With all the hysterical banter about socialism, it seems now would be an appropriate time to speak to the scare tactics emanating from the mouths of politicians guilty of repeating right-wing rhetoric.

But rather than relying on my own utterances, I thought it would serve us well if we revisited the words of President Harry S. Truman while addressing a rally in Tacoma on Oct. 2, 1952.

His words (Truman Library):

"'Creeping socialization'—or 'creeping socialism'—those are the words that give the game away. Socialism—sometimes 'creeping' and sometimes 'galloping'—is the slogan and patented trademark of the special interest lobbies. Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Now listen to this:

Socialism is what they called public power.

Socialism is what they called Social Security.

Socialism is what they called farm price supports.

Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.

Socialism is their name for anything that helps all the people.

Now, my friends, when the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan 'Down with Socialism' on the banner of his great crusade, that is really not what he means at all. What he really means is 'Down with Progress,' down with the New Deal and down with the fair Deal. That's what the objective of the great crusade is now. Don't you fool yourselves."

Richard Austin

Mount Vernon

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