JUNE 23, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday night I went with my son, Franklin, Junior, to Hudson, Columbia County, N.Y., where he was to make a speech at a Democratic committee dinner. The Columbia County Democratic chairman is Robert R. Livingston, a cousin of mine, and the man in whose honor the dinner was given, Fred Holzapple, is an old and faithful worker in the Democratic party whose home is in Copake, Columbia County.
I can remember, when my husband ran as state senator, his telling me how Mr. Holzapple took him around in a horse and buggy. They said Friday night that although he never held an office he was probably one of the most helpful Democrats in the area. It is good to honor that kind of citizenship, because it is an example to many who for one reason or another feel they cannot hold any office, but still realize the all-important fact that personal responsibility is the basis on which a democracy is built and that every citizen must serve in any way he is able to do so.
Of course, my son spoke for his candidate, Averell Harriman, and there was great enthusiasm among the people at the dinner, which was one of the largest I have ever seen in that county. I have no intention of coming out for any candidate until after the conventions. But as the pre-convention campaigns for nomination go on in the two parties, one cannot help watching the performance of the various campaigners with great interest.
Senator Taft announced, according to the papers, that his main objectives would be the interests of the United States and a sound fiscal policy. I can think of no candidate who would not subscribe to these two objectives—but, Senator Taft, what are the interests of the United States? Are those to be served by greater and greater isolationism, a slow withdrawal from the rest of the world? That is the question to be discussed, not the objective which everyone accepts.
General Eisenhower has given very little indication of where he really stands on anything. Whoever is helping with his speeches must think it desirable to keep the public in the dark. The general has, however, shown that he can learn, for on two matters on which he had announced himself he changed his opinion within a short time. The question is, can the country afford to educate a future President? All Presidents must learn a good deal. But most of them have a considerable amount of basic information which, as far as one can tell, has not been mastered by a very great general who has now become a politician.