My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Monday—In the public financial excitement that we have been going through lately, there has been one thing that has been overlooked. It seems to me that Presidential contests would be fairer and healthier for all concerned if the American people, whether affiliated with a political party or independents, once having made up their minds for whom they are going to vote, would subscribe something according to their means to the campaign.

If a candidate, instead of having to rely on a certain number of very large subscriptions, could count on all of us sending in from twenty-five cents to five dollars to cover the legitimate expenses of the candidate we wanted to hear and for whom we decided we were going to vote, it would be impossible for any of us to feel that we were entitled to any special favors. No candidate would be beholden to anyone.

Some of us would like to help pay for radio and TV time because that is the way we feel, that we will really get the information we want. If that is so, those of us who are for the Republican candidate should send our contribution to his national headquarters and earmark it for radio and TV. If we are for the Democratic candidate we should do the same thing, sending it in this case to his national headquarters in Chicago. Small sums from a great many people would enable us to get the information that is really needed. I understand the Republicans are not hard up, but I know from experience the Democrats are always straining to meet expenses. Whether either party is hard up or not, receiving contributions in small sums from many people should be the very best way to raise campaign funds.

Some people in the heat of campaigns say quite different things from what they have said and would say as private individuals at home. I was reading on Saturday morning a speech made by John Foster Dulles, when Mr. Dulles served as a delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations. I find him a most reasonable and high-minded gentleman and not at all partisan, but when he is trying to bring the past into line with the Republican campaign pronouncements, I find a change in him.

Suddenly he lacks understanding, and the differences in his point of view are striking. Most of this speech was devoted to exhortations to return to high moral standards in our foreign policy, particularly in our work with the United Nations. He assured his audience we could achieve far greater results peacefully if we kept to these standards than we have achieved by the policies that have been pursued by the Democratic Administrations.

I would like to ask Mr. Dulles to be clearer in specifying what should be done and how. For instance, what did we do in the past that was so offensive to our people and to our allies?

It must be difficultsometimes for some of these gentlemen who have worked so closely with the present Administration and been on many U.N. delegations to face their past and present pronouncements.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL