I have been involved as a spokesperson for a complainant group in an ethics dispute over the past several months challenging a city official regarding his misconduct in office. Knowing this, a friend recently sent me the Harry Truman passage below. It is so on target for refocusing our political views and opinions on the recent occurrences in political offices that have raised attention and discussion around the country.
However, Harry’s passages gives reassurance to the belief that ethical leaders have been at the helm. Truman’s vision as a leader has stood the test of time. Hopefully, those in office will be reminded of how he led by word, action and deed. Our nation was blessed by his leadership and reminds us how we need this same integrity and ethical leadership at every level of government today.Please read and be challenged to actively hold those who lead us to this standard.
Harry Truman’s Passage:
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 assets 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. Other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives in that house.
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 Truman 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 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, he 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 have also found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic Illinois)
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!
Final thoughts: I say dig him up and clone him! Train the future Presidents of America to act with the same integrity and ethical leadership! I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding this blog. Please share them with me if you are willing.