“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
Spoken like a true genius, Harry Truman was not one to mince words. With real threats and world-wide issues of catastrophic proportions, Truman was one to say exactly what needed to be said, and occasionally had a way of putting his thoughts into words in way that would leave a lasting impact.
His quip about having friends in Washington is oft-quoted by media specialists and politicians alike to realize that while a fun joke, Truman succinctly captured the all-too-real truth that Washington is a place where people go to get things they need, often at the sacrifice of friendships that don’t deliver political or financial benefit.
What’s in a Quote?
There are some quotes that have the strange power of being able to live years beyond their speaker and to continuously warrant praise and bring admiration to the individual who shaped the words and left them on our collective consciousness.
Here are some of the most memorable of Truman’s quotes:
- “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
- “There is nothing in the world except the history you do not know.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “I have found the best way to give advice to children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do just that.”
- “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and on unbeatable determination to do a job at hand.”
Harry Truman, Vice-President to FDR and the 33rd President of the United States, was one of those individuals who had an uncanny ability to shape words in a way that would allow them to leave a mark. It was Truman who brought an end to World War II, who crafted relations with the USSR post-war and who designed the very doctrine that limited any nation’s right to develop or use atomic power.
As large of an impact as his actions have still on our daily life, his words also continue to make an impact by shaping the very way that we think about our own individual actions, as well as the larger actions of our country as a whole.