Defending a Daughter's Dignity Truman Style

Over the past week I have been watching a PBS documentary on Harry S. Truman.  Truman, in my opinion was the greatest Democrat president of the past century. I would even place him above Franklin D. Roosevelt. But yesterday as I watched the final installment of this documentary I was more impressed by Truman the father than by Truman the president.

Margaret Truman, his daughter was an aspiring opera soprano.   She had finally received her big break when she performed at a concert in Washington D.C.  This concert was full of famous dignitaries, celebrities, politicians, and other well known artists.  Unfortunately, the performance did not go well at all for Margaret as famous music critic Paul Hume of the Washington Times wrote,

“Yet Miss Truman cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time -- more last night than at any time we have heard her. ... She communicates almost nothing of the music she presents. Schumann, Schubert and Mozart were on her program last night. Yet the performance of music by these composers was no more than a caricature of what it would be if sung by any one of a dozen artists today. And still the public goes and pays the same price it would for the world’s finest singers.”
This scathing review infuriated president Truman so much so that he wrote a threatening letter to Hume as he said,

“I’ve just read your lousy review buried in the back pages... . I never met you, but if I do you’ll need a new nose and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps a supporter below. Westbrook Pegler, a guttersnipe, is a gentleman compared to you. You can take that as more of an insult than as a reflection on your ancestry.”
This response shocked the nation.  Many were angered by Truman's brazen threats.  Despite this I admire how Truman defended his daughter.  Maybe his approach was flawed and even unpresidential, but it revealed something about his character and his deep love for his daughter. 

For starters Truman was willing to defend his daughter no matter what the personal or political cost was. Even if he looked like a fool he didn't care; his daughter's dignity was more important than his public reputation.  You have to admire a person who is willing to defend his daughter with such raw ferocity. I know I do.

I admit that while I watched this incident I found myself cheering his action.  I even asked myself, would I have done the same if I were in his shoes?  The answer was an unequivocal yes.  Maybe I might have toned down some of my rhetoric, but I would have still defended my daughter's dignity. Heck, I might have even bashed the critic's nose myself. 

In this age of overly feminized, emasculated men it is refreshing to see a father defend his daughter with such reckless abandon.   I am afraid that as a society we have sacrificed true authentic masculinity as the altar of politically correct, radical feminism. The ingenuity of God is that he made both sexes perfectly complimentary.  Not the same rather complimentary.  The more we tamper with this the worse off we will all become.  The world needs a healthy dose of masculinity.

Above all a daughter's dignity is a priceless gift. I believe a father's primary role is to safeguard that dignity. A daughter needs to know that she is absolutely safe in the arms of her father. So for defending his daughter's dignity I salute Harry, "The Buck Stops Here" Truman. I pray that I have the same courage and tenacity to defend my child as he did.



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