SEPTEMBER 12, 1950
LOS ANGELES, Monday—In Hyde Park the other day Mrs. Clare McNamee McMahon, who is running for the New York State Assembly in Columbia County, which is just above our county of Dutchess, came to see me. She was accompanied by her four daughters, all of whom seem much interested in the campaign.
Mrs. McMahon had been to the Democratic State Convention—the first she had ever attended—and she found it very thrilling. She is new in politics, but I think she will be very successful because she has great enthusiasm and a desire to help the farmers of her county whom she knows and who do not always have representatives who are familiar with their problems. She also realizes that local and state problems are very important in the international scene today.
Since we are the leading democracy in the world, the world watches what we do at home and is particularly anxious to note whether what we say jibes with what we do. If we tell the world we are interested in raising the living standards of people everywhere, they look with a critical eye at conditions throughout the United States. It is quite true to say that many workers in this country have a higher standard of living than have workers in any other country in the world, but we can't sit back and rest on that statement. Unfortunately, there are some people who do not enjoy these high standards of living. And when our worldwide neighbors discover backward conditions existing here they wonder how long it will take us to achieve progress in other countries when we have not been able to achieve a uniform, minimum standard at home.
At the request of my son James and Helen Gahagan Douglas, I am spending two days in Los Angeles and San Francisco speaking in their behalf in the coming elections. This is a rather early date, but after next week I cannot be sure of getting away from United Nations meetings for two whole days.
California, I believe, is now the second most populous state in the Union. It is important that the voice of a Senator from here be strong. As I see it, the record made by Mrs. Douglas justified supporting her.
As a nonpartisan representative on the U.N. I feel there is a special need for all of us to work within our own particular parties to get the best possible representatives in our national government. In the U.N., above all other places, we recognize the need for having in the United States Senate people with knowledge and understanding of history and of the other peoples of the world. We also value experience in the field of foreign relations.
On the gubernatorial side, it seems to me that California would be an important state in which to set an example of a liberal, forward-looking policy. Sometime ago a Democrat invited me to meet the present Governor, telling me what a remarkable man he was and how he had advocated a very progressive program for the people of the state. I have watched with interest to see that program put into practice, but up till now no steps have been taken to actually implement many of the things which I understood he was planning to do.