My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Tuesday—The work in Committee # 3 has been moving very slowly, but one very encouraging thing happened yesterday. We were notified that night sessions might be necessary in order to expedite our work. The immediate reaction of the committee was that we would try to shorten the speeches and to have fewer speeches to avoid having night meetings. The chairman pointed out to us how many speeches had been made on many subjects in general debate, and then how many speeches had been made on the text of that same subject when it came up for actual voting in an article.

It certainly seems as though we could make fewer speeches. One thing I hope we can avoid is attacks on each other or on each other's countries which lead to rebuttals and further rebuttals. There is no end to an argument when each side wants to answer the other side indefinitely!

It seems to me that everyone is going over the elections trying to figure out the meaning of the way in which the citizens voted. I cannot presume to speak for the Republican party, but for the Democratic party I think there are some rather useful lessons to be learned.

First and foremost I think it would be well to look among the younger men in our party and pick out some that might learn politics and begin their education. The attitude of the usual county leader in the country, or a city leader, when he is looking for material to take a political office is that it must be someone who has worked in the political organization. As a matter of fact, if you could find a good businessman or someone who was taking his place in the community and making a name for himself as being interested in helping everybody to improve the general life of the community, you would have more useful candidates.

This change would give the party organization a shot in the arm which might be badly needed. I think the people showed in their voting that they did not like deals arranged for them which handed them candidates that they really felt had not been chosen by their representatives. Nor did they like people of questionable morality.

I think the citizens have something to learn, too. We seem to have reacted partly, in this election, to a general sense of insecurity and unhappiness about the world situation which we do not very well understand and which interferes in our life at home in a way we do not like. We are not sure in what direction we really want to go, but we are nervous about our present situation.

It is we, the people, who have to decide where we want to go and I think the sooner we do it without being frightened, the wiser our decisions will be. Letting ourselves be swept away by fears is not going to make us take an objective and wise view of the problems before us, both at home and abroad.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL