NOVEMBER 2, 1954
WOODSTOCK, N.Y., Monday—To an onlooker—one who has taken no part whatever in campaigning for many years—the present political campaign has been especially interesting. The President went all out urging people to vote and appeared wherever he thought Republican candidates needed support.
I was told years ago that it was wiser for a President not to take an active part in off-year campaigns. The theory is that once he is elected he is the President of every citizen in the country, even though during campaign time he has to assume the role of leader of his party also. We shall see whether President Eisenhower's campaigning was wise or unwise by the results in the states he visited.
As far as my own state of New York goes, the pattern is much the same as I have often witnessed. Governor Dewey can go before the N.Y. Herald Tribune Forum and speak of the high ethics one should have in politics but when the chips are down in a campaign there is no one who can use the methods of the most practical of politicians better than Mr. Dewey.
At the beginning of this campaign, we heard on many sides that the Democrats would have a hard time. As the campaign progressed, it looked more as though the Republicans were having a hard time, and their methods constantly seemed to me more and more like the methods of desperate men.
I don't know who will win on this Election Day but by and large I think the Democratic candidates tried to discuss the issues and not to dig up questionable facts about their opponents and distort them. There is one comforting thing, always, in our country. The people will decide and you may fool the people some of the time but in the end their judgment is fairly good.
Whatever the outcome today, all of us will go on being good citizens and all of us should vote because, unless we do, the wisdom of the people is poorly expressed.
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Several important things have been brought to my attention in the last few days. A gentleman at the prison conference in Philadelphia last week handed me an interesting description of an international children's exhibit of art. This was not only shown in Philadelphia last summer but so arranged that it could be shipped to different places in the country. Ninety-two countries participated in this exhibition and my informant said, "If we teach children to know each other today, we will have given livable understanding to the adults of tomorrow."
I was also given a pamphlet on the subject of an international school, the first one to be established in this country. Later, perhaps, there would be others in the other areas of the world. The idea seems to be rather well worked out but I am not sure that it would not be more beneficial to try to establish in all existing universities the methods by which people can learn to know each other better in the world.