MARCH 11, 1959
NEW YORK—Perhaps because I was on a lecture tour for the past few weeks, my attention has just been brought to a full copy of a speech made by the Hon. Carmine De Sapio at the annual New York State Democratic Dinner, which was held on February 14. As you probably know, Mr. De Sapio is a national committeeman, New York County Chairman, and leader of Tammany Hall in New York.
It was a most ingenuous speech in which he evaded skillfully any of the real issues that divide New York State and New York City Democrats.
The point which he covers in the first part of the speech—on being a liberal or not—is quite unimportant. People soon discover by a person's actions whether that individual is a liberal.
Later in the speech Mr. De Sapio made a plea for unity among Democrats in New York State and here is what he said: "If we can influence the course of progress in our state in the face of a Republican Administration—and I believe that we can—then we will earn and we will deserve the friendship and the respect of the people. And their friendship, their respect and their support will enable us—as a party—as their party—to reassume the titular, as well as the moral, responsibility for political leadership in our state."
Those are pretty high-sounding words. But the fact remains that we will need to give the people some concrete evidence by reforms that they are to be allowed to take part in the affairs of the Democratic party and that it will be governed along democratic lines.
I want to mention that I had a most enjoyable stay last Friday night as guests of my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hershey Martin of Beverly Hills, Calif., who always make life as easy for me as possible.
On Saturday morning, while the two Martin girls went off for a tennis lesson, I had a very well-attended press conference. And one thing stands out in my mind, which was this:
A correspondent at this session wanted to know how one could compare the women of Russia to the women of the United States. And I sometimes wonder whether we ever will reach the point where we will stop trying to compare perfectly impossible things.
Every woman in Russia must work. Every woman in the U.S. may work if she wants to work, but she is not in any way obliged to do so, and conditions of life and of work in the two countries are entirely different.
We should understand that in the Soviet Union the people themselves are making no real comparison between the U.S. and their country. They are, however, comparing their life today with their life under the czars 41 years ago.
They hear nothing about the real way of life here, and quite obviously it would be impossible to describe it to them as it really is. Besides, there is no desire on the part of the Soviet leaders to have their people understand the U.S.
Of course, it may be possible in the years to come that the two countries may reach a point where the way of life of each could be compared, but this is not at all possible at the present time.
Last Saturday, too, I had a delightful lunch with my great-grand-child, Julianna Roosevelt, and her mother.