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


NEW YORK, Wednesday—There is an article about the United Nations in Look Magazine of March 10, which I think everyone should read. It not only gives the opinion of our former chief delegate, Warren R. Austin, but also gives the opinions of different representatives from different parts of the world as to the value of the U.N.

The reason I think you should read this just now is that more and more the attacks on the United Nations are coming out into the open. And as the attacks come into the open, we who believe in the U.N. must speak up and be counted and refute the things that are said which are not true.

It is perfectly possible to have honest differences of opinion as to the value of this or that undertaking, but today the isolationists or other groups, which for some special interest of their own try to destroy the U.N., are jeopardizing the future of the United States and of our children.

It is self-evident that even the United States, with all its strength, cannot live in the world by itself. Many of these people frighten us by saying that the U.N. is controlled by the Communists; that having its home in New York City is a danger to the U.S. because here in a great cosmopolitan city it might be harder to show up a situation of Communist infiltration in its true light.

In the first place, anyone who knows anything about the U.N. knows it is not Communist-dominated, and nothing about the U.N. is hidden. Reporters are always at U.N. headquarters, and they are very alert.

I was shocked recently to hear from someone who was present at a meeting, or a tea party if you prefer, that Adolphe Menjou, who had presided as master of ceremonies at some of the activities during the inauguration of President Eisenhower, spoke openly in this meeting of the necessity of destroying the U.N. And he spoke of the way in which Facts Forum, a tax-exempt educational institution for which the meeting was held, would lead people to see the error of their ways—no doubt through heavily weighted pros and cons that would, of course, always come out against the U.N.

The President has unmistakably stated where he stands in favor of the U.N. and it seems curious that a man can be master of ceremonies at some entertainment during his inauguration and yet come out so soon after against his policies. And I have never before met anyone who could tell me positively that Mr. Hunt of Dallas, Texas, who is backing Facts Forum, actually wanted the U.S. to create a chaotic world by leaving the U.N. But I have now been told this by someone to whom he personally said that this was his objective.

Good, patriotic ladies are taken in because they know so little, and even the American Legion falls a prey to the fear that this anti-U.N. propaganda organization generates. In both groups the fear of communism overrides every other consideration. And yet these times call for cool judgment, judicial study, and improvement where it is necessary. Certainly, they do not call for destruction of the one instrument we have and through which we can work for a peaceful world.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" was the way my husband put it when we were fighting a battle against blind fear which was shackling us in the face of our economic situation. I think now we need to say the same to ourselves in the face of the fears which make us today want isolation rather than cooperation.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 5, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.