Harry Truman Quotes
1. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
2. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
3. Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.
4. 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.
5. It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.
6. The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.
7. Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures – character.
8. I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.
9. If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
10. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.
11. 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
12. The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.
13. Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.
14. Tact is the ability to step on a man’s toes without messing up the shine on his shoes.
15. 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.
16. The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount…If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.
17. Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
18. My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.
19. You want a friend in this city? [Washington, DC.] Get a dog!
20. 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.
21. [The American President] has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues.… The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make ’em behave. Well, 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.
22. Once a decision was made, I didn’t worry about it afterward.
23. In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.
24. America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
25. Not all readers become leaders, but all leaders must be readers.
26. A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
27. There’s nothing better than cake but more cake.
28. Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
29. I fired MacArthur because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the president. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was.
30. 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.
31. Republicans don’t like people to talk about depressions. You can hardly blame them for that. You remember the old saying: Don’t talk about rope in the house where somebody has been hanged.
32. The reward of suffering is experience.
33. It is ignorance that causes most mistakes.
34. The ‘C’ students run the world.
35. 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.
36. I come to the office each morning and stay for long hours doing what has to be done to the best of my ability. And when you’ve done the best you can, you can’t do any better.
37. 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.
38. Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don’t ever apologize for anything.
39. 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.
40. We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are.
41. A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.
42. The most peaceful thing in the world is plowing a field. Chances are you’ll do your best thinking that way. And that’s why I’ve always thought and said, farmers are the smartest people in the world, they don’t go for high hats and they can spot a phony a mile off.
43. 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.
44. Human life is something that comes to us from beyond this world, and the purpose of our society is to cherish it and to enable the individual to attain the highest achievement of which he is capable
45. If you can’t dance then you are a loser.
46. [we are] going to continue to fight communism. Now I am going to tell you how we are not going to fight communism. We are not going to transform our fine FBI into a Gestapo secret police. That is what some people would like to do. We are not going to try to control what our people read and say and think. We are not going to turn the United States into a right-wing totalitarian country in order to deal with a left-wing totalitarian threat.
47. Believe and you’re halfway there.
48. Brave men don’t belong to any one country. I respect bravery wherever I see it.
49. Men often mistake notoriety for fame, and would rather be noticed for their vices than not be noticed at all.
50. Dictatorship, by whatever name, is founded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only one that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the state.
51. Mama and Papa are more to blame (for delinquency) than the kids; parents should stay home and raise their children and spend less time in taverns.
52. How many times do you have to get hit over the head until you figure out who’s hitting you.
53. No nation on this globe should be more internationally minded than America because it was built by all nations.
54. 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 code anybody needs.
55. Give me a one-handed Economist. All my economists say ‘on hand…’, then ‘but on the other.
56. Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice.
57. I doubt if there is any problem in the world today – social, political or economic – that would not find a happy solution if approached in the spirit of the sermon on the mount.
58. Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I’ll show you a crook.
59. 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.
60. Actions are the seeds of fate. Deeds grow into destiny.