Hurts Too Much To Laugh
September 10, 1952 — The Times Record
Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson’s 1952 presidential bid was roasted in this editorial in The Times Record newspaper of Troy, New York. The editors favored Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who easily won the election.
In his November concession speech, Stevenson quoted Lincoln to describe his feelings about the loss, saying that he was “too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh.”
NO TIME FOR COMEDY
There is one thing the American people can be sure of and that is, if they elect Stevenson, they will have a great comedian for President. As a candidate he has demonstrated the qualities of a pretty fair vaudeville act. Apparently having seen others succeed with such gimmicks as guitars and hillbilly bands, Stevenson seems to have taken to Joe Miller’s joke book. [18th century British actor Joseph Miller]
A good chuckle, perhaps, will surely make the voters forget the sordid corruption in Washington and the unsavory Cook County machine, headed by Colonel Jack Arvey, Stevenson’s friend and political sponsor, in Illinois. It will be easy to laugh off the waste and inefficiency in the federal government together with the confiscatory taxes. A well-timed quip will dispose of Communist spies in high places in the federal government. The housewife, hard set by inflation to meet her budget, need only feed her youngsters half the usual fare. They will laugh so hard over Adlai’s latest that they will forget they’re hungry and grow fat with laughter. The ineptitude of the Democratic Party in getting us into a war in Korea we are not allowed to win will be forgiven by the boys in the bunkers whose roars of laughter over Stevenson’s wisecracks will drown out the roar of the enemy cannon.
In the field of foreign politics he may have a harder time of it. There he will have to deal with such mirthless characters as Mossadegh, Franco, Tito, Peron and Mao, and Joe Stalin’s sense of humor seems to be strictly limited to those jokes that are on the other fellow. [Mohammad Mossadegh (Iran), Francisco Franco (Spain), Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia), Juan Perón (Argentina), Mao Tse Tung (China), Joseph Stalin (USSR)]
No, somehow or other, we don’t think the American voter is going to fall for funny gags in November. He realizes fully the utter seriousness of these days which call for a sincere President whose assets are leadership and statesmanship. This is no time for comedy.
Curtain For the Comedian — The Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 24, 1953
Motives and Dangers (Anti-Truman editorial) — The Troy Record, October 9, 1951
Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL) Zinged In The Chicago Daily Tribune, October 1, 1951
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”