DECEMBER 18, 1957
NEW YORK—I am coming to feel that those of us who are Democrats should ask our leaders in Congress to furnish some of the leadership that we complain does not come at the present time from the Republican Administration.
Many people who once dreaded the thought that the President might resign or not finish out his term are beginning to feel that, what with the changes that have come about in Vice-President Richard M. Nixon, he might do better as President than they once thought possible.
Even in such an event I can only see good coming from an effort by the Democratic party in Congress to furnish a complete blueprint of a program for the country. New legislation is needed in many areas. The Democrats should be able to say what they think this legislation is in a blueprint of a program which would form the basis for the Congressional campaign in 1958 and the Presidential campaign in 1960.
This would take some solid thinking along every possible line, but it is high time the Democrats realized that criticizing the Administration and then going along with most of its programs is not supplying leadership or defining what the Democrats would do if elected to power.
I think this must be done and done soon, both for the sake of our position in the World and our people at home, many of whom are completely at sea as to what would happen if the Democrats were to regain executive leadership of our government.
It is not enough for people merely to think we might do well. They really must know what the Democrats would do.
There was an interesting editorial in one of our newspapers the other day entitled, "The Bear That Studies Like a Man," pointing out the differences between educational systems in the United States and in the Soviet Union.
The difference is that young people, not only in the Soviet Union but in continental Europe and Great Britain, work harder at their studies than they do in the U.S. Our high school students are offered some courses that hardly seem necessary to real education though they might be pleasant additions to supervised play.
I was glad to find out through this editorial that the Comparative Education Society is going to send a group of 50 members to Russia for a study of the Soviet school system.
However, I do not think they will find that we should copy the Soviet system. In fact, I shall be surprised if they do not return with the feeling that there are many things in the Soviet system to which we are opposed.
But I do hope they will tell us how to stimulate the kind of intellectual study among our young people that disciplines the mind. For if the mind becomes disciplined, such training will help discipline the body, as well.
There certainly is much in our country that needs to be done about the education of our young people, and I hope that is one of the things to which we will give considerable thought in the next few months.