What Did Harry Truman Mean

Why Voting Democrat Means Living Like a Republican

harry truman live like a republicanMost people who read much about politics or actual policy positions held by each political party probably already have a pretty good idea what it was President Truman meant when he said these words. The simplistic explanation is that Democrats are interested in pooling a communities resources to raise the standard of living for as many people as possible. Because most people born in the United States are not born with trust funds most people have to do as well or better than their parents did to maintain what is called a middle class lifestyle. Just how does a non rich person better themselves in America? Mostly they do it through the education and other government provided resources made available to citizens.

Or course this is just the starting point to the conversation.  To really get to the guts of what living like a Republican means you first have to define what living like a Republican actually means.

What Living Like a Republican Means

Likely most people think of very rich people going about their lives in mansions, private jets, and luxury cars when they think of living a Republican lifestyle.  This thinking is not correct. For most people in America living a basic upper middle class lifestyle means living like a Republican. Most people do not understand how much of the population is living a very modest to poor life. To put this into perspective think about this. The Walton family of Walmart own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America (verification).

Here is what this means. To live like a Republican these days means that you have enough money each month to pay a mortgage, car payment, quality groceries, insurances, clothing, entertainment, a few meals out, and have a bit left over to build up some savings. That’s it. If this doesn’t sound like much to you then count yourself fortunate. For millions of Americans the reality is that hard choices have to be made each month when it comes affording the basics each month. Forget about having enough left over to build up any real savings.

Why Voting Democratic Helps

Start with the false assumption that many Republicans have. That is if you work hard and come into money, or just have money, that most the services performed by the national or local governments are not of value. If you think like this then all the services that taxes pay for can be eliminated and your life would not in any way be changed.

This thinking will be a common discussion topic for this blog but is too complicated to sort out in this one post.

In general Democrats are interested in the government collecting enough money that a number of services that help lift the poor and middle class have enough money to work. Here are a few.

  • Free Public Education: Everyone agrees that “education is the silver bullet” when it comes to solving poverty and crime. Do not listen to those that proclaim more money can’t help education. These are the same people who do not want CEO salaries looked at as unfair because to get the best talent you have to pay for it. Apparently paying for talent is not something we should be doing when it comes to teachers.
  • Local and Federal Courts: If poor or middle class people do not have a government provided resource to help solve disputes they will continue to be taken advantage of by rich corporations and wealthy people.
  • Military, Police, and other First Responders: Imagine if poor or middle class people had to rely on their own to solve crimes or get to safety during tornadoes or hurricanes.
  • Food and Drug Administration FDA: Perhaps the most important factor to being able to improve your life is being able to trust the food that you eat. The threat of government inspections of the food supply does not protect us 100% of the time but it is hard to think what it would be like if eating into a burger was a life gamble.
  • Social Security: Most think of SS as a program just for subsidizing the living of retired people. Social security also helps to pay for the supporting of orphans and disabled people. For sure helping to reduce poverty among the retirement aged citizens has made perhaps the biggest impact on life in the U.S. For sure before social security in America the only people that ever thought about retirement were the very wealthy.

Political ideology has not really changed that much in America from President Truman’s era. The one difference is related to civil rights, but that will get talked about more in other postings here.

Republicans still believe that the best way to improve lives in America is to cut taxes on people with lots of money and Democrats still believe that government is an agent for good that can help. Truman knew that people living hand to mouth would never have a more comfortable “Republican” life without help. For the vast majority of America that is not currently living like a Republican learning that voting for more Democrats is their best shot at having a more comfortable life.

Very much looking forward to any thoughts you might have in the comment section.

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4 thoughts on “What Did Harry Truman Mean

  1. I think it would also be interesting to analyze how the GI bill affected the economy after WWII and the growth of the middle class

    Nice post to begin this site

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