SEPTEMBER 4, 1948
HYDE PARK, Friday—The National Board of the Americans for Democratic Action met in Chicago last week and passed a resolution endorsing the candidacies of President Truman and Senator Barkley and giving their reasons for so doing.
They make one point at the end of their statement that I think is extremely important. They say: "ADA is deeply concerned with the election of a liberal majority in both houses of Congress. It is clear that the vast majority of liberal candidates are running on the Democratic ticket and we will exert every effort, locally and nationally, to insure their election."
I can understand that there will be a number of people who will say: "I am a Republican, but I am not a reactionary Republican. I will vote for Governor Dewey because he has endorsed many progressive measures in the domestic field and he stands for the bipartisan foreign policy that means there will be no real change in our relationship to the other countries of the world."
However, to anyone really familiar with the political scene, the record of the Republicans in the 80th Congress is like a stop, look and listen sign for here is the machinery with which Mr. Dewey will have to work. It isn't going to be any easier for him than it has been for President Truman. That is why that last paragraph in the ADA resolution is such an important paragraph.
It is quite sure that Mr. Truman will get no support from Henry Wallace or his followers. Few people have mentioned it in any articles I have seen, but if they have listened to Mr. Wallace talk they must have been more and more impressed by the fact that he is one of the most thoroughgoing isolationists. And just at this moment that seems an impossible doctrine for the United States to espouse.
So this so-called Progressive party can do no good. The Dixiecrats certainly are going to be representative of arch conservatism. They stand for states' rights against civil rights. The liberal Democrats, therefore, find themselves faced with the problem of really trying to elect a sufficient number of liberal Democrats to Congress so that if their party wins it will be possible for the head of the ticket to live up to the stand he has taken on the important questions of the day.
President Truman has made a courageous fight for civil rights. And in spite of Harold Stassen's assertions that the President is responsible for high prices, I think he has made more effort in the last few months to educate the people and to try to get some controls on prices than our Republican friends have done.
It seems to me that by and large, the Democratic party has stood for the things that are of most benefit in the daily lives of the people. And I agree with the poll that was published in one of the newspapers yesterday morning that gave pretty strong support to Secretary Marshall and his policies in foreign affairs.
Nothing is perfect, of course; nothing works out just as you wish it would. At the moment, however, I do not want to see a complete change of attitude towards both domestic and foreign policy.