NOVEMBER 11, 1938
HYDE PARK, Thursday—As the smoke of the political battle clears away, particularly in my own state, there are one or two things which give me a tremendous sense of thankfulness. Had the voters given Senator Wagner a grudging endorsement, I should have felt sad, for few people have more constructive legislation to their credit. Though you may want to change items here and there, it seems to me no matter which party you belong to, there must be a feeling that Senator Wagner served unselfishly the causes in which he believed. Mrs. O'Day had given, as far as it lay in her power as a new member of Congress, unselfish service of the same type, and it is gratifying to find that she is also appreciated.
It is difficult though to understand some of the things which happened. For instance, in California, the amendment for which Mr. Downey stood was voted down, but Mr. Downey was elected. In North Dakota, the amendment for a $40 pension was passed but its author was defeated.
There are probably reasons which people on the spot could give for such apparent inconsistencies, but I confess at long range they are a bit difficult to understand. The longer I watch politics, the more convinced I am that in the long run it is sincerity of purpose which the voters feel and trust. There are times when this, of course, does not completely explain a situation—as when some prejudice holds sway temporarily over the people and a number of them act under the impulse of that prejudice rather than as a result of their true thinking. However, I feel this is, as a rule, only a temporary thing with us. Prejudices are always the result of fears, and so far we have usually discovered that our fears were just a bogey in the dark which we dreaded as children and which faded away in the light of better understanding and knowledge.
We have all of us enjoyed this beautiful weather. My husband has driven every one of us to see what is now really a finished house. Of course, he will do no furnishing until spring, but most of us are singing little paeans of joy, because for once there are really a number of things which he will find useful as Christmas and birthday presents.
My mother-in-law has had one or two old friends staying with her. Last evening, Countess Gleichen, whom she has known since she was a little girl, arrived for a visit. As a young woman, the Countess was for some years a lady-in-waiting at Buckingham Palace. She came over here to visit her friends, their Excellencies, the Governor General of Canada and Lady Tweedsmuir. She tells me that in Canada the women's instututes, which are the counterpart of our farm women's organizations, are growing very much in strength and that they are making every effort to attend the conference of the Rural Women of the World in London next spring.