."

"Whenever I make a bum decision, 
I go out and make another one."

Democratic Government
"Secrecy and a free, democratic government don't mix."

Democrats Vs Republicians
The Republicans believe that the power of 
government should be used first of all to 
help the rich and the privileged in the 
country. With them, property, wealth, comes 
first. The Democrats believe that the power 
of government should be used to give the 
common man more protection and a chance to 
make a living. With us the people come first.
'A Government as Good As Its People'
pg 163

It's a recession when your neighbor loses 
his job, it's a depression when you lose 
your own.
Harry S. Truman

A person who is fundamentally honest doesn't need a code of ethics. 
The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all the ethical 
codes anybody needs.
Harry S. Truman
Source:Remarks, july 10, 1958

"We must have strong minds, 
ready to accept facts as they are."

"When even one American - who has done nothing wrong -- 
is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth,
then all of Americans are in peril."

Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
Harry S. Truman
Source: Speech, Oct 19, 1948

I never sit on a fence. I am either on one side or another.
Harry S. Truman
Source: Speech, Oct 30, 1948

Fighting Words
About the meanest thing you can say about a man is that he means well.
Harry S. Truman
SourceLSpeech, May 10, 1950

Global Affairs
The seeds of totalitarian regimes are 
nurtured by misery and want.  They 
spread and grow in the evil soil of
proverty and strife. They reach their
full growth when the hope of a people
for a better life has died. We must 
keep hope alive.
Harry S. Truman, 'The Truman Doctrine'

When Kansas and Colorado have a quarrel
over the water in the Arkansas River,
they don't call out the National Guard
in each state and declare war over it.
They bring a suit in the Supreme Court 
of the United States and abide by the
decision.  There isn't a reason in the 
world why we can't do that internationally.
Truman, 4/1945

Gluttons of Privilege
“We are fighting with all our strength to prevent the 
gluttons of privilege from swallowing the country.” 
Harry S. Truman 1948

"When you have an efficient government, 
you have a dictatorship."
Harry S. Truman

Health Care
We should resolve now that the health of
this nation is a national concern; that 
financial barriers in the way of attaining health
shall be removed; that the health of all it's
citizens deserves the help of all the nation.
Harry S. Truman

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".

I never gave them hell, I just tell the
truth and they think it's hell.
Truman, 1956

"The only thing new in the world is the history you 
don't know".

The nation's labor force is its most 
productive asset.
Harry S. Truman

It is time that all Americans realized
that the place of labor is side by side
with the businessman and with the farmer,
and not one degree lower.
Harry S. Truman

It is futile to seek safety beyond
geographical barriers.  Real 
security will be found only in the law
and in justice.
Truman, addressing the nation upon 
the death of FDR.

"Men make history , and not the other way around.  
In periods where there is no leadership, society 
stands still.  Progress occurs when courageous , 
skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change 
things for the better."
We don't propose, like some people, to
meet todays problems by saying that they
don't exist, and tomorrow's problems by
wishing that tomorrow wouldn't come.
Harry S. Truman  

Marital Relations
A man not honorable in his marital relations is not 
usually honorable in any other.
Harry S. Truman

"Millions of our citizens do not now have a full 
measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy 
good health. Millions do not now have protection 
or security against the economic effects of 
sickness. And the time has now arrived for 
action to help them attain that opportunity and 
to help them get that protection."

Moral Background
"If we don't have the proper fundamental moral 
background, we will finally wind up with a 
totalitarian government which does not 
believe in rights for anybody."
Harry S. Truman

"In the long view, no nation is healthier than its children." 
Harry S. Truman

National Defense
"It's a lot better to have a strong national 
defense than a balanced budget." 2-17-1957

"Richard Nixon is a no good , lying bastard.  
He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the 
same time, and if he ever caught himself 
telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in."

"You can always amend a big plan, 
but you can never expand a little one. 
I don't believe in little plans. 
I believe in plans big enough to meet a 
situation which we can't possibly 
foresee now."

Why, this fellow don't know any more about 
politics than a pig knows about Sunday. 
Harry S. Truman

"The good word politics,' which really means the 
science of government, has been abused in our time, 
and has been given a definition meaning dishonest 
management to win an election for a party or a 
candidate.' The use of the latter definition by 
newspapers and those who like to turn their noses 
up at everyday people has obscured the real 
meaning of the word politics.' A politician is a
 man who is interested in good government. . . . 
I would risk my reputation and my fortune with a 
professional politician sooner than I would with 
the banker or the businessman or the publisher of 
a daily paper! More young men and young women 
should fit themselves for politics and government." 
Harry S. Truman

Political Parties
To me, party platforms are contracts with
the people.
Harry S. Truman  Memoirs, 1955

"Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now.  
I don't know whether you fellows ever had a load 
of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday 
what had happened, I felt like the moon and 
stars and all the planets had fallen on me."  
4-13-1945  The day after FDR died

President's Job Description
"The buck stops here."

"All the president is, is a glorified public 
relations man who spends his time flattering, 
kissing, and kicking people to get them to do 
what they are supposed to do anyway."

Any man who has had the job I've had and didn't 
have a sense of humor wouldn't still be here.

“When you get to be president, there are the honors, the 21-gun salutes, 
all those things. You have to remember it isn't for you. 
It's for the presidency.” 
Harry S. Truman

"Racial and religious oppression - big business 
domination - inflation - these forces must be 
stopped and driven back while there is yet time."  10-25-48

"Most of the problems a president has to face 
have their roots in the past."

Religious Principles
"We must remember that the test of our religious 
principles lies not just in what we say, not only
in our prayers, not even in living blameless
lives - but in what we do for others" 9-28-1951

Republicans approve of the American farmer, 
but they are willing to help him go broke.
They stand four-square for the American home--
but not for housing.  They are strong for labor--
but they are stronger for restricting labor's
rights. They favor minimum wage--the smaller the 
minimum wage the better. They endorse educational
opportunity for all--but they won't spend 
money for teachers or for schools.  They think
modern medical care and hospitals are fine--
for people who can afford them.  They consider 
electrical power a great blessing--but only when
the private power companies get their rake-off.
They think American standard of living is a fine
thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the
people.  And they admire of Government of the
United States so much that they would like to
buy it. 
Harry S. Truman

"Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it."

"When even one American -- who has done nothing wrong 
-- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his 
mouth, then all Americans are in peril."

Supreme Court
"whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court, 
he ceases to be your friend." 
Harry S. Truman

Zachary Taylor
He became an expert at doing nothing.
Harry S. Truman
Source:More Plain Speaking

James Richard Howington

Truman's 1948 Campaign Speech Howie's Great Democratic Quote Page Howie's Stupid Gop Quote Page Howie's Homepage Harry S. Truman Audio/Text Speeches Harry S. Truman Library Great Democratic Speeches US Presidents Web Ring Presidential Trivia

Web Counters
Powered by WebRing.