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


NEW YORK, Wednesday—A new group, "For America," backed by some well-known people in Chicago and elsewhere who are so reactionary that they cannot work within the Republican Party but must form an organization of their own, is apparently now sending out organizers. I read that the co-chairman, Dr. Clarence Manion, former chairman of President Eisenhower's Committee on International Relations, was in Houston, Texas in connection with local organization of the group.

While there, he was quoted as advocating the breaking of diplomatic relations with Russia and moving the United Nations out of the United States. According to a newspaper account, he said: "We should tell the Russian people that we love them, that we are for them, but that we cease to do business with them until they have a representative government."

I am afraid we are going to be very busy if we are going to tell the people of all countries that they must have representative governments before we can do business with them or have diplomatic relations with their countries. If the members of the "For America" movement will take a map of the world and carefully evaluate which countries have truly representative governments and are completely free of dictatorships, I think they will find that our sphere of diplomatic relations would be somewhat curtailed if we applied Dr. Manion's theory everywhere.

In addition, would we not be doing something which is rather out of character with our past? We have asserted the right to govern ourselves as we see fit. Are we going to say that that is not the right of others?

After long years when nations had no common meeting-place, we have established the U.N., and we Americans are fortunate to have its headquarters in our country. Few human devices are perfect but they can be gradually improved.

To throw away a basically sound undertaking simply because a small group of nations would like to run the world their own way, seems to me an idea which will not appeal to many people.

Dr. Manion went on to say, according to the account I read: "What's the sense in refusing to do business with the ward-heelers such as Red China when we do business with the ward-heelers' boss in Moscow?"

Red China happens to have been actively at war with the U.N. And even though we hope that there will come a day when the U.N. can include every nation and when all nations can feel the impact of world opinion, that moment has not yet come. Neither does it seem to me that the moment has come for most of us to join a group like "For America."

I was shocked to read of Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn's death in an automobile accident. It was the kind of accident which seemed almost unavoidable. If a car coming towards you swerves into your lane and you cannot go off the road, a collision is inevitable. I often think, as I drive, how easily these things may happen, because the margin of error for all human beings is constantly present.

Everyone who knew Mrs. Lewisohn, noted education leader, will feel that her loss is not only a personal loss, but a loss to the many causes in which she worked so efficiently and faithfully. I had a warm affection and respect for her, and I want to extend to her daughters my deep sympathy in their loss.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 17, 1954

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.