OCTOBER 7, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I noticed that Governor Dewey, in appealing to the voters the other night to elect him and the progressive Republican party, claimed all the things as Republican policies and Republican achievements which the Democrats also have stated were their policies and to which they feel they have contributed, in the past, immeasurably more than the Republicans.
The Democrats, in other words, are saying that on their record the people of the state can expect more consistent progress from them than from the Republicans. They are claiming that the Republicans are giving only lip service to certain policies; that, on the record, the Republicans have not given performance to the same extent that the Democrats have.
The voters themselves have to decide this, and they will decide it, I hope, by weighing the character and capacity of the candidates and their records.
Yet there is one point I think worth mentioning. When the Republican candidate, Mr. Dewey, claims that he and his party are the party of progress, they are soliciting the support of labor and the elements of progress within labor. In doing this, the Republicans do not expect to be accused of communism. Neither should the Democrats be accused of communism when they seek the same support. There are certain elements among the labor groups that are said to be either communistic or too much influenced by communist members. But the vast majority of labor is simply "progressive."
Mr. Dewey and Mr. Ives both repudiated Gerald L. K. Smith's support the other day. But they cannot get rid of his support, and the support of those who follow him, by repudiation, any more than either the Republicans or the Democrats can get rid of communist support by repudiation.
It strikes me that this hue and cry about communist support is raised largely as a red herring, since the number of Communists in this country is not very large. They are very vocal, they are very well organized and, when they get into positions of trust within a group, they are dangerous, because their methods of work are not entirely above board and they work so hard.
I acknowledge the challenge the American Communists present to those of us who believe that democracy is a better form of government than communism. We believe that it has been proved through the years that democracy is able to give a better standard of life to the people as a whole. The only way to convince the Communists, however, is to progress under our democratic form of government and, year by year, give our people more of the things which make life worth living. If we do this, communism can never be a menace to us. To do it, however, we must crusade for democracy and work as hard for our beliefs and our standards as the Communists do for theirs.