What was Harry S. Truman's quote about socialism?

Is the quote about socialism that is now attributed to Harry Truman really true?  Is there a genuine recording of it at the Truman Library or elsewhere?

  • Greetings from the Truman Library,

    Thank you for your question regarding the quote about Truman and socialism. In President Harry's Truman's remarks in Syracuse, New York on October 10, 1952, he said this:

    Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.

    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 almost anything that helps all the people.

    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 Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," and "down with Harry Truman's fair Deal." That's all he means.

    You can listen to President Truman deliver this speech (and download it, if you want) on the Truman Library's website here: https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/soundrecording-records/sr59-160-president-truman-rear-platform-remarks-syracuse-new-york. The portion you're looking for is about 6:45 into the speech.