NOVEMBER 4, 1958
HYDE PARK—Harvard University is a place where, if you are interested in politics and in free and open discussion, you find not only guidance but inspiration.
So the Harvard Young Democratic Club got out a paper describing its purposes. Starting with a short look into the past, it said:
"We of the Democratic party are on the eve of a great victory. The astounding triumphs of Senator Proxmire last summer, of Governor Meyner last fall, and of Senator-elect Muskie last week will corroborate this fact.
"But for those Democrats who are striving for a liberal democracy in the U. S., and an enlightened foreign policy towards the uncommitted nations of the world, November will be only a partial victory. In point of fact, many of the really crucial political battles have already been fought long before election day.
"When candidates and platforms were selected in state conventions and primaries earlier in the year, then the real decisions were beneficial. The selection of Senator Holland over former Senator Pepper in Florida, and that of District Attorney Hogan over former Air Force Secretary Finletter in New York are but two examples.
"The struggle within the Democratic party which is being fought out in nearly every state of the Union has tremendous historical significance. For it is evident that all of the great battles of ideas within the United States have been decided within the Democratic party (except once: the Civil War).
"Battles within the Democratic party are decisive ones, usually determining national policy for a generation. When mediocre leaders and drab policies are chosen by Democrats, the nation succumbs to the doldrums (witness the '20s). But when great leaders with bold programs are selected, the country moves forward, e.g., the New Deal. Hence the current struggle within the Democratic party is crucial.
"The Harvard Young Democratic Club is pledged to forward the cause of liberal government at all levels. The continual advocacy of the progressive and humanitarian concept of the government voiced by Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Adlai Stevenson is the duty of a college Democratic group no less than the national Democratic party."
I think this statement should be brought to the attention of all voters, since it gives the real reasons for voting the Democratic ticket even if some particular candidates are not the candidates of your choice. One can only hope that, once in power, the Democratic sense of responsibility will keep the party liberal and forward looking.
Before I left Toronto last week I had the pleasure of breakfasting with Julien Bryan and hearing about his trip to Russia the past summer and the new color film which he has made for distribution to high schools, colleges, and libraries.
He has included in this film pictures going back to the days of the Czars and taken by an unknown Pathe News photographer from 1905 to 1910. Then he has used shots of atomic energy and jet planes by Soviet news photographers and, finally, his own photographs on his extended trips to Russia. Throughout he has used authentic Russian music.
Mr. Bryan is executive director of the International Film Foundation, Inc., and he narrates the script himself. The film is 24 minutes long. Because of the present interest in learning more about the Soviet Union, it is a most valuable one to have for the nation's education.