Monday, June 24, 2013
I opened a box of my father's papers. This cartoon, yellow with age, was on top of the papers therein. The only evidence of time of publication apart from the subject matter of the cartoon was a bit of cut-up material on the back. Much of it was covered with tape placed to hold the paper together. I am guessing this was published after the election of 1948 in which Truman defeats Dewey, but before the January 5, 1949 announcement by President Truman of "The Fair Deal." I have not been able to locate the cartoon in an archive.
A lot of things came to mind as I removed the tattered piece of paper from the box. Among the thoughts was my recollection that Dad was not a fan of Roosevelt, and no more so a fan of Truman. Also, Father was amused or appalled as the situation required at the antics of "The Wonderful Wizards of Washington." Saving such a cartoon was just the thing Dad would do. I have found others from the same era.
Then these thoughts quickly followed. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Isn't the subject matter exactly a picture of today's political scene? We might have to change Delilah's moniker slightly, but...
In the January 5 speech to Congress Truman announced that the Fair Deal would include equality for all, universal health care, increased public housing, higher minimum wage with broader coverage, and a score of other social and economic programs. This declaration that every citizen should be entitled to a fair deal was the distinguishing mark of the Truman administration. Prior to this time, as the cartoon suggests, Truman's administration was an extension of Roosevelt's New Deal.
People were no less acerbic in their criticism many decades ago, but it seems to me there is a difference. People seemed to be able to disagree politically and still have a cup of coffee or break bread with one another. Today, our differences seem to have escalated into hatred and divisiveness. My way or the highway. Not good. Not good at all. imho