Harry S. Truman photo

Radio and Television Remarks on Election Eve

November 03, 1952

[Broadcast from Kansas City, Mo., at 9:35 p.m.]

I want to thank the Vice President not only for what he has said tonight, but also for all that he has done for me and for his country. He has been a great Vice President. He has been an unfailing source of strength and wisdom as we have worked together to serve the American people. We have tried, to the best of our ability, to perform the duties of the great offices which the people have entrusted to us.

The time has come now for you to choose our successors and to elect a Congress to serve with them.

This is a most important election.

This election may decide whether we shall go ahead and expand our prosperity here at home or slide back into a depression. It may decide whether we shall preserve and extend our civil rights and liberties, or see them fall before a wave of smear and fear. Above all, it may decide whether we shall finally achieve lasting peace or be led into a third world war.

For 6 weeks now, I have been traveling through this country, explaining these crucial issues to the voters at every whistlestop. I have done this, not for myself, but for your welfare. As you all know, I am not a candidate for any public office.

My purpose in this campaign has been to help make sure that when you go to the polls you have the facts about what is at stake for you, and for your families and your children.

I have always believed that the American people have the good sense and good judgement to make the right decisions, once they know the facts.

On the basis of the facts and the record, the people should choose the Democratic Party in this election.

We have brought this country the greatest prosperity and the highest standard of living in history. We have made great progress in living up to our ideals of human rights for all our citizens. We have worked unceasingly to make life better for the average man.

In the past 2 years, we have faced the danger of Communist imperialism and a third world war.

We have not retreated in the face of this threat. Neither have we lost our heads and plunged the world into an all-out atomic war. Instead we have acted firmly to meet the danger. We have rallied our allies, built our defenses, turned back aggression, and called into being the united power of the free nations to overcome the conspiracy of godless communism. Our efforts have given all men hope for peace and freedom.

This is one of our greatest achievements as a Nation.

Our opponents in this election campaign have done everything they could to make votes out of the burdens we have borne so well and honorably in this cause of peace. Through a hostile press and continuous propaganda, they have tried to spread confusion and discontent. They have even been playing politics with the sacrifices our men are making on the battleline to protect our freedom and achieve peace.

But I am sure that we will not be misled by this campaign of fear and deception. I do not think we will be turned aside by false propaganda from our firm advance toward peace. I believe that God intended for this Nation to lead the way to peace for all men, and that we are going ahead to lead it to peace obedient to His will.

In a few moments you will hear the new leaders of the Democratic Party. I sincerely believe that these are the men--and the only men--who can lead us to victory in the cause of peace.

You can trust these men, because they are men of courage and integrity. You can trust them because they know our problems--because they are experienced in civilian government. You can trust them because they stand for the great programs of the Democratic Party--the programs that have made us a strong and healthy Nation, the programs that are turning the tide of the world against Communist aggression.

My friends, I have the honor to present to you the Democratic candidate for Vice President, John Sparkman of Alabama, and the Democratic candidate for President, Adlai Stevenson of Illinois.

Note: The President spoke on a special half-hour program which was broadcast nationwide by radio and television. Other speakers on the program were Vice President Alben W. Barkley, who spoke from St. Louis, Mo., and Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, Democratic candidate for President, and Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, Democratic candidate for Vice President, both of whom spoke from Chicago, Ill.

Harry S Truman, Radio and Television Remarks on Election Eve Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231075

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