JUNE 22, 1937
HYDE PARK, Monday—The newspaper, from the point of view of flying news, is very interesting this morning. The Russian flyers have flown over the Pole and reached Portland, Oregon, and Amelia Earhart has arrived in Java. I always get a thrill over any flying exploits and I was very sympathetic when it was reported that Miss Earhart was told that she might have to spend three months waiting for the storms to clear in India, and so she had inquired for a boarding house!
In the days of my youth when I did not live on a schedule, I think I probably would have been quite thrilled to have found myself somewhere in India, and been told that for an indefinite length of time, I might have to stay there. Now with appointments made months ahead, I look upon a delay of even an hour as something really serious. Someone asked me the other day to do something a year and a half away, and that just seemed tempting Providence! But I know sooner make up my mind that I will have no engagements in advance for a month when something imperative turns up which I must agree to do!
It is raining today and I expect before long to begin hearing all the farmers in the neighborhood complaining that the weather is too wet, just as a little earlier in the year it was much too dry. I know of no business which is such a gamble as farming. You cannot control the elements, and they seem to be the most inconsistent forces.
We were lucky for we went shopping in Poughkeepsie and got home just before the first thunderstorm began.
I thought I would be economical and use some lamp shades which I had, so I bought three lamps and brought them home with me only to find that none of my shades would fit them. I don't know what I should learn from this, perhaps not to be economical unless you know that your economy is practical!
There occurs in a column which I read today the following sentence "By hook or crook, through a democratic instrument, one gets majority." This is very interesting because the writer seems to think it unimportant how you get a majority. It seems to me to be very different whether you get a majority through the democratic instrument, which I surmise is by the vote, or whether you get a majority by coercion. I gather that in the columnist's mind a majority obtained either way is equally unimportant. The only people who can think right are the minority of the intelligensia and therefore majorities are of no importance whatsoever. In this the columnist differs from our past political philosophy, for we have always considered that though the majority might be temporarily wrong, in the end, a majority that remained a majority over a period of years was usually right, and in our country, at least, we have been governed by the will of the majority. It has not meant, nor I surmise, does it mean in the present, the destruction of minorities, though the minorities may not have been able to do what they wished to do as long as the opposition remained a majority, neither has it meant with us at least, "A modern technique of usurpation." That is only true in the case of majorities achieved by coercion. Dictatorship, usurpation, anything may be done when coercion is the basis of majorities.