JULY 11, 1952
HYDE PARK, Thursday—We stayed up again on Tuesday night watching the Republican National Convention on television to the end of ex-President Hoover's speech. By our time that was 12 o'clock, and in the country that seems a fairly late hour!
The convention accorded the former President, as the Republican party's elder statesman, a rousing welcome accompanied by a banner parade. It touched the hearts of all those present when he said it was probably the last time he would address such a gathering, and his statement was countered with a thunderous "No!" I think the delegates were probably right, for I thought Mr. Hoover's voice was vigorous and strong. With the care that doctors know so well how to give older people nowadays, there is no reason why he should not live for long years to come. Everyone will wish him this prolongation of usefulness, for, so far as one can tell, life still holds a great deal that is pleasant and enjoyable for this ex-President.
His speech was simply a reiteration of what General MacArthur had said and a reaffirmation of what he himself has stood for in the past few years. No human beings are infallible, and there is no question that mistakes may have been made in both domestic and foreign policy in the past. At the same time it is certain that more will be made in the future, no matter what party is in power. Many of the things said in Chicago this week can and will be answered at the Democratic National Convention.
The important thing to note is the assumption that the people of the United States have been held in a condition of slavery against their will, for ex-President Hoover said we must restore to the people of the U.S. their freedom. I would agree that we need to be freed from certain fears, but I still think we are ruled by the will of the majority in our country, and I still feel we have all the freedom we wish to exercise.
The next thing one thinks about after hearing General MacArthur and Mr. Hoover is the difficulty that the platform writers must have had in reconciling the point of view of complete isolationism as it emerged and the view taken by some members of the party who still believe there must be some international cooperation.
Some Republicans must have felt a certain discomfort at having no mention made by General MacArthur and practically no recognition by ex-President Hoover that there is a United Nations in existence, or that we do have NATO and that our European allies are able to listen to what these responsible statesman say and that they may also be heard in the countries of Asia.
In both speeches we were told that the things men long for—peace, prosperity, freedom, lower taxes—were all to be available. But how this was to be done was not revealed by either of these two speakers.
The people of the U.S. who, according to the former President, will be restored to freedom by a Republican party victory, will try to use that freedom a little ahead of time by making whatever decision seems to them wisest in November.