NOVEMBER 2, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—I have said very little about the campaign in these last few weeks. Of course, it is obvious that there is a campaign going on and, while I am the wife of the President, I am also the wife of one of the candidates. In many newspapers on the same page with my column, there appear the columns of gentlemen who have treated, during this campaign period, of subjects which seem to me to have no particular value in clarifying the real issues in the campaign. There is, however, one issue that comes very close to my heart as a woman, as a mother and as a friend of many young people; and I want to speak of it in this column today.
Today no one can honestly promise you peace at home or abroad. All any human being can do is to promise that he will do his utmost to prevent this country from being involved in war. You must judge, as individuals, whether what has been done in the past few years has been done in the hope and in the belief that it will strengthen us in our effort as a nation to remain at peace and to serve the cause of peace in the world as a whole. The fact is before you that in a world of war we are still at peace. I do not believe that the weak, physically, mentally or morally, ever serve the cause of peace and I think we must always have the courage to state in what we believe, and to stand by our beliefs. I believe that is what we have been doing as a government and as a nation, and I believe that is what we are going to do. Beyond that we must put our trust in the Lord and believe that He guides His children when they ask His guidance.
Violence of any kind, whether by action, writing or speaking, seems to me out of place in a campaign to elect a President of the United States. Some of the literature which I have seen, some of the things which I have heard on the radio and read in the papers, seem to me to appeal to prejudice and emotion rather than to clear thinking and seasoned judgement. Someday, perhaps, we will learn that what is really important in a Chief Executive is what he believes in for the people and what his record in public office, or in his field of work, has been. When that happens, our campaigns probably will be much duller, but also much less bitter!
We did have a glorious drive yesterday. Even in Maine and Vermont some people were saying nice things about the President! We reached Old Deerfield, Mass., at about 4:45, so I had a chance to see the Bement school before the day pupils went home and to join Diana Hopkins in a Halloween party which came before supper. We had supper with Mrs. Bement, her staff and the youngsters.
After kissing Diana goodnight, we continued on our way and reached home about midnight. It was a long day, but a very satisfactory one. It was nice to have an extra night at home and a full day here to start straightening out so many things which must be done before we leave for Washington next Wednesday morning.