The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


HYDE PARK, Wednesday—It interests me that in a crisis such as this the thing we look for in all political campaigns is coming to pass.

The Republicans are accusing the Democrats of having mismanaged our foreign policy. One would expect this because it is an obvious place of attack, but I think anyone who will take the trouble to look back over the votes, will find that the Republicans are as responsible as the Democrats for any lack in preparedness.

People have, when they belong to opposite political parties, very convenient memories. It is not, of course, exclusively a Republican gift to forget, the Democrats do it on occasions too and for many years the Republicans have been obliged to base much of their opposition on one very simple theme, namely, "We will change nothing that is being done, but we will do it all better because we are abler as administrators."

In this particular case they claim that they knew what was going to happen and they could have formulated a better foreign policy. As a matter of fact nobody knew what was going to happen, because we have never been given to looking ahead beyond the immediate problems before us. We blamed the British, for instance, for not backing Mr. Stimson when he wanted to interfere in Manchuria against the Japanese. It was then, at that time, that we could have taken action which might perhaps have changed the whole course of the war in the Pacific in World War II. But, we were not thinking that far ahead ourselves, and we did not push Mr. Stimson's proposal very hard in our own Congress.

There is an interesting article in the Saturday Review by Norman Cousins who reviews the present situation in the light of 1960. It is quite openly a bid for world government, but interesting to all of us since, whether you think it is possible to establish government by law merely by changing the United Nations in certain ways to do so, or whether you think you have to continue and work with the organization as it is, still the objectives proclaimed in his more hopeful prognostication are certainly the objectives that each one of us should be trying to obtain. He says the decision is entirely up to the President of the United States. I am not sure that it isn't up to the people of the United States.

Someone wrote me the other day and said he thought Mr. Malik should be wined and dined and made to understand what are the real objectives of the United States. I am afraid that no one could induce him to come and enjoy a dinner. If someone has made up his mind to believe something, regardless of what is presented to him, it is very difficult to change his mind. I am afraid that we will have to rely on convincing the rest of the world and not Mr. Malik and the USSR.

It will take them a long time to accept the fact that the rest of the world does not see things the way they do, and we will have to be very sure that we convince the greater part of the Asiatic and African people that the USSR propaganda against us is not true. Until that time we will make no dent in the USSR or their representatives.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Malik, Charles Habib, 1906-1987 [ index ]
         Lebanese philosopher and diplomat; member of UN Commission on Human Rights
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives ]
  • Stimson, Henry Lewis, 1867-1950 [ index ]
         American politician; Secretary of State (1929-1933); Secretary of War (1911-1913; 1940-1945)
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 17, 1950

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.