There can be little doubt, looking back at global architecture established by the leaders of the Democratic Party at the end of WWII, that free and open trade was seen as inextricably linked to the promotion of democracy and political liberty around the world.
Since the government started collecting economic data around World War II, we have accumulated plenty of evidence to measure each party's success at "dealing with the economy" -- and none of it makes Republicans look good.
On this day, Truman informed the press, and the world, that America's war against fascism -- with victory over Germany already in hand -- had culminated in exploding a revolutionary new weapon over a Japanese target. From its very first words, the official narrative was built on a lie.
Japanese cables and other message intercepted by the United States showed that they were still trying to enlist the Soviets' help in presenting surrender terms -- they would even send an envoy -- but were undecided on just what to propose.
July 31, 1945: The assembly of Little Boy is completed. It is ready for use the next day. But a typhoon approaching Japan will likely prevent launching an attack. Several days might be required for weather to clear.
The second bomb -- the plutonium device -- was still back in the States. The target list, with Hiroshima as #1, remained in place, although it was being studied for the presence of POW camps holding Americans in the target sites.
A U.S. bombing raid on the small Japanese city of Aomori -- which had little military significance beyond being a transportation hub -- dropped 83,000 incendiaries and destroyed almost the entire city, killing at least 2,000 civilians.
In a 1946 letter to Stimson, Truman reminded him that he had ordered the bombs used against cities engaged "exclusively" in war work. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were far from being merely "military" targets.
As President Obama struggles to find a diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis and remain a friend of Israel, he would do well to look at what another Democratic president, Harry Truman, did in 1948 while seeking reelection and dealing with the birth of Israel.
No one in America ever wrote a bestselling book called Nagasaki, or made a film titled Nagasaki, Mon Amour. "We are an asterisk," Shinji Takahashi, a sociologist in Nagasaki, once told me, with a bitter smile.
Over and over, top policymakers and commentators say, "We must never use nuclear weapons," yet they endorse the two times the weapons have been used against cities in a first strike. To make any exceptions means exceptions can be made in the future.