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


NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday we were discussing point by point, the things that the self-styled crusader, Gerald L.K. Smith, stands for. These are detailed on a postcard, which I have before me. Let us continue.

Point No. 5 says we must "protect and earmark national resources for our citizenry first." That is what always has been done, and the people of this country would hardly accept anything else, though they are occasionally fooled into handing over to private interests what should remain national resources.

Point No. 6 reads: "Maintain the George Washington foreign policy—friendship with all nations, trade with all nations, entangling alliances with none." This was a good policy in Washington's day and is still good, though the change in world conditions makes certain changes in its application necessary. Entangling alliances were one thing in George Washington's day, they are another thing today. Cooperation in a world that has become so much smaller is far more necessary than it was in George Washington's day.

The next point made in these principles of a crusade makes me suspicious of what Mr. Smith considers entangling alliances. He says: "Oppose a world government and a super state." I know of only a few people in this country who believe there should be a world government and even they think it should be strictly limited. I know of no one who believes in a super state, and yet I think these two principles can have no other reference than to the United Nations. This is an organization of sovereign states but certainly few people have called it a super state, and only a few have said that it might become a basis for world government.

The eighth point in this so-called crusade is that everyone in this country would do better under our American system than under any alien system. Now, who wouldn't agree to that? We hardly need a crusade to put this idea across.

The next point would stop all immigration into our country on the basis that there are only enough jobs for Americans and only enough houses for Americans. We built this country on the labor of immigrants and on the humanitarian principles that the Statue of Liberty personifies. We said we were a haven for the oppressed of the world. We can no longer open our doors as we did in the early days because ours is now a highly developed nation, but we are still able to preserve some of our humanitarianism and to profit by the skills and the strength of a certain amount of immigration. It would be wrong, I think, to say that we should take no one into our country from now on.

The last point of this crusade says: "Enforce the Constitution as it pertains to our monetary system." I am frank to say I am not a financier but I do think we could not ignore the Constitution as it pertains to any subject, so this seems to me a rather bewildering and misleading remark.

In other words, this postcard, under the cloak of a religious crusade, gets across ideas that I think are misleading, confusing, and not altogether truthful.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 8, 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.