JULY 29, 1952
HYDE PARK, Monday—Both the Republican and Democratic conventions are now behind us and we will have a lull before the campaigning really begins.
I think the people of the United States can be congratulated, for they have two candidates from which to choose, each of whom represents the progressive wing of his party. I think we can also feel that this campaign will be conducted on a very high level. This is characteristic of the two principal candidates, General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson.
We can really expect to hear issues discussed. We can make up our minds on the statements of the candidates so far as what the platforms mean to them and how they intend to carry them out.
I think it would be an admirable idea if we could have a series of debates such as Lincoln and Douglas had. With television and radio the two top candidates could reach every corner of this country, for in even the smallest village there is usually one radio where everyone can gather. This would mean we would have, perhaps, the most intelligent voting that has ever occurred in the U.S. because even in our early days only a few people could be reached in comparison to the number that can be reached today.
I am very pleased with the outcome of the Democratic convention and feel sure that Governor Stevenson will fill that office with distinction if he is elected in November, as I think he will be. His running mate, Senator Sparkman, also is a fine man.
I recognize that on the civil rights question, the Alabama Senator will not be able to advocate some of the measures which we, in the North, think should be accepted by both North and South. But I feel it is the forward-looking new generation of young Southerners who are going to bring about, more quickly than some of us think, real equality in education and in economic opportunity for all in the South.
Those are the most important steps to start with. In addition, however, full enjoyment of political rights must also be achieved, for it cannot be denied to any citizen of whatever race in a true democracy.
Equality before the law is equally important, but here again I think the South is moving rapidly toward bringing this equality about through the interest taken principally by its churchwomen. I have always objected to the attitude that reflected greater consideration being given in the South to a colored man in a court of law because he was not the equal of the white man. It always seemed to me that this was a denial of real justice and hurt the dignity of all concerned. One should be treated without condescension and with even-handed justice.
I can wholeheartedly wish the Democratic candidates success not only in their campaign, but during their administration, and may they have the guidance and protection which they have already asked from the Almighty.