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        #204: The Election of 1952

        作者:Steve Ember 發布日期:9-3-2013

        President Harry Truman, left, and his successor, President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower during inauguration ceremonies on January 2, 1953
        President Harry Truman, left, and his successor, President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower during inauguration ceremonies on January 2, 1953

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember

        (MUSIC)

        This week in our series, we look at the presidential election campaign of nineteen fifty-two. President Harry Truman decided not to seek re-election. The continuing war in Korea and economic problems at home had cost him the support of many Americans.

        His Democratic Party needed a new candidate for president.

        In the spring of nineteen fifty-two, Harry Truman offered his support to Adlai Stevenson. Stevenson, however, said he was not interested in any job except the one he had as governor of Illinois.

        Someone asked what he would do if the Democratic Party chose him anyway as its presidential candidate. Stevenson jokingly answered that he would have to shoot himself.

        So, President Truman and other party leaders discussed different candidates. Each one, however, seemed to have some political weakness.

        The Republican Party was also discussing possible candidates. It was much easier for the Republicans to choose. Earlier, General Dwight Eisenhower had said he would be interested in running for president.

        Eisenhower was the highly respected commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War Two. Many members of both parties supported "Ike," as he was popularly known. Eisenhower agreed to campaign as a Republican.

        His closest competitor for the Republican nomination was Robert Taft. Taft was a senator from Ohio and the son of a former president, William Howard Taft.

        Senator Taft had strong support among Republicans for his conservative positions. But he did not receive enough votes at the party's national convention to defeat Eisenhower for the nomination.

        In his acceptance speech, Eisenhower told the delegates:

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "Ladies and Gentlemen, you have summoned me on behalf of millions of your fellow Americans to lead a great crusade -- for freedom in America and freedom in the world. I know something of the solemn responsibility of leading a crusade. I take up this task, therefore, in the spirit of deep obligation. Mindful of its burden and of its decisive importance, I accept your summons. I will lead this crusade."

        (MUSIC)

        Eisenhower chose Senator Richard Nixon of California as his running mate for vice president. Nixon was known for strongly opposing communism.

        RICHARD NIXON: ?"I am holding in my hand a microfilm of very highly confidential secret State Department documents. These documents were fed out of the State Department, over ten years ago, by communists who were employees of that department and who were interested in seeing if these documents were sent to the Soviet Union, where the interests of the Soviet Union happened to be in conflict with those of the United States."

        Earlier, as a member of the House of Representatives, Richard Nixon had led the investigation of a former State Department official, Alger Hiss. Hiss was accused of helping to provide secret information to the Soviet Union. He denied the accusation and was never charged with spying. But he was tried and found guilty of lying to a grand jury and was sentenced to prison.

        (MUSIC)

        Democrats opened their presidential nominating convention in Chicago, Illinois, ten days after the Republicans closed theirs in the same city. Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson welcomed the delegates, but still seemed like he did not want to run for president. That only made the delegates want him even more.

         Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson at the Democratic National Convention in 1952
        Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson at the Democratic National Convention in 1952

        They were unable to choose a nominee on the first two votes. Then, on the third vote, a majority of the delegates chose Adlai Stevenson. And he accepted. He urged Democrats to campaign with honor.

        ADLAI STEVENSON: "Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure triumph over the great enemies of man - war, poverty, and tyranny - and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous consequences of each."

        A political observer described the differences between Adlai Stevenson and Dwight Eisenhower this way: Stevenson was a man of thought. Eisenhower was a man of action.

        The Republican Party hired an advertising agency to design a campaign to "sell" Eisenhower and Nixon to the American public.

        ANNOUNCER IN COMMERCIAL: "The man from Abilene. Out of the heartland of America, out of this small frame house in Abilene, Kansas, came a man, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Through the crucial hour of historic D-Day, he brought us to the triumph and peace of V-E [Victory in Europe] Day. Now, another crucial hour in our history. The big question..."

        MAN IN COMMERCIAL: "General, if war comes, is this country really ready?"

        EISENHOWER: "It is not.? We haven't enough tanks for the fighting in Korea. It is time for a change."

        ANNOUNCER: "The nation, haunted by the stalemate in Korea, looks to Eisenhower.? Eisenhower knows how to deal with the Russians.? He has met Europe's leaders, has got them working with us.? Elect the Number One Man for the Number One Job of our time.? November fourth, vote for peace. Vote for Eisenhower."

        (MUSIC)

        Adlai Stevenson was known as an intellectual -- an "egghead." He dismissed some traditional political advisers and replaced them with fellow "eggheads" when he launched his campaign.

        The biggest issue in the nineteen fifty-two campaign was communism. Stevenson said America needed to guard against it. Yet he repeatedly criticized the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy. For years, the senator from Wisconsin had been denouncing government officials and others as communists.

        Eisenhower did not criticize McCarthy, even when the senator accused Eisenhower's good friend, and fellow World War Two hero, General George Marshall, of being a traitor.

        The Republican campaign went smoothly until Nixon faced a campaign finance dispute. The vice presidential candidate was under pressure to withdraw. That led to Nixon's famous "Checkers" speech. He made the speech on national television on September twenty-third nineteen fifty-two. ?In it, he denied any wrongdoing. He defended his actions regarding the disputed funds -- and his decision to keep a special gift from a political supporter.

        RICHARD NIXON: "One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don't they'll probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog.

        "And believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted.

        "And our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it "Checkers." And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it.

        (MUSIC)

        The speech was a major success. Many Republicans voiced support for Nixon to stay on as Eisenhower's running mate. And Eisenhower agreed.

        A few weeks before the election, Eisenhower made a powerful speech. He talked about ending the war in Korea.

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "Now, where will a new administration begin. It will begin with its president taking a firm, simple resolution. That resolution will be to forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean War, until that job is honorably done. That job requires a personal trip to Korea. Only in that way could I learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace. I shall go to Korea."

        Adlai Stevenson also gave a powerful speech before the election. In it, he told of seeing "an America where no man fears to think as he pleases, or say what he thinks ... an America where no man is another's master -- where no man's mind is dark with fear."

        Adlai Stevenson spoke of a nation at peace with the world -- "an America as the horizon of human hopes."

        Americans voted in November. Eisenhower won almost thirty-four million votes. That was more than any other presidential candidate had ever received. Stevenson won about twenty-seven million votes.

        Dwight Eisenhower was sworn in as America's thirty-fourth president in January of nineteen fifty-three. He was sixty-two years old.

        Many problems awaited the new Republican president.

        Republicans had only a small majority in Congress. Many of them were very conservative and unlikely to support many of Eisenhower's programs. The cost of living in America was rising. Senator Joseph McCarthy was still hunting communists. And the war was still being fought in Korea.

        But Ike had a lot of experience serving his country.

        Dwight Eisenhower came from a large family in Abilene, Kansas. They did not have much money. He received a free university education when he was appointed to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, in New York state.

        He remained in military service for many years. He was a top Army officer by the time the United States entered World War Two in nineteen forty-one. In June of nineteen forty-four, he led the Allied D-Day invasion of Europe.

        In nineteen fifty, President Truman named him supreme commander of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

        MUSIC: "I Like Ike" campaign song

        When Dwight Eisenhower ran for president, supporters shouted "I like Ike!" People like him because he always seemed calm under pressure. As president, one of the first pressures he would have to deal with was the continuing war in Korea.

        That will be our story next week.

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts, and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        Contributing: Jerilyn Watson

        This was program #204. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation marks in the search box at the top of the page.

        1952年總統大選前,韓戰和國內經濟問題的繼續,讓現任總統杜魯門的民眾支持率下降,杜魯門決定,不再參選連任。民主黨需要一位新的總統候選人。

        1952年春天,杜魯門表示,支持伊利諾伊州州長阿德萊.史蒂文森代表民主黨參加總統大選,但是史蒂文森說,他只想當好自己的州長,對選總統沒興趣。

        有人問史蒂文森,如果民主黨一定要推選他,他會怎么辦,史蒂文森半開玩笑地說,那他只好開槍打死自己了。杜魯門和民主黨其他領導人只好考慮別的人選,但每個人在政治上似乎都有不足之處。

        共和黨此時也在考慮總統人選,但是他們的工作要容易得多,因為艾森豪威爾將軍已經表示,愿意考慮參選總統。艾森豪威爾是二戰時的歐洲盟軍總指揮,很有威望,在民主、共和兩黨里都有很高的支持率,艾森豪威爾同意代表共和黨參選。

        艾森豪威爾在共和黨里的主要競爭對手是俄亥俄州的聯邦參議員羅伯特.塔夫特,他是美國前總統威廉.塔夫特的兒子。

        塔夫特參議員立場保守,在共和黨里呼聲很高,盡管如此,在共和黨全國代表大會上,他還是沒能擊敗艾森豪威爾,贏得黨內提名。艾森豪威爾在接受共和黨總統候選人提名的講話中說:"女士們先生們,你們代表數百萬美國民眾,叫我領導一場偉大的運動,為美國和全世界爭取自由。我知道領導這場運動的莊嚴職責,我責無旁貸。我深切了解自己身上的重擔,也知道其重要意義,我接受這項使命,我愿意領導這場運動"。

        艾森豪威爾選擇加利福尼亞州的聯邦參議員理查德.尼克松做自己的競選伙伴,尼克松以堅定反共而知名。他曾說過下面這段話:"我手里拿著的這張微型膠片,上面有國務院的機密文件,這些機密文件是十多年前由國務院里的共產黨人傳出來的,涉及的都是一些蘇聯跟美國有利益沖突的問題,他們想讓蘇聯得到這些文件"。

        尼克松還在擔任美國國會眾議院議員時,就曾主持過對前國務院官員希斯的調查,希斯被指控向蘇聯透露機密信息。希斯矢口否認,而且也沒有因間諜罪受到正式起訴,但是法庭認定,希斯向大陪審團做偽證的罪名成立,將希斯投入監獄。

        共和黨全國代表大會在芝加哥開會,提名艾森豪威爾為總統候選人,十天后,民主黨全國代表大會也在芝加哥召開。伊利諾伊州州長史蒂文森歡迎民主黨代表的到來,但表示,依然沒有參選的打算,這反而更堅定了與會代表們推舉他的意愿。

        頭兩輪投票,民主黨代表都沒能推舉出候選人,第三次投票,大多數代表都選擇了史蒂文森。史蒂文森接受了黨內提名,并呼吁民主黨人,選舉要做到光明磊落。

        史蒂文森說:"讓我們跟美國民眾講道理,告訴他們事實,讓他們知道沒有付出就沒有收獲,讓他們知道,我們如今要做出重大決定,不是別人打你就要反抗的那種簡單決定,而是一場持久的,需要耐心和巨大投入的斗爭,以確保我們擊敗戰爭、貧窮和獨裁這些人類的敵人,不讓這些敵人侵犯人類的尊嚴"。

        一位政治觀察家曾描述說,史蒂文森和艾森豪威爾之間的區別是:史蒂文森是一個思想家,而艾森豪威爾是一個行動家。

        艾森豪威爾是共和黨1952年總統大選的候選人,他的競選搭檔是美國加州的聯邦參議員尼克松。共和黨找了一家廣告公司,向美國民眾推銷艾森豪威爾和尼克松。

        廣告旁白說:"他來自阿比林。艾森豪威爾來自美國腹地,堪薩斯州阿比林的這棟小房子。在諾曼底登陸的歷史時刻,是他帶領我們走向勝利。如今,我們又走到了另一個關鍵時刻。"

        這時候,廣告里的一名男子問,"將軍,如果戰爭來臨,我們做好準備了嗎?"艾森豪威爾回答說:"沒有。我們參加韓戰,沒有足夠坦克,這種情況必須改變。"

        廣告旁白繼續說:"在韓戰僵持不下的時刻,國家把目光投向艾森豪威爾。他知道如何對付蘇聯人,他認識歐洲領導人,曾說服他們跟我們合作。讓最出色的人選擔任最重要的職務,11月4日,把票投給和平,把票投給艾森豪威爾"。

        史蒂文森是個學者。選戰開始后,他遣散了一些資深的政治顧問,換成跟他一樣的學者。1952年總統大選最重要議題是共產主義的威脅。史蒂文森說,美國需要防范共產主義的影響,但他同時又多次批評麥卡錫參議員消除共產勢力的行動。很多年來,來自威斯康辛州的麥卡錫參議員不斷指責政府官員等人是共產黨人。

        艾森豪威爾并沒有批評麥卡錫,甚至當麥卡錫指責艾森豪威爾的好友,同樣是二戰英雄的馬歇爾將軍是叛徒時,艾森豪威爾也沒有跟麥卡錫展開正面交鋒。

        共和黨選戰一開始進行得十分順利,但后來尼克松遇到了競選資金的糾紛,很多人要求尼克松退出選舉。尼克松1952年9月23號發表全國講話,否認自己的行為有任何不妥,為自己做出辯護,解釋了接受一位支持者的一份特別禮物的原因。這就是后來著名的Checkers講話。尼克松說:"不管你信不信,我們開始這次選戰行程前,巴爾的摩火車站通知我們,說有個包裹,我們去了才知道,是那個支持者從德克薩斯不遠萬里送來的一只小可卡犬,毛色黑白相間。我們家六歲的小丫頭Tricia給狗取名叫checkers--跳棋。你們都知道,孩子喜歡狗,所以我現在要說明,不管他們怎么說,這狗我們是收下了。"

        這次講話獲得了巨大成功,很多共和黨人都支持尼克松繼續參選,艾森豪威爾也表示同意。選舉日前的幾個星期,艾森豪威爾發表重要講話,提出結束韓戰。

        艾森豪威爾說:"新一屆政府從哪里展開工作呢?"第一步,總統要做出堅定果斷的決策,那就是,擺脫政治紛擾,集中精力結束韓戰,為此我要親自去一趟韓國,只有這樣,我才能知道如何最有效地讓美國人們享受和平。我要到韓國去。"

        大選前,史蒂文森也發表了一次重要講話,他在講話中勾勒了"一個人人享受思想自由,言論自由的美國,一個人人平等的美國,一個沒有人整天擔驚受怕的美國,一個與世界各國和睦相處的美國,一個象征著人類希望的地平線的美國"。

        美國人11月投票選舉,艾森豪威爾獲得了將近3400萬張選票,是美國歷史上得票最多的一位總統候選人。史蒂文森得到了大約2700萬選票。

        很多問題都等著新總統去解決。共和黨在國會里只占微弱多數,而且很多人都是極端保守派,不太會支持艾森豪威爾的所有計劃。美國消費水平不斷上漲。麥卡錫參議員四處搜查共產黨人,韓戰戰火仍在繼續。但同時,艾森豪威爾經驗豐富。

        艾森豪威爾來自美國堪薩斯州阿比林的一個大家庭,家里并不富裕,他上了西點軍校,免費接受大學教育,畢業后服役多年,美國1941年加入二戰時,艾森豪威爾已是陸軍高級指揮官了。1944年6月,艾森豪威爾領導了著名的諾曼底登陸行動。

        1950年,杜魯門總統又任命他為北約最高統帥。大家喜歡艾森豪威爾,因為他歷來處世不驚,做為總統,他一上來要面對的棘手問題就是仍在繼續的韓戰。

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