NOVEMBER 2, 1950
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It was inspiring to attend a luncheon yesterday given by the Women for Lehman Committee in the grand ballroom of the Commodore Hotel. The room was filled and the women there represented many professions and many occupations. As one looked about the room one saw person after person who in some sphere of life carried great influence.
The political speeches were made by the Honorable Mrs. Mary Norton and Mrs. India Edwards of the Democratic National Committee. But all the other speeches expressed the love and admiration felt for Herbert H. Lehman, the man. It made me proud to be counted among his host of friends.
This campaign is drawing to an end and it seems to me somewhat idle to say that there has been more mudslinging than usual. I can remember saying practically that same thing in every campaign, but at least we can say that there has been no mudslinging on Senator Lehman's part. He has conducted a constructive campaign. He has talked of the things that the people needed to know in order to make their choice in the election.
I think we need to change completely our type of campaigning, and there is one thing we can borrow from the British. Because BBC is owned by the government, the government allots radio time to the candidates of all parties running and it is done on a completely fair basis. I wish that same thing could be followed up in newspapers and advertising of all sorts and that, in addition, a sum of money could be given every candidate to cover the needed educational services which should be the basis of any campaign in a democracy.
It is important for the people to be educated as to their candidates' qualifications and as to the issues and beliefs of the various parties.
In a democracy it should be part of the obligation of every voter to obtain this amount of knowledge before an election. But the knowledge must be available and it must be available for everybody. The next obligation is to make sure that we vote. If we don't vote, then we cannot complain when the power of the government gets into the hands of a few, sometimes corrupt, individuals.
The average citizen of a democracy does not fulfill his obligations of election day. He must try to follow the record of those for whom he voted. He must write them now and then and make them feel that he is an interested citizen, watching day by day how his business is being conducted.
This is our business, whether it is what happens in our local community, or in our state, or in our nation, and now even if it is what our delegates stand for in the United Nations. All of this is our business.
You do not directly elect your representatives in the United Nations but indirectly you do. Your representatives in the Senate ratify United Nations appointments and there is no reason why you should not follow with care the people who do your job in the U.N. You belong to a nation that carries a heavy burden of responsibility in the U.N. and for that reason you should make sure that here, too, you fulfill your obligations.