Diary

Harry S. Truman

February 18, 1952

The President’s Duties.

  1. By the Constitution, he is the Executive of the Government.
  2. By the Constitution, he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
  3. By the Constitution, he is the responsible head of Foreign Policy and with the help of his Secretary of State implements Foreign Policy.
  4. He is the leader of his Party, makes and carries out the Party Platform as best he can.
  5. He is the Social Head of the State. He entertains visiting Heads of State.
  6. He is the No. 1 public relations man of the Government. He spends a lot of time persuading people to do what they should do without persuasion.
  7. He has more duties and powers than a Roman Emperor, a Gen., a Hitler or a Mussolini; but he never uses those powers or prerogatives, because he is a democrat (with a little d) and because he believes in the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. But first he believes in the XXth Chapter of Exodus, the Vth Chapter of Deuteronomy, and the V, VI, & VIIth chapters of the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
  8. He should be a Cincinnatus, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, a Cato, Washington, Jefferson and Jackson all in one. I fear that there is no such man. But if we have one who tries to do what is right because it is right, the greatest Republic in the history of the world will survive.

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